Following on from her TedX Sydney triumph, speaker Karen Palmer was recently profiled by the British Council on their Canadian website. She answered questions shedding light on her current practice and the buzz around her work.
Tell us about Interactive Films and what type of work do you create:
I created Interactive Films Ltd as a production company to combine Storytelling and Technology. My work combines, wearable technology, film, parkour, gaming functionality and neuroscience to create an immersive experience for the participant. Currently, I create neurogames. It’s a new and emerging field. I work at the intersection of game play and neuroscience.
What is the role of the participant in your work and how does it impact the results?
To create an experience where the user is the remote control and the action, it is completely dependent on the psychological state of the user. Neurogaming is where the mind and body meet game-play. It’s where the full nervous system is integrated into the gaming experience by using new sensor technologies. For example, my interactive installation SYNCSELF 2. is an immersive storytelling experience in which the obstacles that freerunners face within the film are determined by the user's mental focus, measured by EEG technology.
What excites you at the moment in terms of digital arts?
The sense of being at the cutting edge of a new era of digital arts. Much of the technology has been around for a while, i.e. Virtual Reality. But now the storytellers, creatives and artists are in the mix. Unlike the advent of video games, this movement is being championed by a diverse array of storytellers, and not predominantly male software developers. Integrating merging medias such as VR, AR, AI, MR and neurogaming into storytelling creates the environment for a powerful storytelling experience with the potential to not only effect, but potentially change the participant, ranging from cognitive to emotional behaviours.
Tell us about your experience in Montreal?
Montreal was truly an inspirational experience. The ONF XP Women in Tech Workshop was as trail blazing as it was empowering. Bringing together international women in storytelling and technology to create and play. The VR Salon was basically a 2-day Master Class in VR from international leaders in the field. I realised that I am now part of this very exciting international movement.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
My new immersive video installation experience RIOT simulates the experience of being in a riot. Riots have often been featured recently on the international platform ranging from Ferguson, Paris to London.
RIOT takes the user on a personalised journey through a protest in which the climate swiftly develops into a dangerous riot. The objective is to get through a digitally simulated riot alive. This is achieved through communicating with a variety of characters to acquire information and direction to reach home. RIOT responds to the participants’ emotional state in real time to engage and alter the video story journey. RIOT is a live action, utilising A.I Technology with branching narrative with 3D audio that uses the player’s emotions to dictate whether or not they can survive a dangerous riot.
For more information on Karen Palmer click here.