This geolocative work about a fictional flood that affects Los Angeles, California describes itself as “a Rashomon-style multi-POV narrative experience that unfolds across LA, spilling over our cast of characters and the participants. The Flood dredges to the surface the unspoken laws and logic of the city. It reveals hidden boundaries even as it spills over them.”
The city’s boundaries aren’t the only things spilled over in this flood of multimedia texts, but also those of literature because this work uses language in as diversely as it uses online services. To name a few leading formats, this work is in audio, video, text, prose, verse, geotags, Twitter, Google Maps, and more. The recorded voices of flood survivors sometimes play like radio talk show hosts, interview subjects, oral histories, or dramatic monologues. The written texts (or are they transcripts?— What came first?) are written in prose and verse, Tweets (prose or verse?), captions, tags, and so on. Notions of authorship are also washed over given the scope of this collaborative piece, inviting contributions to form international collective netprov events.
This work is likely to give digital preservationists fits as they try to preserve, not only content in so many different formats, but snapshots of environments at a given moment. For example, even if the locations in Google Maps last a very long time in the system with its information intact, will the map of LA and its other contents still be the same? Probably not. This is a work very much of the present— an imaginative snapshot into the lives of Angelenos and of Internet services circa 2010-2012.
So fire up your device of choice, be it mobile, portable, or stationary— preferably both— and go for a walk in an imaginary Los Angeles with real voices in it.
Featured in ELO 2012 Media Art Show