Project knole: an autocosmic approach to authoring resonant computational characters

Sherman, R.P (2021) Project knole: an autocosmic approach to authoring resonant computational characters. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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Project knole, consisting of this thesis and a mixed reality installation artwork centred around a computational simulation, is a practice-based response to the question of how a character in a work of computational narrative art might maintain their defining quality of dynamic agency within a system (arguably one of the key potentials of the form), while achieving the ‘resonant’ qualities of characters in more materially-static artforms. In all aspects of this project, I explore a new design philosophy for achieving this balance; between the authorship of a procedural computational system, and the ability of that system to ‘resonate’ with the imagination of an audience. This philosophy, which I term the ‘autocosmic’, seeks inspiration for the curation of audience response outside the obvious boundaries of artistic discipline, across the wider spectrum of human imaginative engagement; examples often drawn from mostly non-aesthetic domains. As well as defining the terms ‘resonance’ and ‘autocosmic’, and delineating my methodology more generally, this thesis demonstrates how the ‘autocosmic’ was employed within my creative work. In particular, it shows how some of the perennial problems of computational character development might be mediated by exploring other non-aesthetic examples of imaginative, narrative engagement with personified systems. In the context of this project, such examples come from the historio-cultural relationship between human beings and the environments they inhabit, outside of formal artistic practice. From this ‘autocosmic’ launchpad, I have developed an artwork that starts to explore how this rich cultural and biological lineage of human social engagement with systemic place can be applied fruitfully to the development of a ‘resonant’ computational character.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)

The document attached to this record is the contextualising research section of the thesis only. It does not include the creative component, which is the installation artwork. The Github link on this record goes to a collection of files including the assets for the project's website, prototype code, source files for the final installation, illustrative videos and much more.

This research was funded by the South-West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (AHRC). It was produced in collaboration with University of Bath.

Keywords: PhD by Practice, installation art, computational art, mixed reality art, narrative art, audience response
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
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Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 17:15
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 18:36
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