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Narrative Constellations: Exploring Choice, Time, and Location-based Storytelling

Teachers
April Soetarman, Lee Beckwith
Date
March 15, 2023 to May 17, 2023 (10 classes)
Time
Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30PM ET
Location
Online (Zoom)
Cost
$1200 Scholarships available learn more...
Deadline
Applications open until February 10, 2023

Apply Now

Description

A class for artists and writers wanting to explore storytelling and choice across different mediums, from objects to spaces to sunsets. From Choose Your Own Adventure books to video games to immersive theater, we’ll be exploring stories that change and adapt according to the player’s choices. We’ll be creating our own interactive narratives through a series of small projects, with a final project to play and share. Lecture topics will include a survey of various types of physical and digital interactive storytelling, including narrative installations, immersive theater, mail-based art, immersive audio and phone plays, and location-based game design. We’ll also have an intro to Twine, an open-source tool for creating web-based interactive nonlinear stories. We’ll also cover safety and taking care of your audience, how to prime your audience before a work begins, choice and story structures, how to construct endings, and various ways of documenting interactive choice-based work.

Images courtesy of teachers.

Course of Study

  • This class is part creative writing, part interactive game design across multiple mediums.
  • There will be short creative writing prompts each class, and a series of 3-5 small projects exploring a survey of various types of physical and digital interactive storytelling, including narrative installations, immersive theater, mail-based art, immersive audio, phone plays and location-based game design.
  • There will be optional NYC-based field trips depending on interest.

Expectations

Participants should have comfort with reading and writing in English.

Time & Workload
  • Participants are expected to spend time outside of class on assignments (approximately 1-3 hours per week). This will include readings, playing games (short and free or low-cost with free video walkthroughs), small prompts and reflections, and working on projects.
  • The final showcase will include documenting and sharing a final project.
Technical Experience
  • Participants do not have to be masters of a particular topic, but should have a curiosity and willingness to experiment and explore.
  • There will be some basic HTML/CSS/Javascript involved as part of Twine, but no previous coding experience required. Small projects will be a mix of physical and digital.
Materials
  • Laptop with webcam, smartphone (audio player + camera), headphones, basic craft materials (paper, markers, etc).

Is this class for me?

This class is for:

  • Artists who are interested in storytelling
  • Writers who want to try writing interactive stories
  • Folks who enjoy stories and games, and want to explore different ways they can be crafted

Meet the Teachers

teacher

April Soetarman

April Soetarman (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and writer who creates public art, immersive installations, games, and weird side projects. Her site-responsive works play with the language of everyday objects and speculative institutions to explore complex human emotions. Her installations have been supported by the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and CultureHub, among others, as well as anonymously installed in dozens of public spaces across the country. April was also known for WeirdSideProjects.com, her previously-anonymous series of ongoing experiments in code, text, and street art. Her most notable projects include The Museum of Almost Realities (2017), The Department of Emotional Labor (2019), and The End of the Day (2020). April has a BA in architecture and music from UC Berkeley and was an Experiential Design Founding Fellow at Experience Institute.

she/her · website · twitter · instagram

teacher

Lee Beckwith

Lee 소라 Beckwith teaches computer science and environmental humanities at Miss Porter's School. They are currently pursuing their M.S.Ed through the University of Pennsylvania. These days, they are grateful for cyanotypes, eucalyptus candles, and literary magazines.

they/them · website · twitter · instagram

Accessibility

Our programs are conducted in spoken English with audiovisual materials such as slides, code examples and video. Online programs are held over Zoom.

Please take care and be well. We hope you are comfortable in your housing, living, and working situation in general. Never hesitate to ask us for advice and reach out if you have accessibility requests or need any assistance during your time at SFPC. We will work closely with you towards co-creating the most accommodating learning environment for your needs.

reach out with questions about access...

How do I apply?

Apply Now

Tell us about your favorite stories or games.

Applications open until Applications closed on February 10, 2023.

You can expect to hear back from us about the status of your application on February 24, 2023. Please email us at admissions@sfpc.study with any questions you have.

more about what we look for in participants...

How much does it cost to attend?

For 10 classes, it costs $1200 + $12.26 in processing fees, for a one-time payment. We also offer payment plans. Participants can schedule weekly or monthly payments of the same amount. First and last payments must be made before the start and end of class. *Processing fees apply for each payment.

SFPC processes all payments via Withfriends and Stripe. Please email admissions@sfpc.study if these payment options don't work for you.

Upon payment, your space in the class will be reserved. We offer scholarships for those who cannot pay full tuition. Read more about scholarships below.

I can’t pay for SFPC. Can I come at a reduced rate, or for free?

If you can’t pay full tuition, we really still want you to apply. Our application will ask you how much you can pay. We will offer subsidized positions in all of our classes, once each one has enough participants enrolled that we’re able to do so.

We have also started a scholarship fund, and we will be offering additional scholarships as community members redistribute their wealth through SFPC. We direct scholarship funds towards participants who are low-income, Black, Indigenous, racialized, gendered, disabled, Queer, trans, oppressed, historicially excluded and underrepresented.

Right now, tuition is SFPC’s main source of income, and that is a problem. It means that we can only pay teachers, pay for space, and organize programs when participants pay full tuition to attend. Tuition is a huge barrier to entry into the SFPC community, and it disproportionately limits Black participants, indigenous participants, queer and trans participants, and other people who are marginalized, from participating. Scholarships are not a long term solution for us, but in the short and medium term we hope to offer them more while we work towards transforming SFPC’s financial model.

How can I help others to attend SFPC?

For SFPC to be the kind of place the community has always meant it to be, it needs to become a platform for wealth redistribution. If you are a former participant, prospective participant, or friend of the school, and you have the financial privilege to do so, please donate generously. There is enough wealth in this community to make sure no one is ever rejected because of their inability to pay, and becoming that school will make SFPC the impactful, imaginative, transformative center of poetry and justice that we know it can be.

What if I can’t go, can I get a refund?

  • Yes, we can give you 100% refund up to 10 days before class starts
  • 50% refund after 10 days, until the first day of the class
  • No refunds can be given after the first day of the class

Interested in more learning opportunities at the School for Poetic Computation? Join our newsletter to stay up to date on future sessions and events, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter. Support our programming through scholarships. Get in touch over email.