We as a species might be appropriately named Homo narrans rather than Homo sapiens.
R.A. Neimeyer, ‘Community and Coherence: Narrative Contributions to the Psychology of Conflict and Loss’, Narrative and Consciousness: Literature, Psychology and the Brain, G. D. Fireman, T. E. McVay, and O.J. Flanagan (eds.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003),167.
Reasoning of this sort is predicated upon the strong claim that ‘our interpretation of ourselves is constitutive of what we are’.
C. Taylor, ‘Self-Interpreting Animals’, Human Agency and Language (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 47.
The fashioning of any self worthy of the name is the outcome of a peculiar kind of hermeneutic activity. Consequently, personhood is not an automatic birthright of all human beings – and it looks like it may be forever denied to other species of animal. Schechtman makes explicit this consequence of the strong reading of the narrative self-constitution view: ‘Some, but not all, individuals weave stories of their lives, and it is their doing so that makes them persons’.
M. Schechtman, The Constitution of Selves (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996), 94. The clear implication is that those unable to tell stories about themselves – those who cannot self-interpret, although immune from self-deception, buy this at the cost of being cut off from the possibility of self-knowledge and ethical development.
Stickboy, An Opera in Three Acts
Music composed by Neil Weisensel
Libretto by Shane Koyczan, based on his book, Stickboy
Late last year, Shane Koyczan and Vancouver Opera asked if we’d like to partner on a brand new opera. We had never worked with projections, long-form animation, or live performance (not to mention opera!) before, so of course we said: yes please!
Ten months later, our work is being projected over three massive screens, illustrating over 40 background settings and dark inner-workings of the main character in a 2-hour long stage performance called Stickboy. You can see it live in Vancouver until November 7, 2014 (visit vancouveropera.ca for more info).
A collaboration with Shane Koyzcan and Vancouver Opera
Creative Direction: Leah Nelson, Jorge R. Canedo Estrada & Henrique Barone
Producer: Teresa Toews
Art Direction: Jorge R. Canedo Estrada
Concept and Storyboard: Jorge R. Canedo Estrada, Henrique Barone & Leah Nelson with help from Rachel Peake & Shane Koyzcan
Design: Henrique Barone, Lucas Brooking, Jorge R. Canedo Estrada, Gergely Wootsch & Shawn Hight
Animation: Jorge R. Canedo Estrada, Henrique Barone, Shawn Hight, Nicholas Ferreira, Marisabel Fernandez
Voiceover: Shane Koyczan
Music: Hand Covers Bruise, Reprise by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Edit: Jorge R. Canedo Estrada
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person mystery game focused on exploration and discovery.
You play the game as Paul Prospero, an occult-minded detective who receives a disturbing letter from Ethan Carter. Realizing the boy is in grave danger, Paul arrives at Ethan’s home of Red Creek Valley, where things turn out to be even worse than he imagined. Ethan has vanished in the wake of a brutal murder, which Paul quickly discerns might not be the only local murder worth looking into.
Inspired by the weird fiction (and other tales of the macabre) from the early twentieth century, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter aims to significantly evolve immersive storytelling in games. While it features a private detective and quite a few mental challenges, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is not an especially puzzle-ridden game. Our focus is on atmosphere, mood, and the essential humanity of our characters.
Still, the discoveries won’t happen on their own, or without your help. Using both Paul’s supernatural skill of being able to communicate with the dead, and your own powers of observation, you will discover the mystery behind a trail of corpses, the roots of a dark ancient force lurking in Red Creek Valley, and the fate of a missing boy.
Our capacity to create, enjoy and benefit from narratives so defined – be they factual or fictive – surely sets us apart from other creatures. Some, impressed by the prominence of this phenomenon in the traffic of human life, have been tempted to deploy that famous Aristotelian formula, holding that we are, inter alia, not just social or rational or political animals but that we are also rightly distinguished as narrative or story-telling animals.
Daniel D. Hutto, “Narrative and Understanding Persons” (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement:60) 1.
~distinct claims that narratives are implicated in, if not essential for: (a) enabling us to exercise our imaginations in unique ways; (b) developing our everyday understanding of actions performed for reasons; and (c) external reflection, evaluation and orientation in our understanding of the situations of ourselves and others.
Daniel D. Hutto, “Narrative and Understanding Persons” (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement:60) 2.
Müllhäuserstrasse: nr.1t/m5, 2007
Paperbags, model accessories
35x15x10 cm each
Cumulus – Adlergasse 1, 2011
Cumulus – Sandradstrasse 12, 2011
Cumulus – Reeekstraat 98, 2010
Plastic model of the exhibition space, Aerogel
Aerogel also known as frozen smoke consists of 99,8% air and is the lightest solid material on earth.