KinoPuzzle: grasping realities through tangible tabletop documentaries

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  • KinoPuzzle: grasping realities through tangible tabletop documentaries

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  • Abstract

    Computationally enhanced tabletops featuring tangible objects for participant interaction hold promise for the creation of new forms of media, including documentaries and stories constructed by individuals or small groups in distributed or face-to-face settings. Many computer-aided storytelling systems feature either algorithms to arrange story elements automatically or, story structures to guide authors in presenting their tales. In contrast, the KinoPuzzle system affords a high degree of freedom for authors in constructing tabletop experiences and for participants in exploring multi-viewpoint narratives. This format for story-telling combines the representational depth and flexibility of the digital database with the expressive power of the collage surface, offering advantages in terms of open-ended
    dialogic juxtapositions and the collaborative exploration of reality-based material. The inspiration for the KinoPuzzle system comes from the fields of social and ethnographic documentary-making and conceptual lenses from ethnography and ethnomethodology. The values embedded in these approaches to recording life are reflected in the code, data structures (or lack therefore), and visual strategies of the system. The primary goal of the system is to enable authors and readers flexibility to explore, interpret, and reinterpret multiple viewpoints within differing contexts. Our adoption of the collage tradition for organizing the display and interaction of visual and tangible content provides an open-ended framework for the composition and manipulation of viewpoints and stories. Collage as a spatial representational form may be better suited to the presenting the conflicting ‘actualities’ that are the subject of contemporary documentaries than narratives presented in sequence based on traditional story structures in the Aristotelian tradition.