Lailah: An Interactive Expressionist Fiction


Session Title:

  • Multimedia (The Next Generation)

Presentation Title:

  • Lailah: An Interactive Expressionist Fiction



  • Klaus Oesch -
    • Tampere University
    • Media Company Sansibar


  • Abstract

    Lailah is a piece of interactive art, which we would classify as interactive expressionist fiction. (As interactive art productions are few and far between at the moment, classification becomes tentative.) Lailah is a multimedia production, which with the use of graphics, photography, simple animations, recited poetry, sound effects and music involves the participants in a poetic interactive experience. It is developed both as a production that can be experienced via the computer screen with use of 3 -channel sound or as a room installation with use of 3-channel sound, a video projector and a surface for the mouse navigation.

    Lailah is based on the idea of engaging the participants in a fiction universe by letting them interact with a black & white photography of a woman’s torso covered with flower petals. With the mouse the participant can control a colored dot. By touching the picture in a particular place, the petals come to life by taking on different colors accompanied by music, sound effects and poetry. These respond to the particular color combinations in the picture. The sound effects are integrated so that the 3-channel sound control lets the sound follow the movements in the picture. The poetry and color combinations are never the same (statistically the possibility of the same combination is very low), which means you will get a new experience every time you try it out. Emotionally the atmosphere changes according to the nuances of the colors, gloomy colors change the poetry towards moodiness, while bright and lively colors give a more positive experience. Impatient and vulgar actions change the experience in a nightmarish way, patience and gentle behavior let you go further with the process, which sums up the basic point in Lailah: the participant is responsible for his or her own experience.

    Lailah was originally produced as part of a study of interface design & modes of interaction at The Institute of Information and Media Science, Arhus University.