While WALLPAPER was written by Judi Alston and Andy Campbell, the gallery installation – and thus the way that the work was experienced – was developed with Dr Alice Bell and Prof Astrid Ensslin. Building on their research on immersion, interactivity, and multimodality in digital fiction by Alice Bell and Astrid Ensslin, the aim was for the WALLPAPER installation to be an immersive experience both inside and outside of the room in which it was experienced. A site-specific room was built inside the gallery and covered in wallpaper that looked like masony bricks. Inside the installation, the room was painted black and the only light was that of the digital fiction projection.
Dr Alice Bell talks about WALLPAPER and the reader response research
WALLPAPER is being used as part of the Reading Digital Fiction project’s reader response research. The study aims to explore immersion in digital fiction as well as the relationship between readers and the fictional world (including the characters). Readers from three reading groups in Sheffield and one pop-up created specifically for the installation were invited to talk about their experiences of WALLPAPER. Reader engagement with the installation will be analysed by Bell and Ensslin in their reader-response research in order to understand how immersion works in digital fiction reading and, crucially, how immersion is conceptualised linguistically by readers. The WALLPAPER research will be presented at the Electronic Literature Organization Conference 2016 in Victoria, British Columbia in June 2016 and the Poetics and Linguistics Association Conference in Cagliari, Sardinia in July 2017.
WALLPAPER by Dreaming Methods at One to One Development Trust was funded by the Arts Council England and Sheffield Hallam University’s Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), with support from Bank Street Arts, Bangor University, and the AHRC-funded Reading Digital Fiction project.
Photographs of the WALLPAPER launch event can be found here.