What is the digital quilt?
Public not private
We are committed to public engagement in our projects – not just at the point of presenting a performance, but through the whole process. We regularly hold ‘café’ events where we invite an expert to speak in public – who otherwise we might have consulted with privately. Similarly, we are mapping our research online, through the digital quilt.
When we upload our research, we present it ‘raw’ – it has been identified as of interest, picked out, but not yet reconfigured within the artistic process. It therefore offers a series of snapshots of our investigative process, without directly prefiguring the actual artistic event.
Why a quilt?
Each panel of the ‘quilt’ is a segment of information linked to others – a patchwork of the discoveries we are making as we develop the project, and a potentially unending quest to understand, associate and investigate.
Panel by panel
Each panel of the digital quilt contains a piece of information that we have found in the course of our project research, and which provides insight into some aspect of the complex jigsaw we are investigating. These are the building blocks of the project’s know-how.
Journeys not searches
The way that viewers move around the digital quilt is to follow links between panels – each panel links up, down, left and right to another panel of associated information. The stories lie in the juxtapositions and journeys between items of information.
The quilt also allows us to share our research internationally, in particular with Zhao Chuan in China, by providing a common platform for research. It invites conversation – and we would be delighted to learn of any information/research that you thought was relevant.
Launched on 13 February 2014, just after the Chinese New Year, the quilt is currently available for viewing in its simplest form. We have ambitions for future iterations which will allow viewers to trace their own journeys, and see their experience in the context of the whole web of interlinked panels. We want to digitally code the possibility of each viewer storyboarding their journey through the site, creating a unique record they can look back at and share with others.
We would also like to create a more organic mode of response to the quilt – if a panel on the quilt brings to mind a fact, newspaper article, another artist or a personal story, then the viewer will be able to ‘stitch’ these new pieces of information into the quilt.