A lot of people would argue that technology cancels out much of the romanticism of storytelling.
Dating sites replace real-life meet cutes, social interaction = social media, and the “narcissism” of the millennial generation is enough to send any reader in search of simpler times.
But something these people don’t realize is that technology can be used as a storytelling outlet, as much as (if not more than) paper and pen. Vast and vague as it is, many artists make use of the internet to create meaningful narratives that transcend the limits of past storytellers.
Quite without realizing it, I’ve been collecting some of these ‘modern’ stories over the past few years. And now that I’ve put some additional thought into it, I’ve come up with a short list. So, here are some narratives to restore your faith in storyteling in our technology-ridden world:
1. “The Museum of Four in the Morning” by Rives
Poet/multimedia artist Rives delivered “The Museum of Four in the Morning” as a lyrical Ted talk in 2014, though it had been an on-going “hobby” since 1996. It’s the story of a mere coincidence evolving into somewhat of a lucky charm, and testifies to the wonder of the internet, but also how it is acts essentially as a connection. To us, and to our past.
2. “Project Rebuild” by Sachiko Murakami
Canadian poet Sachiko Murakami creates collaborative poetry projects, like Project Rebuild, which asks its collaborators to “inhabit a poem” by interactively entering into one of the many houses in the “neighbourhood” and then “renovating” that particular poem to suit them.
3. “My Mother’s House” by Victoria Bennett and Adam Clarke
As Victoria Bennett was caring for her terminally ill mother, she wrote this poem as she dealt with the experiences of grief and loss, as well as trying to understand the things a loved one leaves behind. Presented as a playable Minecraft map and voiced by its author, it focuses on “immers[ing] the player in the experience of a poem.”
4. “The Family Tree” by Radical Face
Ben Cooper aka Radical Face started “The Family Tree” over eight years ago, with the intention of “writ[ing] my own family saga, only in music form instead of a novel.” What results is four albums: “The Roots,” “The Branches,” and “The Leaves,” as well as the songs that didn’t end up fitting into these main albums, which he dubbed “The Bastards.” There’s now an interactive map that shows how the songs connect, along with little blurbs about the characters, and their storylines.
I hope this inspires you to look for stories in your own interactions with the internet and technology! If you find any/know of any, please let me know in the comments! I absolutely love learning about innovative storytelling.