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The Flocking Party

The Flocking Party
epidemiology map avain brain recreated from slices A.I. birds flock across page simulation of protein crystallization traditional painting of starlings avian vocal scan digital drawing of sparrow

For his Master of Fine Arts thesis project Chris was working on an artistic way to address the relationship between nature and technology in the new field of biotechnology. How would these technologies affect our everyday lives and our culture? What was the most appropriate medium to use to talk about this?

A story can convey complex information in a comprehensible and exciting way. This project tells a fictitious story about a renegade biotechnology that is both menacing and transformative. In 2035, a young researcher, named Franklin Landa, studies sparrows and starlings whose brains are infected with this engineered virus. The virus does not kill the birds, but instead, makes them more intelligent.

model of Frank's journal

To convey the complexity of Frank's experience, an interactive, electronic journal containing animations, interactive graphics, multilinear text, and many drawings was created. Sound engineer from Philadelphia, Timothy Day, collaborated to create some of the sounds.

While The Flocking Party is only 5% 3D, it is 100% simulation. This 2D, interactive story-game, utilizes the dimensions of narrative and hypertext to create an engaging experience. Four months after its release, Chris was interviewed about The Flocking Party on Michigan Public Radio by Richie Duchon. The story aired on Artpod, MPR's stories about arts and culture in Michigan. Chris continues to receive positive feedback from artists, designers, and researchers.

The Flocking Party>>
Interview with Richie Duchon>>
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