The Storytelling Systems of Los Atlantis
by Jeff Burke, Peter Gusev, Zoe Sandoval, Jared J. Stein, and Zhehao Wang.
ACM SIGCHI Case Studies, May 2017
Los Atlantis was a multisite live performance created within a research effort exploring the simultaneous authorship of story and code. This case study describes the systems and interfaces for the authors and production team. The piece’s story followed its characters as they explored the futuristic Archive of a historical city while accompanied by both physical and online audiences. Its systems aimed to make the contemporary city of the production—in this case, Los Angeles—the location of the historical city and Archive by dynamically integrating local media with the performances’ actions and settings. Subsystems included an “active script” combining control code and traditional text, a distributed media repository on YouTube that fed real-time video manipulation and projection, a media gathering task assignment system, a web interface and separate mobile guide for the audience, and the necessary control and storage mechanisms. The case study concludes by briefly discussing successes and limitations of the process, and research challenges in authoring systems for related future work on enacted stories.