Encuentros 2021, Spain, Valencia

Augmented Interactive Documentary

'Encuentros' is an augmented interactive documentary about home, identity and personal borders.

Nowadays, it is very clear that we are able to inhabit two places at the same time. It’s not only that we are capable of it, we do it constantly, every day. Probably all of us have perceived how a person, physically with us, fades their presence between the physical and the digital space through many different devices, specially mobile ones. In many ways, we have understood this inhabitation of the digital as the main component to customize our social life. During the past year, this phenomena has become more evident within the residential space as most citizens globally were united under the same petition - to stay within their residence and only interact physically with those in the same household. For a long time, our interactions outside our household have been digitally mediated and we have understood our home, through the digital, as the place from where we access the digital social space. The same way that we augment our social identities with our online presence, our spaces become also augmented by it - where home was understood earlier as the first social entity, now it is the first public entity. Home is our virtual background to our digital frontend. Within that context, the interactive documentary ‘Encuentros’ - a word in Spanish used to define both a meaningful encounter and the point of intersection of two masses in architecture - invites the audience to observe the concept of home through a case study. In its different versions, it gives the user tools to navigate the non-linear narrative as if it were a space itself, being able to explore the different layers of the inhabitant identities parallelly to the strata of the spaces. While in the documentary this particular home becomes public through the digital viewing, the networked online gathering makes it social - a space to share in public within a story. This way, ‘Encuentros’ explores the weight of identity as it develops and projects itself onto a space that is shared. Through its content and formats it attempts to represent the contemporary relationship of inhabitant and habitat in its multilayered presence and make the audience reflect on the benefits and dangers of digital hyper-mediation within residential spaces.

https://encuentrosdocumentaries.com/

https://encuentrosdocumentaries.live/


Details

Team members : Patricia Mascarell, Álvaro Vera, Daniel Vera

Project leader(s) : Patricia Mascarell & Daniel Vera

Company : Rarea Studio

Descriptions

Technical concept : ‘Encuentros’ explores the potential of different interactive web tools to achieve non-linearity. Instead of the traditional non-linear approach where a main storyline branches out on certain points in time, both documentary and event experiment with the idea of using flexible navigation to express human-centered architectural concepts in a more accessible and relatable experience. In the documentary, the user can move between the parallel storylines by simply manipulating a slider, which changes the volume of the audios of the documentary, as well as the point size of the point-clouds, based on the character closer to the slider handle. In the networked gathering, the audience can navigate the spaces to explore the contents of the documentary differently while interacting with other users within the space. ‘Encuentros’ was developed using HTML, three.js and networked-aframe.

Visual concept : Visually, the most important feature is the use of photogrammetry as point-clouds to represent the built environment. On one hand, the feeling of being presented with something dense, yet incomplete, leaves space to the audience to reflect instead of focusing on the details. On the other hand, it was an important choice based on the ethical implications of the project, as it felt we were leaving the identities of the characters too open and vulnerable. In this sense, a point-cloud offered enough information to understand the space and the identities without being unethical. In both the documentary and the event, the separate character storylines evolve until the moment of the ‘Encuentro’, where they share the same space. The clouds also react to this evolution, in the documentary slowly overlapping on top of the common space, while in the event they all disappear except that one room.

Credits

Rarea Studio

Rarea Studio

Rarea Studio

Rarea Studio

Rarea Studio

Rarea Studio

Rarea Studio