When I received a request, as a screenwriter and director in film and television, to create a digital character (AI) for an interactive theatre performance in Copenhagen 2000 there was no doubt that I wanted to be in on the exploration of the digital media. As I wanted to communicate with programmers in the same way as I did with cinematographers, sound engineers, editors, etc. I took a master in Computer Science. However, if someone had told me at this point that I would become a guest researcher at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS), I would have no clue what the person was talking about. At the time I moved my profession to the interactive media narrative construction was regarded to be a story structure as we know it from the film. In this way I was expected to write stories as one does in movies instead embracing the media specific possibilities that our interactive media offer. Since the narrative as a cognitive process was an uncharted area within research as well as in the production of digital and interactive media I came to develop methods and concepts to support the design of a meaningful interaction that concerns our emotions, learning, and engagement.

The reason I created this site is that I would like to see the understanding of the narrative as a cognitive process within digital and interactive media evolve by providing useful concepts and viable methods on how to approach the exchange of thoughts between the constructor and the perceiver. The reason I speak in terms of narrative construction is due to that the narrative is not bound to a specific medium and where the definitions as storytelling, writing, and telling easily lead to a specific form, structure, and medium. As everyone who is working with the construction of stories and have moved between media are experiencing an increased numbers of titles that concerns the same practise I have chosen to use the cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner’s theory on narrative construction as to define the act and the performance of constructing the elements that forms a meaningful experience by using the umbrella term narrative constructor. I also see it as a responsibility when sharing my knowledge and experience in narrative construction to give an ethical and moral view on how to use the narrative and how one can recognise an exposure of a negative construction of narratives with a positive one, which in opposite to the negative cares for the human well being and do not polarize or manipulate people’s emotions and learning.

Yet the intention with this site is to create a platform for everyone that shares an interest to see the understanding of the narrative progressing and where it is essential to me to keep the site free from commercial influences and other structures that have a preventive effect on the narrative, this site will not work as blog due to limits of time. Instead, the frequency of the posts will be based on the interest and the questions and thoughts that you would like to share that concern all kind of narrative elements that you have experienced and tried to solve in the creation of an engaging experience. Don´t hesitate to contact me on LinkedIn or send a mail to the enclosed address.

Below you can find an extended version (the director´s cut) of the circumstances that made me create this site.

Looking forward to meet you,

Katarina Gyllenbäck


Links to the director’s cut:

Part 1 In search of the invisible narrative
Part 2 The benefit and disadvantage of unconsciousness
Part 3 When the cognitive vehicle of narrative backfire
Part 4 The need for retrieval of the consciousness