Life After Wartime is a suite of multimedia artworks by Kate Richards and Ross Gibson. Based on 3000 archival scene-of-crime images from Sydney and thousands of evocative texts by Gibson, each iteration within the suite uses various design and interaction techniques to engage its audience.The suite comprises: Crime Scene – 1999-2000 – Justice & Police Museum Sydney and touring; Darkness Loiters – 2000 – an interactive story engine; Life After Wartime CD-ROM – 2003 – exhibited nationally and internationally, for sale through the artists, funded by the Australian Film Commission. Life After Wartime live with The Necks – Adelaide Fringe Festival 2001 and Sydney Opera House 2003 – a live improvised event with world renowned jazz trio The Necks; Street XRays – 2005 – Gibson’s re-photography installation at ACMI. Bystander – 2007 – a 5 channel interactive and immersive video installation at The Performance Space@CarriageWorks Sydney 2007. For more information on the projects www.lifeafterwartime.com DOWNLOADarticle.pdf
Part of the Life After Wartime suite, Bystander is a 5-channel interactive software system. The work is installed in a 7-metre-wide pentagonal frame comprised of five projection-screens and surround sound audio which visitors enter – up to 10 at once. All round them, a spirit-world of images, texts and sound gets composed in response to their movement, mass and attentiveness. The room is a kind of performative story-generator haunted by Sydney’s recent past. Depending on the behaviour of visitors, a variable and volatile world of audiovisual narrative evolves endlessly but cogently. Bystander exhibits emergent behaviours – complex narrative, aesthetic and semantic patterns emerge out of simple, elegant rules and interface.