Week 3 Shaping Narrative Structure

Review of Exploration

We started the conversation as before, with a brief review of what we explored last week:

“This week, I looked at…”

“My case study revealed …”

“One obstacle I encountered is…”

“One thing I’d like to examine more is …”


“To me, spooky tech is…”

As a collective, some of us explored topics around social impact of technology around user privacy and IoT hacking, some explored spiritualist apps. There’s also cases around using technology to create illusions… just to name a few. Apart from getting a broader range of cases to explore, with these further explorations, more themes emerged, and we started from there to discuss our strategy of the framing of our project “Spooky Tech”.

Case Scouting Strategy

Starting from discussing how we gathered information, some of the strategies proved to be quite handy:

  • Finding things in daily life experience that are spooky and scout them with technology together.

  • Look out for technology failure and stories on Reddit, websites, email lists, or forums.

  • Look into historical analogies

  • Explore otherworldly experience

Case Topics/ Thematics

  • Remote Viewing

  • Stone Tape

  • Time-slip

  • Familiars

  • Pseudo-science

  • Experiences might appeal magical to people ten years ago but not now.

  • Spooky as otherworldly VS Spooky as quantum entanglement and uncertain.

  • The experience about space: objects that seem obsolete/superstition about space raises the question: Will invisible things affect people’s experience and perception of the place? Such as poor cell-phone connectivity, or your neighbor telling you someone died in your house.

  • Glitches

  • Anomalous bodily experience

  • unexplained natural phenomena: the lightning field, Roden Crater

Experience/anecdote style

Moving from the cases, we started the conversation around how we’d arrange personal experience and anecdotes to make them relate to the audience. Some great ideas surfaced:

  • It would be great to make the stories conversational

  • Anecdotes can be put as moments in-between the cases

  • Write stories that people can relate to, and feels authentic

  • Can start with anecdotes to draw people into the topic in each section

Structure & Category Ideas

As for the whole narrative structure, some interesting points have been made:

  • A “choose your own adventure” style, which is non-linear, and can jump across categories would be intriguing. reference

  • After each project, the write-up should include relative project inventory.

  • Could create an indexical overview. reference


In the latter part of this week’s meeting, we started the conversation around: How to organize ideas around aesthetics, and what kind of style are we going for? What message are we conveying? Notes as following:

  • Process management: Figma

  • Are we trying to avoid a negative tone? Should it be uncomfortable by intention?

  • Hand-drawn, hand-made style?

  • Surrealism-ish, eg, Rene Magritte, MOLD design Magazine, Surrealist collage

  • Avoiding the visuals being too dominant so that you can read into it

  • Use metaphors like goosebumps or ouija board and build into the visual language, maybe iconography?

  • Q: What aesthetics we are trying to steer away from? A: Anything that evokes Halloween.

  • Q: How do the book/zine and website work together?

  • Material: super expensive but could print on transparencies/semi-transparent paper?

  • Create a meta-level spooky experience: creative 404 pages, glitching in pages/ a mode you have to turn your webcam on/camera shows ethereal quality or shows someone behind/ eyes populates over the text after inactivity/ Idling the site - glitching the images a slowly.

  • A gradient/non-singular aesthetic that changes as you go along.

  • A simple aesthetic overall, but each section has its own presentational format.

  • Other examples, such as the Hauntedmachines, b/w has a strong aesthetic but questioning if it works or confuses the point.

For more detailed contents: Ideas Clustering in Miro (updated on June 25, 2020)

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