Our Night

Link to Work: Link 1
Age: 18 and up
Type: Interactive Fiction
Language: English
Platform: Webpage

Mentor: Mia Zamora

Mentee: Hugo Gatica

Additional Authors: Image work, writing, narrative and project (C) Hugo Gatica / Software engine (C) Artsteps

Short Description: An interactive e-lit piece that explores the concept of meaning-making through the relationship artists and viewers.

Longer Description: This project is an interactive e-lit piece that explores the concept of meaning-making and the healing potential it has in the process of creating and connecting with others who might resonate with the same feeling. It is also a marriage of writing and art, as both mediums are different in execution but get across to the same concept of meaning-making. The unspoken connection between artist and the one viewing the experience is a vital component of my piece, as both can bring their own background into interpretation. While they might be engaging with the same subject (the art), both parties can come away with different reactions, and this can extend further with more people engaging with the unspoken conversation. This piece utilizes interactivity to its fullest potential as it allows visitors to experience the piece from multiple lenses. One perspective inside is the artist. The space is of a vacant gallery filled with old paintings of a showcased artist, and their intentions of creation come through when one clicks on the canvas to read their description. Embedded in the gallery is a walk-around tour that guides the viewer through the lens of the other protagonist, a visitor who had come away to this space after a traumatic experience. Bringing his own life lessons into the mix, viewers can follow along with their inner thoughts and how they perceive the art in stark contrast to the creator. If one chooses not to engage with either option, the final narrative is the one the viewer creates themself. They have free reign to explore the gallery as long as they would like, taking in the art with their own eyes and creating their own shaped interpretations. There is also a collaborative element as this piece contains the potential to have several visitors at once and a chat function that enables direct communication through posting. This piece will continuously be explored and tweaked to further finalize the concept into something near universal. Interaction and engagement is key to this piece.

Mentoring Context: This piece is part of a larger collaboration that took place within the Master’s Program of Writing at Kean University. I came into this graduate program wanting to combine my passion of art and writing and find something universal between the two to further my growth as a creator and understand my own reason as to why I chose this path. Dr. Mia Zamora, the head of the program and my mentor through this journey, had given me much in creating this piece. Through kind and informative words, to provide opportunities and spaces to explore, Mia Zamora has helped me nurture this piece from an abstract concept to something concrete and engaging. Her guidance through our thesis classes, our summer retreat, and our coursework in e-lit had inspired me to follow this new path as a creator. SInce then, I do not call myself an artist or writer but a creator because I am not bound by one approach. The showcase and guidance of other colleagues had helped me in creating this piece which I can say I am most proud of.

Bios: Hugo Gatica is a recent graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Fine arts at Rutgers University. and a Master's degree in English/Writing at Kean University. Is currently exploring the concept of deep meaning-making and the balance between creation and engagement. Dr. Mia Zamora (Mentor) Associate Professor and M.A. in Writing Studies Program Director

Screen shot from Our Night