Wallpaper – Digital Fiction

WALLPAPER by Judi Alston and Andy Campbell of Dreaming Methods at One to One Development Trust

WALLPAPER is an immersive work of digital fiction which was commissioned by Sheffield Hallam University and Arts Council England as a site-specific installation piece for Bank Street Arts in Sheffield.

Visitors view WALLPAPER in a purpose built darkened room within the gallery and navigate a 3D world using a mouse and keyboard. The story follows (and reader/players navigate the world as) PJ Sanders, Head of Product Innovation at POPPITECH, a software company based in Silicon Valley. Following the death of his elderly mother, PJ returns from the US to his rural North Yorkshire family home which has been in his family for generations. Sanders is back to close-up the house and sell off the property, but not before he employs an experimental device primed to help him uncover the mysterious history behind a room in the house – a room that has remained locked since his childhood. The reader/player’s goal is to find the missing key to the parlour. By moving through the house and examining objects the reader/player uncovers the story of PJ Sanders and three generations of his family.

WALLPAPER provides a unique experience for readers and Dr Alice Bell and Dr Jen Smith from Sheffield Hallam University and Professor Astrid Ensslin from Bangor University will collect and analyse reader responses to the WALLPAPER installation as part of the Reading Digital Fiction project (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council). They aim to understand how readers process works of digital fiction and, in relation to WALLPAPER in particular, how immersive reading experiences might work cognitively.

WALLPAPER will remain at Bank Street until 5th December 2015 before moving to the Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre in Bangor, Wales in April 2016.