“Imagine a Jukebox that plays stories instead of records, and allows you to choose the chapters you want. Stand + Stare Collective have already imagined such a machine.”
Suzy Arnold - D-Shed
Theatre Jukebox is an arcade-style cabinet that tells stories in a unique way. RFID tags hidden inside a selection of cards allow the machine to trigger top-down projection and audio specific to each card. Audience members are invited to choose from the selection of cards and have control over how many and in which order they wish the stories to be played.
Each card plays a two-minute narrative. As a user, a two-minute snapshot will give you a self-contained and unique experience, but if you continue, the connections between the cards begin to build a bigger picture.
In the case of our initial curation, this ‘bigger picture’ is an autobiographical story based on a box of family records belonging to Lucy and Barney’s family (the Heywoods). The treasure box is a rich source of inspiration containing letters and drawings, such as those from their Great Grandfather in the Boer War; sketch books that belonged to their Grandfather; photographs taken at his Modernist house; magazines and newspaper clippings including coverage of the moon landings plus diaries, memoirs, wax-stamped letters, parchment papers and artifacts that date back more than 600 years.
Each card is unique and the stories are brought to life in different ways. Some cards have simple animation within the image; some have projections that spread out on the tabletop; some play digitised cine-films on the back and some use binaural audio to increase the immersive nature of the experience.
The resulting work is a fragmented, non-linear narrative, pieced together by audience member/s in whatever order they choose to select the cards. It is like snippets of memory or flicking through a photo album, each picture sparking images, associations, snatches of conversations and ideas.