Research and Process documentation | The installation | Outcome and findings of the experience.
Unreliable Narrator is an interactive installation which keeps you in the dark, quite literally and then shows you a wonderful surprise when you turn on the light. This project was inspired by the fact that our lives is a story and we are the unreliable narrators of our lives. . We all have a definitive beginning and a definitive end but the path we choose to get there can be multiple. It can also be compared to a maze for which there is start and an end and various ways to through the maze. Each of us have a different way through life and it all depends on the decisions we take at every point in our lives.
“Unreliable Narrator!… Unreliable Narrators are considered a device, right? Don’tanswer. They are. They are and they don’t get a lot of literary analysis because it’s a gimmick. It’s a trick. I mean Canterbury Tales gets a shoutout because,you know, it’s good but typically it’s used for popcorn crime novels and thriller movies Agatha Christie, Usual Suspects, so on and so forth.
But I’m going to argue that every narrator by its very definition is unreliable because when you tell a story there’s always an essential distance between the story itself and the telling of said story, right? So therefore every story that has ever been told has an Unreliable Narrator. The only truly reliable narrator would be someone hypothetically telling a story that unfolds before our very eyes which is obviously very impossible. So what does that tell us? That the only truly reliable narrator is life itself. But life itself is also completely unreliable because it is constantly misdirecting and misleading us and taking us on this journey where it is literally impossible to predict where it is going to go next… Life as the ultimate Unreliable Narrator.”
This monologue was delivered by the protagonist of the movie ‘Life Itself’ about the life of a New York couple as they go from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child. The unexpected twists of their journey creates ripples of consequences that echo over continents and through lifetimes. This movie demonstrates by itself the concept of the literary device unreliable narrator. In literature, an unreliable narrator is a character who tells a story with a lack of credibility. This story also demonstrates how everything in the world is connected together through the concept of the Butterfly Effect.
The installation comprises of a map which is hidden. A pressure sensor which is mounted under a mat which when stepped lights up the map for a quick second, enough to memorize your path, an invisible ink pen with which you can trace your path and a black light which finally shows the entire path at the end of the experience.
The entire experience has been compared to life metaphorcally –
The project took 4 weeks right from conceptualization to production and then the final show!