Haptic cinema: an art practice on the interactive digital media tabletop

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Chenzira, Ayoka
Mazalek, Ali
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Common thought about cinema calls to mind an audience seated in a darkened theatre watching projected moving images that unfold a narrative onto a single screen. Cinema is much more than this. There is a significant history of artists experimenting with the moving image outside of its familiar setting in a movie theatre. These investigations are often referred to as "expanded cinema". This dissertation proposes a genre of expanded cinema called haptic cinema, an approach to interactive narrative that emphasizes material object sensing, identification and management; viewer's interaction with material objects; multisequential narrative; and the presentation of visual and audio information through multiple displays to create a sensorially rich experience for viewers. The interactive digital media tabletop is identified as one platform on which to develop haptic cinema. This platform supports a subgenre of haptic cinema called tabletop cinema. Expanded cinema practices are analyzed for their contributions to haptic cinema. Based on this theoretical and artistic research, the thesis claims that haptic cinema contributes to the historical development of expanded cinema and interactive cinema practices. I have identified the core properties of a haptic cinema practice during the process of designing, developing and testing a series of haptic cinema projects. These projects build on and make use of methods and conventions from tangible interfaces, tangible narratives and tabletop computing.
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