X||dinary Stories
research || design, prototyping & development || talks ||
short courses & workshops||

X|| Story Prototyping & Development

We use industry standard soft and hardware, analogue materials and ready-made digital platforms, often including the intended audience in co-design processes.
We are experienced at organising stakeholder design summits to allow all parties to feed into the design and development process.
We have produced work for theatre companies, museums and academic research projects.

Virtual Theatre: Rear Window

January 2023 - November 2023
Funded by Arts Council Northern Ireland
Premiered at the Belfast International Arts Festival

The aim of this project was two-pronged. First to explore the potential of everyday online interactive and immersive spaces for theatre performances, and secondly to raise critical public awareness of issues connected to Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly in relation to the arts.

In addressing the first aim, we collaborated with Big Telly theatre company who presented 17 performances on Zoomduring the COVID lockdowns, and were interested in understand how gaming mechanics could be incorporated into future theatre pieces.

With regards to the second aim, the script, assets, ideas and music were co-produced through a series of public engagement workshops with a focus on creating a contemporary version of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 thriller Rear Window that would critique AI.

The final production had three acts that each used different affordances of Zoom and Mozilla Hubs.
Image: Act 1 on Zoom (Actors Rhiannon Morgan and Sorcha McElroy)

Image: Act 2 in Mozilla Hubs

Image: Act 3 on Zoom Virtual Mode

Images: Part of Rear Windows programme (comic images made in collaboration with Brandon Barnard)

Reviews for Rear Windows

“It was great! Bewildering (for a dyspraxic) but really smart & interesting.”

“Caught the last online performance of Rear Windows yesterday (a mix of theatre and film and thinking critically about generative AI, the audience playfully set loose on the interactive stage) and it was a lot of fun. Felt new and exploratory in the best possible way.”

“Rear Windows @BigTellyNI - even though my tech let me down a little with this still great to see this online theatrical event and feel you are in at the birth of a new art form. A fun and playful story - still one chance to see at 4 pm today.”

“Love to learn from theatrical practice with new digital format, as Alan said: “It’s great to see that the sector is continuing to innovate and find new ways of exploring old and new stories.”

Virtual Theatre: AI-Amusement Park

September 2022 - March 2023
Part of MozFest, the Mozilla Foundation

Recognising the need for greater public understanding of how machine learning and other algorithms work, this project proposes to create a Mozilla Hubs and mixed reality AI themed amusement park, including a physical installation, VR and AR and Hubs Playgrounds, designed for visitors to transparently experience machine learning algorithms and data processing mechanisms as embodied experiences.

Images: The AI-Musement Park, Mozilla Hubs space

Image: AI animation for Monstrous, an artificially generated performance and mediation of Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Game Design: Future of Broadcast Media

September 2022 - March 2023
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council via XR Stories, York University

In order to disseminate the findings of the Future of Broadcast Media research to children we made a Roblox game. This also built on one of the key findings from the research which was that younger audiences hope future broadcast media will be interactive.