Experiment with nonlinear narrative

This project was inspired by The Truth podcast “Moon Graffiti” which reimagines what would have happened if Apollo 11 crashed and left Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong stranded on the moon. The podcast is based on a real contingency speech written by William Safire for Richard Nixon titled “In the Event of Moon Disaster.

Encouraged to make choices in no particular order, the user makes selections that will bring them to various clips featuring audio from the podcast and simple, linear, black and white motion graphics. The user will continue to view the remaining motion clips, piecing together the narrative in their own random order.

 

I created this piece during the graduate thesis process as an experiment with nonlinear narrative. While there are many existing projects that use nonlinear storytelling, from occasional flashbacks to internet databases, many examples that are entirely nonchronological can be contradictory and confusing for the viewer. I believe that the dark, alternate reality nature of this narrative lends itself well to a mysterious, puzzling structure. By allowing the viewer to explore various events and discover the storyline on their own, their perception becomes essential to the narrative experience. To provide feedback on the success of this experiment, after viewing all the sequences the user is brought to a short questionnaire where they can provide me with feedback on how the nonlinear structure affected their understanding and the perceived impact of the story.

Final interactive project created with HTML, CSS, and Javascript