Feature post on ‘In the Shadow of Senate House.’

It’s time to take a trip down memory lane I think and visit a featured collection of cubes. In the upcoming weeks I will be writing a few featured posts consisting of e-mail interviews I conducted with the makers of various StoryCubes.

This week is the turn of Esther Leslie’s ‘In the Shadow of Senate House’ StoryCubes. Along with Owen Hatherley, Victoria McNeile, and Henderson Downing, a StoryCube was created to hand out on a psychogeography walk that was taken around London.

Have a read of the interview with Esther Leslie below.

RPWhy did you choose to use a StoryCube to present the information about the walk you took?

EL: We wanted something visual, onto which we could pack lots of images and text, because that seemed fitting for our project – which is about palimpsests in the city, the psychogeography, literary traces, altered vision and so on. We wanted something that could be held and used easily while walking, but that would also be good in a conference situation. They ended up rather like little meditation objects.

RP: How did you use it on the day?

EL: We used them in several contexts – on an urban walk, at lectures and a workshop. We handed them out, but did not draw further attention to them, leaving it up to participants to find their own way round them.

RP: How did people react to the StoryCubes? What did they do with them?

EL: They looked at them, played with them. Some built them, some left them flat. They took them home with them. Some have put them on the wall flat. Some have made them up. Of course, if you have one, you have to decide which face to show.

RP: Did any other interesting ideas develop from the StoryCube?

EL: The best part was putting them together – the three of us exchanging ideas and images and texts and thinking very hard about what the main themes were for us and how to find ways to represent them. It was a challenge to work on such a small scale, while trying to encompass vast ideas – but then that has something in common with some of the aspects of the city that fascinate us: the tube map as miniaturised city, city signage as concise image and text, the Bloomsbury square as microcosm. We also used some of the images as the basis for posters, so they formed part of our visual identity.

RP: Would you use the StoryCubes again? For the same or other purposes?

EL: Yes, would use the form again – but might draw more attention to them when handing them out. We think they are so very lovely and would like to talk them up more as little artworks.

It’s great to see the positive reactions of the StoryCubes, and how people interact with them in different ways. I like the way Esther and Co simply gave out the StoryCubes and left it up to the participants to explore them on their own.

Another highlight is the evidence of the different scenarios StoryCubes can be used in, ‘we used them in several contexts – on an urban walk, at lectures and a workshop.’

Keep posted in the coming weeks, to read more interviews from the creators of some more exciting StoryCubes.


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