Narrative and Emerging Technologies
The Narrative and Emerging Technologies (NET) Lab explores experiential storytelling through new forms of narrative delivery and audience interaction
Based across the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries and the Centre for Media Research at Bath Spa University, the Narrative and Emerging Technologies (NET) Lab explores the role of emerging technologies in developing new forms of experiential storytelling and audience engagement, from digital fiction, audio and performance through to film, games and immersive media technologies.
Other themes include expanded performance, amplified publishing and the ethics of technology, which is key to our research, including issues around gender and embodiment in VR, AR, algorithmic bias in cultural works using AI, and others.
Bringing together academics and creative practitioners from Bath Spa University, residents from The Studio at Palace Yard Mews, plus PhD students and Research Fellows, NET is closely linked to a number of major creative industry R&D partnerships in the South West. These include the £46 million MyWorld project and the £6.8 million Bristol+Bath Creative R+D programme, as well as initiatives such as Immersive Promotion Design, and the Shextreme Film Festival.
Building on the work done through the field-defining Ambient Literature research project (2016-2018), NET is also a key collaborator on the Paper Nations project, Beyond the Book, and draws together work done on narrative across other Bath Spa University research centres and groups, including it's partner centre, the Centre for Media Research as we as the Centres for Creative Writing and Making Books.
NET has a cohort of six PhD students working on digital writing projects, including narrative, embodiment and gender in virtual reality, and smartphone fiction.
Get in touch
We are always interested in hearing from researchers, makers and businesses interested in the role of emerging technologies in developing new forms of experiential storytelling and audience engagement. Please get in touch with the NET Lab's director:
Funded as part of the Expanded Performance pathway within the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Partnership, Sharon Clark is developing an innovative prototype based on an augmented reality umbrella that communicates storyworld and narrative mood, functioning as an immersive lead-in for audiences about to attend The Undrowned, a theatre production produced by Sharon’s immersive theatre company, Raucous.
Funded as part of the Expanded Performance pathway within the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Partnership, Astrid Breel is partnering with Coney to develop a new toolkit for better understanding how to communicate with audiences about the needs and expectations for participatory and experiential performance.
Funded as part of the Amplified Publishing pathway within the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Partnership, Agnieszka Janik McErlean is conducting psychology and audience research into the role of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), a cross-sensory phenomenon in which individuals experience a pleasant tingling sensation which usually originates on the scalp and spreads throughout the body in response to specific audio-visual triggers, in new forms of digital communication. The project examines how ASMR-experiencers respond to various realistic videos and audio recordings of human (whisper, tapping, handling crinkly objects) and non-human sounds (e.g. rain drops or bird song).
Funded through the Narrative & Emerging Technology cross-cutting strand within the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Partnership, Andrew Joyce-Gibbons is creating HayMay - A new app aimed at facilitating collaboration amongst school, college and university students, making use of an innovative ‘flicking’ gesture that allows students to transport
digital artefacts from one screen to another in the aim of collaborative learning.
Funded through the Narrative & Emerging Technology cross-cutting strand within the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Partnership, the team will use emerging technologies to create new forms of communication between the current student body and future students, investigating how data capture, curation and creative visualisation can communicate narratives of connectedness and community across the university, and to prospective students through Open Days and Experience Days.
Funded through the Narrative & Emerging Technology cross-cutting strand within the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Partnership, Ron Herrema will create an audio-based mobile application that engages the questions and concerns that students and parents typically have when they arrive on Open Days.
Funded through the Narrative and Emerging Technology cross-cutting strand within the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Partnership, Rachel Pownall will undertake research into how best to use immersive/emerging technology to create a narrative that uses historical documents including letters and diaries.
Funded through the Narrative & Emerging Technology cross-cutting strand within the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Partnership, the Sound of the Seahorse will innovatively apply audionarratology to the emerging field of immersive audio. It's an immersive audio story designed to amplify the relaxing therapeutic benefits of a massage.
Funded through the Narrative & Emerging Technology cross-cutting strand within the Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Partnership and in collaboration with the Immersive Audio Network, Ximena Alarcón will work in collaboration with Oslo-based composer and spatial audio researcher Ulf A. S. Holbrook, will develop their sound work: Unravelling. It's based on recordings of eight different Colombian migrant women expressing their own migratory journeys in Spanish and English, as well as responding to fragments of an oral archive with testimonies collected by the organisation Diaspora Women in 2018.
Associated projects include The Writing Platform, a website unique in its focus on providing digital knowledge for writers across both industry and academia; MIX, the biennial international conference on creative writing and technology; and the International Journal of Creative Media Research, a journal devoted to pushing forward the approaches to publishing practice-based research. In addition, NET has on-going relationships with trade publishers including Audible, Hachette, Pan MacMillan and Pottermore.