Legends of Michigami: Prairie Chants

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Description (in English): 

Prairie Chants is part of a collection of hypermedia, narrative videos that chronicle aspects of life on the shores of Lake Michigan [called Michigami by some first nations].  In this video, a story of the prairie - and the native tribes who once lived there – unfolds.  The past, the present, the future….

The tribal narrative happens to follow the historic movement of the Sauk or Sac tribe (officially Sauk and Fox), but it could be that of any one of many eastern woodland people, indeed hundreds of tribes across the country, who were forced from their homes, had their land taken by trickery or force, and walked their own trail of tears into captivity. The narrative links to the present with the development of new prairie associated with solar gardens.

Author statement

One specific artistic choice in my train video works is that of platforms.  The move to make a piece of e-lit almost transparently accessible across devices imposes significant design accommodations.  Legends of Michigami can be read on a variety of platforms (mobile, tablet, desktop, screen projection). Even decisions as critical as type face and size needed to be made with various resolutions and screen sizes in mind. Moreover, as in all time-based narrative productions, the timing is a compromise between image-reading speed and text-reading capability. 

The Legends of Michigami works continue my career-long experiments with narrative structure and the blending of sensory media.  The layering of time and space, the merging of history and private symbolism and events, and the presence of multiple voices are all part of the storyline.  Each element: text, image, sound, and structure is almost equally important in conveying information about the story world.

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Amber Strother