Listening to episode 13 of the Welcome to Nightvale podcast, I couldn’t help but compare it to audiobooks. I’ve recently started listening to audiobooks and there are many similarities that I picked out between the audiobooks and Nightvale. First, we are obviously listening to a story, a work of fiction. Then there is the use of different voices for different characters and finally the use of music or other audio clips to enhance the experience. Not all audiobooks do this, but then again not all podcasts do either.
I’d never listened to this type of podcast before, only the “chat cast” type. I thoroughly enjoyed the all-encompassing experience. From the cleverly weaved in world-building to the use of audio to create a more fleshed out canvas for the story. I wasn’t just a one-dimensional podcast, it truly felt like an experience. According to this week’s reading, people lined up in 2014 to hear live performances of Nightvale and I can understand why.
The podcast understands its relationship to the listeners. In episode 13, it addresses the listener directly as the protagonist of the story. It blurs the line between fiction and reality by inviting the listener to enter the world of Nightvale. Plus, the mise en abyme of the radiocast narration being present within the plot just adds layers upon layers. I would say that the podcast is definitely a literary work as it uses literary techniques, remains aware of its audience at all times, and expands on a fictional world.
For anyone not aware of my project, I was planning an Instagram with origami dragons placed around IUP to liven the campus with ephemeral dragon displays people could seek out. I say “I was planning” because I left for Spring Break with only three pictures up and now no one’s coming back to campus. My own situation is complicated right now as I’m going back to Canada and won’t even be taking my classes from the same country as everyone else. I’ve considered making the dragons catch the virus or have to quarantine, but I personally don’t even find virus jokes funny anymore. Any reminder of the virus and its repercussions is just stressful right now. Maybe the dragons can migrate to Canada? I haven’t decided yet.
I had a brief success before leaving for spring break. Someone found one of my dragons and DMed the page, so I got to tell them they could keep the dragon. It definitely intrigued them enough to look up the page. I also had someone trying to guess where the dragons were. Although these are the kind of interactions I wanted people to have with the account, I will have to rethink what’s the goal now that people are off-campus… and now that I’ll be back in Canada next week 😟.
I want to brighten the campus and make people interested in seeing it in a new light with a series of origami dragons placed around campus. Every post would include one or man dragons placed in somewhat recognizable places. Students could try to find the ephemeral art display before they disappear, or just reimagine the campus. My project would act as an incentive to keep an eye open for beauty in otherwise repetitive and ordinary locations. The dragons would reinvent the campus for a brief moment.
Instagram is, for me, the obvious choice. It offers the sharing of pictures which is the best medium to share my project with. The story feature could also be useful to mirror the temporary side of the project and parallel the “live” approach. Instagram is also a platform of enhanced reality which aligns with my vision of reinventing everyday locations on campus.
This project will require me to go out on campus every day to place and take pictures of the dragons. The project has to unfold in real-time for the viewers to become interested in taking part and seeking out the art while it’s still on display. To promote the Instagram page I would leave the handle written on the dragons for people who find them. The dragons would run the account as a persona, I would not reveal on the page who is behind the project as it would detract from the interaction between viewer and dragons.
Students could follow the Instagram account to keep track of the project and where the dragons are. I would leave every dragon to its own device after the pictures are posted. I could use the story feature as a compilation of all the past dragons in one location as opposed to having to scroll through every post.