The Curzon Memories App: Designing a screen heritage experience
Crofts, C. (2011) The Curzon Memories App: Designing a screen heritage experience. In: Invited Research Seminar, Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK, May, 2011.
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‘The Curzon Memories App: Designing a Screen Heritage Experience’ Dr Charlotte Crofts (University of the West of England) Charlotte.firstname.lastname@example.org I will present a practice-based research project based at the Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon, home of the Curzon Collection, an archive of cinema projectors donated by the Projected Picture Trust. The original cinema was built in 1912 and is one of the oldest, continuously operating, purpose-built cinemas in the world. They have recently won a Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate the building and reinterpret the collection and I am working closely with them to develop a "Heritage Application" for the iPhone, which pilots a number of “locative” or “context-aware” technologies (QR Codes, GPS, etc) that will enhance their new exhibit, enabling visitors to gain further insight into the history of the building, projection equipment and cinema itself. There are two phases of the project, the first of which involves a locative tour of the exterior of the building in the form of a downloadable iPhone application that uses GPS to trigger context-aware images and audio recordings according to where the user is positioned in relation to the building. Digital memories, voice over narration and dramatisation are used to bring the history of the building and the community to life. The second phase deals with the problem of interior localization / indoor positioning, exploring how the App can seamlessly move inside the building and continue to create a satisfying user experience. The idea is to use locative media to add depth to the everyday architecture of the cinema beyond that which is immediately apparent, and so enhance visitors’ experience and understanding of the cinema and the collection. One of the key aims of the overall project is to use locative media as the context within which to critically explore both the new and the old “apparatus” of seeing (as theorised by Comolli, Metz, de Lauretis, et al in the 1970s), and the ways in which we both remember and imagine them. At its heart, then, the project is concerned with the interface between cultural memory and the technological imaginary of the moving image.