In contrast to Rita King’s technologically-minded Story Cubes project, Alice made a set of Story Cubes for Landscapes in Dialogue that only exist as physical objects. Yet for me these 72 paper cubes have an equally interesting relationship to technological processes…
The cubes were made to support a short video about a trip Alice made to Ivvavik in the Canadian Arctic. Alice used Story Cubes as a way of story boarding this film. The images on the cubes were a mixture of thumbnail images from the key bits of the footage, writing done while out there, sections of the unfinished script, quotes and drawings. Arranging the 70-plus cubes in different configurations produce unexpected juxtapositions and relationships between the images on the 6 sides of the cubes. Assuming there are 72 cubes would mean there are 432 images in this 3-dimensional story board. Although Alice was printing the images onto stickers and then sticking these onto the pre-cut cardboard Story Cubes produced by Proboscis, the final Story Cubes are conceptually identical to those made using bookleteer.
Alice describes how the Story Cubes were used in the process of making the film:
“Because there was so much material and it was hard to work out what was essential it was helpful to have to focus it down to the labels and then once they are stuck on the cubes you can only choose to show some of the sides – other sides are always hidden so I used them to work out what to keep and what to edit out of the film and more importantly what the overall shape of the film would be. Its a very immediate and physical way to try out changes looking at what happens if you associate this clip with that and so on.”
There is a conceptual relationship between these Story Cubes and the digitally produced film as the images move from the computer to the tangible world of the Story Cubes then back into the computer for their final composition into a linear film that I really like. To me, the use of Story Cubes for story boarding seems a great illustration of the non-linearity and tangibility of handmade objects that digital processes find hard to replicate. And I love that this process can be part of the production of a digitally created film.