The Forking Paths: Interactive Film and Media, the most recent publication from CIAC – Research Centre for Arts and Communication, will be presented on the 24th of September at 6pm at FNAC Faro in Fórum Algarve. Revisiting historically, socially, pedagogically and aesthetically the last 50 years of audiovisual interactivity, this book points towards a hypothetical future of cinema.

The Forking Paths: Interactive Film and Media will be presented by CIAC’s coordinator, Mirian Tavares, and the book’s editors, Bruno Mendes da Silva (CIAC’s vice-coordinator) and Jorge Carrega (CIAC researcher).

The Forking Paths project began in 2013, when a group of researchers from the Center started a theoretical and practical research process in the area of film interactivity. Since then, dozens of scientific publications have been written and four interactive film experiments have been produced and exhibited in leading international festivals such as FILE, in São Paulo, Brazil, or Script Road, in Macau, China.

In 2021, CIAC researchers were joined by some of the world’s leading experts in film and interactive media. Claudia Giannetti gives us a glimpse into the background and evolution of interactive audiovisuals from the early 1970s to the first decade of this century. Jeffrey Shaw presents us with the visionary text “Future Cinema”, written exactly 20 years ago and now revised, which impresses by its actuality and the way it remaps and redirects the history of cinema. Peter Lunenfeld, writes about the multimedia project of immersion and pedagogy entitled “Colloidal Suspension: Immersion and the Pedagogies of Making”. In the chapter “Remediation or specificity? Interactive digital narrative and other interactive forms as continuation or new beginning”, Hartmut Koenitz opens an important discussion around the question of the conceptual framework of interactive digital narratives. The last chapter, written by CIAC researchers Bruno Mendes da Silva, Mirian Tavares, António Araújo and Susana Costa, relates filmic interactivity with surrealism and temporal perception, by presenting and contextualizing, in the history of cinema and interactive film, the production of the last interactive artifact of the Forking Paths project: Cadavre Exquis, released in 2019.

Although the morphological issues remain unchanged, in this book there are notes that seem to indicate a possible evolution in audiovisual syntax, either by the relativity of the concept of plan, which goes from objective to subjective, or by the possibilities of reinterpretation of the idea of sequence.

With the advent of artificial intelligence, the possibility of a break with the question of pre-established contents related to the real image is predicted, making possible the emergence of a new generation of interactive films. Soon, the spectator will be able to gain creative powers that escape his or her control and the control of the original author. We speak of a generation of unpredictable content and of the film as a total audiovisual experience.

The electronic version of The Forking Paths: Interactive Film and Media is now available on the Center’s website.