Excavating Immigrant History and Identity through Object Oriented Storytelling

By Andreas Kratky and Daphne Ho.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Most of the modern globalized societies are characterized by large immigrant communities. In the past, many immigrants had to"un-learn" their original cultural background in order to successfully integrate into their new environment. Today, this process of acculturation is marked by digital media, which introduce a new dynamic of identity-forming, namely by enabling multiple communication threads connecting members of different immigrant communities and allowing immigrants to keep up to a certain extent in touch with their original culture. On the other hand, digital media often strengthen difficulties in the inter-generational communication between the parent and child generations. With the Story-Objects project, we are exploring the use of digital interactive media in conjunction with storytelling principles revolving around tangible objects that serve as touchstones to foster inter-generational communication and the transfer of cultural and historic knowledge. We are tapping into art history in order to bridge the widening gap between the different generations. In an interactive installation, we present aspects of immigrant history alongside with an individual family history leveraging food-traditions and memories as a starting point to stimulate the viewers on multiple levels to engage into communication about the larger topic of immigrant identity.

Keywords: Immigrant History, Inter-Generational Communication, Food Anthropology, Evocative Objects, New Realism, Ready-Made

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 8, Issue 3-4, December 2014, pp.19-31. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 870.515KB).

Dr. Andreas Kratky

Assistant Professor, School of Cinematic Arts, Institute for Multimedia Literacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Daphne Ho

Student, Institute for Multimedia Literacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA