Special Event Feb. 23rd, live at the Film Society of Lincoln Center


Inaugural production Feb. 23 to celebrate the Lab’s “Digital Dozen” honoring groundbreaking storytellers and kick off the 2016 edition of Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things. 

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Columbia University’s Digital Storytelling Lab (DSL) is launching a monthly live event and podcast on the changing nature of storytelling in partnership with New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center. “Convergent: Columbia DSL Live at the Film Society of Lincoln Center” will explore new forms and functions of storytelling and pull back the curtain on what’s required to tell stories in the digital age. The initial program, to be held at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on Tuesday, Feb. 23, will celebrate the Lab’s first annual “Digital Dozen: Breakthroughs in Storytelling” with a line-up of speakers that includes New York magazine editor Adam Moss, New York Times Magazine deputy editor Bill Wasik, New Museum curator Lauren Cornell, and Rhizome director Zach Kaplan. It will then transition to a kickoff session for the 2016 edition of the Lab’s Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things, a global experiment in communal storytelling.


Hosted by storytelling pioneer Lance Weiler, Director of the Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab, and Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion and Senior Fellow at Columbia University School of the Arts, the evening will include a brief presentation on the “Digital Dozen” followed by two roundtable discussions inspired by its selections. Rose will lead a conversation on journalism in the digital age with Adam Moss, Editor-in-Chief of New York, and Bill Wasik, Deputy Editor of The New York Times Magazine and author of And Then There’s This. Both publications were honored in the Digital Dozen, New York for its National Magazine Award-winning interactive narrative “This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn” and the Times Magazine for its pioneering virtual reality report on the global refugee crisis, “The Displaced.” Lauren Cornell, Curator and Associate Director, Technology Initiatives at the New Museum and Co-curator of its highly successful 2015 Triennial, and Zach Kaplan, Director of the digital art organization Rhizome, a New Museum affiliate, will then join Rose for a discussion of art and technology sparked by “Freedom,” an installation by Josh Kline that was commissioned for the Triennial and chosen by the Lab as one of its Digital Dozen.


The Digital Dozen initiative, led by Lab member Frank Rose with the support of Lab co-founder Lance Weiler and other members, is intended to encourage innovation, creativity, and an awareness that digital is both changing the way we tell stories and blurring long-held distinctions between different genres of narrative. Chosen by members and associates of the Digital Storytelling Lab, a project of Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program, the list includes, in addition to the New Museum art installation and the two journalism reports, a participatory ad campaign for Absolut Vodka in the UK; a video game about two teenage girls in Oregon; an experimental opera in Los Angeles; and an online community of secularists and free-thinkers whose leaders have been targeted by murderous fundamentalists in Bangladesh. Together they show the extraordinary range of narrative technologies in use today, from simple blogging platforms to virtual reality to face-substitution software. For details on the twelve winners, please visit the Digital Storytelling Lab website.


Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things, led by Weiler and award-winning game designer and lab associate Nick Fortugno, is a storytelling prototype that enables participants to experiment with shifts in the authorship and ownership of stories. At the same time, it uses an ever-evolving detective narrative to examine the policy and ethical issues surrounding the Internet of Things, the rapidly growing network of electronic sensors and microprocessors that connects automobiles, buildings, and other previously inanimate objects.


Details on the “Convergent” program at Lincoln Center are as follows:
  • Date: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016
  • Location: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 W. 65 St., New York
  • Time: 6:00 PM—Program commences
  • 6:30 PM—Roundtable discussion with Adam Moss and Bill Wasik
  • 7:00 PM—Roundtable discussion with Lauren Cornell and Zach Kaplan
  • 7:30 PM—Opening session of Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things
  • Admission is free and open to the public. Please register by emailing hello@digitalstorytellinglab.com
The “Convergent” podcast will be released in March.


About the Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab
A multidisciplinary project spearheaded by Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program, the Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab was set up to design stories for the 21st century. Headed by co-founder Lance Weiler, Columbia’s Director of Experiential Learning and Applied Creativity, the lab builds on practices originating in the arts, humanities, and technology.


About Convergence at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
Sitting at the intersection of cutting edge technology and storytelling, Convergence is a forum for storytellers of all stripes to actively explore the shifting media landscape. The advent of digital and social media has created a new sort of audience. No longer content to be passive consumers of entertainment, the members of the “new audience” expect to be active participants in their media. The traditional lines separating the arts are being blurred by innovative makers who are creating stories that span multiple platforms, remixing the original and the established to create a bold new form of art. Through presentations of new work, panel programs, and special events, Convergence brings the best in immersive storytelling and transmedia to the New York Film Festival each fall and the Film Society of Lincoln Center throughout the year.


About the Film Society of Lincoln Center
Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Art of the Real, Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, and Scary Movies. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, the Film Society recognizes an artist’s unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award, whose 2015 recipient was Robert Redford. The Film Society’s state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.