Olivia Powell is a writer, experience designer, and storyteller who wonders what else stories can be and do. With a particular interest in metafiction, musicals, historical fantasy, and the mortality of fictional characters, she experiments with story development across forms, producing works that have been described as “the bedtime stories that we forgot to tell.”
Her works often exist “in between” forms, with Olivia seeking elements from immersive narrative, theater, film, performance, digital storytelling, and other media to experiment with more instinctual, imaginative, and accessible story development processes. Her practice is driven by a poetic and playful attitude suggested by the Heraclitan fragment, “time is a child playing.” This fragment lies at the heart of her immersive and experimental practice and embodies the possibilities—practical, impossible, nonsensical—that Olivia aspires to open with her work.
Olivia earned her M.A. in digital direction from the Royal College of Art and B.A. in film & media studies from Dartmouth College. She has been a key collaborator on the emergent, open-source works, “Where There’s Smoke” and “Blockchain Fairytales.” In 2020, Olivia co-devised a short film, “M.A.R.Y.,” with three other filmmakers and the AI text generator, GPT-2, which was shortlisted for the international Lumen Prize in Art and Technology. Her performative virtual reality work, “With words that don’t exist,” was featured at the 2021 VoxLab residency and in the first edition of the digital review. Her piece, “Blue Walls, Gray Cellar, Blueberries,” is also set to appear in the first edition of arts publication, My Daughter Terra.