Cyland Media Art Laboratory Picks up my Cyber Art for Distribution and Archiving

Drawing from interactive fiction by Cecilia Dougherty based on drawing of a mammoth from El Castillo paleolithic site in Spain.

Three web-based pieces: Time Before Memory (Interactive Fiction 2019), Drift (interactive photo essay, 2020), and my newest piece, Shanidar, Safe Return (Interactive Fiction, 2023). These works are viewable on my website and are now a part of an international collection of web-based works.

From their website:

International Digital Online Archive

The CYLAND Video Archive (since 2008) is one of the first systematized online video art platform of its kind: most of the works gathered here are accessible for view on the internet at the archive website. 

The idea to make video art works and films open for the public viewing online comes from the beginning. It was a very progressive thing to demonstrate and promote video art online and to have this exchange between classic and young artists and to make an international networking platform. CYLAND Video Archive is a great information and educational resource. Each year the Cyland Video Archive produces an international competition video art program for the CYFEST media art festival.

One of the tasks of the archive is to build an open and accessible collection, to protect works of art from being locked in private collections, and to prevent their technical basis from becoming outdated. The archive is structured in two parts: videos on the website with open access (artists personal pages), and the offline collection for professionals accessible at the archive office. Currently, the collection comprises over 600 videos from different countries. The collection includes video art, experimental films, computer graphics, 3D animation, stop-motion animation, poetic video, video documentation of art and education projects on cutting-edge technologies. 

Shanidar, Safe Return

Find Shanidar here:

What is Interactive Fiction? It’s a way to tell a story by having the reader, or visitor to the story site, “play” the story by making choices about what part of the story to go to next – the reader can navigate forwards and backwards throughout the story. There is no directly linear way to experience Interactive Fiction, and much of it has not only text – the story – but also graphics, animation, and sound. It provides a rich, inviting and immersive pathway into narratives.

Trailer for Shanidar, Safe Return, launched Oct. 23, 2023

Shanidar, Safe Return is an interactive story that places a young Neanderthal woman named Haizea in the center of a community’s struggle for survival, as the Cro-Magnins (Homo sapiens) migrate to their once-peaceful territories. Haizea and her band of mixed – Neanderthal and Cro-Magnin – travelers must walk the distance from danger in what is now southern France to safety in their old refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan, a place called Shanidar. They meet a group of Denisovans on the way, and receive guidance from the old H. heidelbergensis shaman, Bihotz.

Created in Twine.

Who Owns Prehistory?

We do! All of us! Because it is about us!

So, no more exclamation points, please.

Cecilia Dougherty on a field trip on February 9, 2023, to the Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History with her students enrolled in HMS-340S-01, Who Owns Prehistory?  

This is one my courses at Pratt Institute. A course I designed. My baby. In the course, we non-scientists (we, artists, that is) look at the discourses of science surrounding the never-ending question to figure out what is “human,” who qualifies as “human,” and how many species of bona fide “humans” are there? The discourses are fun and interesting and always spark my imagination like crazy. And going to the American Museum of Natural History with my students was like turning on all the lights. They saw things I hadn’t seen, even after many trips. They pointed out objects, displays, topics that I had always missed or glossed over. Paleolithic music, for example – music, hearing, the development of the ear. Very important topic.

Cecilia Dougherty looking at an exhibit in the Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History, New York
Cecilia Dougherty at the American Museum of Natural History. Photo by Gina Marchetti.