As part of this week’s #TORCHGoesDigital! theme of Storytelling, the TORCH Heritage Programme celebrates this ongoing project of Prof Daria Martin (Ruskin School of Art, Oxford) The TORCH Heritage Seed Fund enabled the further development of Prof Martin's collaboration with the National Heritage Institute of the Czech Republicvilla Stiassni in Brno, and the University of Masaryk into a larger-scale forthcoming project. 


The project brings a fresh new perspective within the heritage sector by ‘restoring’ (and reconstructing and redistributing) difficult emotional histories through an unusual, but highly accessible, medium: videogames. It centres on a unique archive of dream diaries  about villa Stiassni in Brno (more than 40,000 dreams across nearly 40 years) placed within a virtual rendering of the Villa, mapped digitally by two Oxford interns through photogrammetry technology. A basic version of a videogame that allows viewers to navigate and encounter five pages of the project's dream-diary has already been designed in collaboration with the University of Masaryk. This video-game, as a playthrough, was featured online on Channel 4’s Random Acts platform here. It is availabe for download here.


This interdisciplinary, cross-industrial, practice-led research project, culminating in an interactive, gently immersive, yet critically reflective videogame available to the widest possible audiences, will create new ways of remembering and understanding post-Holocaust experiences of the 1st and 3rd generations (1G and 3G). Building from a unique dream diary archive, and networking with the heritage and museum sectors, gaming industry, and practicing psychoanalysts to explore how best to tell stories of the intimate and long-lasting impacts of the Holocaust, the project innovatively raises awareness, by creating aesthetic, intellectual and imaginative connections between 1G and 3G ‘returns to home’.

Daria Martin is Professor of Art and Director of Research at the Ruskin; she is a Fellow of St John's College.Her work has been exhibited extensively across the world. Solo exhibitions include Curve Gallery, Barbican, London (2019); Maureen Paley, London (2016); One of the Things That Makes Me Doubt, ACCA: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia (2013); Sensorium Tests, Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK (2012). Recent group exhibitions include The New Human, Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden, touring to Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); 14th Istanbul Biennial SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); 10th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China (2014); In the Holocene, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (2012); Dancing Through Life, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France.

Find out more about her work here and here.

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