By Saul Zelaya
New media artist Saul Zelaya was born in Queens, New York in 1997. Now based in Brooklyn, Saul is in his last semester as an undergraduate student at Hunter College, majoring in English and Film & Media at Hunter College. Saul’s work aims to reach a new level of interactive storytelling that can not be done with traditional media.
Norla is inspired by Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Lorna, an installation where the set mirrored the room which the main character, Lorna, is trapped in. Users would control Lorna’s actions through a television remote, resulting in one of three endings. Similarly, Norla allows users to not only control Norla’s actions through with a remote, but also interact with Norla through interacting with the real world to influence the world inside the story. This level of interaction further blurs the line of communication between users and characters in an interactive story, as Norla experiments with not just having the user interact with the story, but have the story also interact with the user.