A much-loved and departed East Londoner pensioner is the subject of an eyes-opening celebratory digital project.
My eyes! On what would have been noted Londoner Joseph Markovic’s 90th year, his much loved photography journal I’ve lived in London for 86½ Years has been released as an interesting digital experience.
This experience is controlled by opening and shutting the eyes as a fully interactive story is told by a narrator and Joseph’s friend, Martin Usborne, set to a new soundtrack created on East London standup pianos.
Unsurprisingly, Markovic was a man who lived in London for 86½ years. He left only once to go to the seaside with his mother, loved the movie star Nicolas Cage, had five sugars in his tea and would have married a six foot Hispanic woman if given the chance. Wouldn’t we all?
Clubhouse Studios and local businesses set out to create an experience that captured the purity and authenticity of the original book. Inspired by the format of the book, 86½ Years follows a double narrative, taking the user on a journey into Joe’s life while hearing how he was instrumental in changing Martin’s.
Each chapter is split into two parts and navigated intuitively with eye-tracking technology quietly working in the background to enhance the narrative. The simple closing of the eyes is all that’s needed to step fully into the world of Joe’s imagination.
Once closed and with the distractions of life removed, Joe begins to share this thoughts and feelings from an eclectic mix of topics ranging from money, to relationships and the Universe.
As Joe finishes, the opening of your eyes reveals the original still photograph Martin took to accompany joe’s words; brought to life for the first time through moving image, alongside the photographer’s memories of the day and the time they spent together.
A subtle, evocative soundtrack was composed to play throughout the experience. Recorded on a local, open-back stand-up piano the music was composed to represent the conversation that took place between Joe and Martin
“An element of my own loneliness exists in the photos of Joseph. A good photographic portrait always captures two people: the subject & the person taking the picture,” said Martin Usborne, Hoxton Mini Press, publisher of the original book.