Presentation of the residency Smoking Gun by fanSHEN

- Can you introduce yourself?

Recovering theatre company fanSHEN, led by director Dan Barnard and dramaturg-producer Rachel Briscoe, started working with computational artist Joe McAlister two years ago. Together, we create transformative experiences which combine powerful narratives with the dynamic generative potential of data, and have at their heart an unjustified optimism and a fascination with human psychology in a rapidly changing world.

- Can you present your project Smoking Gun?

Smoking Gun is a piece of interactive digital fiction which places the player at the heart of a whistleblower thriller. Over five days, players must solve puzzles, scrutinize documents and wrangle data sets to uncover what is really going on at the heart of government. But as their investigations take them deeper, nothing seems as clear-cut as the whistleblower is making out. Maybe it’s time to go back to the data…

- What do you expect from this residency? 

The residency is a great opportunity to work with Data Stories – with whom we share an obsession with narrative and data! We’re looking forward to collaborating with them to craft a narrative –and tech platform to support it- which engages audiences who might otherwise run a mile from a spreadsheet. It feels like an important artwork to be making at this moment in history when, perhaps more than ever, we need the skills and confidence to interrogate the ‘truths’ we are presented with.