9-Channel Interactive Videoart

**Good Design Award Winner, 2018

**Premier’s Design Award WINNER, 2017

ACT Festival, Asia Culture Center, SOUTH KOREA, October-November, 2016

Geelong After Dark Festival, AUSTRALIA, May 2017

Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, AUSTRALIA, June-July 2018

THE STORYTELLING MACHINE is an interactive installation by Betty Sargeant with programming by Justin Dwyer. This 9-channel video artwork instantly transforms the public’s drawings into animated characters that roam the artwork’s video worlds. THE STORYTELLING MACHINE delivers a randomly generated collective story created from crowd-sourced content.

People of all ages can draw characters of any shape and feed them into the machine. The machine instantly animates the characters and decides their path across video settings that feature international locations. The public can also contribute short story texts in any language. The Storytelling Machine randomly displays peoples’ drawings and story texts, consequently each exhibition experience is unique.

The machine determines what combination of characters and texts are shown. In effect it delivers a collective story;  a collision of different people’s characters and short texts that come together to form a disjointed contemporary narrative. In many ways social media has become society’s dominant narrative. Social platforms often dictate how we write, publish and consume our stories. The Storytelling Machine reflects practices used in social media. As soon as audiences enter their character and text into the machine, they relinquish control over them. The machine determines the narrative.

The Storytelling Machine is a unique interactive video artwork created in TouchDesigner. It generates real-time graphics across a 7-channel video artwork.

Interactive Video Art
Interactive Video art
Interactive Video Art

The Storytelling Machine: A Playful Participatory Automated System Featuring Crowd-Sourced Story Content


Betty Sargeant ~ Artist, creative director, producer

Justin Dwyer ~ Artist (projection mapping), programmer

Andrew Ogburn ~ Music Composer

Peter Walker ~ Creative Coder

The Storytelling Machine, Gwangju exhibition was co-produced under sponsorship from the Asia Culture Centre and the ACI.


The development of The Storytelling Machine was supported by the City of Melbourne; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund; and the City of Port Phillip through the Cultural Development Fund.

Thanks to: Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller and the Exertion Games LabRMIT University.

Betty Sargeant lives and works on the land of the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung people. She pays respect to elders past and present. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal Land.