Taking a story for a walk

Last week I went to The Story 2011, a one-day conference at Conway Hall, London that is devoted to stories and storytelling across all platforms and media. I spoke at last year’s event, so this year it was doubly enjoyable to simply be a punter and soak it all up. Also I was really pleased that the morning session included Matt Adams of Blast Theory talking about Ivy4evr, our interactive SMS drama for Channel 4.

The Story conference came about because, as founder Matt Locke says, ‘There have never been so many stories, never so many ways to tell them.’ Picking up on a conversation had during the day, I’ve just been commissioned to write a longer article about The Story 2011 which will be a good excuse to interview Matt and others about all this; to explore contemporary storytelling in more depth.

Looking through some of the blog coverage of the conference over the weekend, and the #thestory2011 Twitter stream, I was surprised to see this photograph of my boots(!) which had been taken during the morning session. I must have been engrossed to not have noticed the picture being taken at such close quarters. The photographer, digital media consultant Kathryn Corrick, writes:

I arrived late and so ended up sitting on the floor for the first session. I noticed a fabulous pair of brogue boots beside me […] and took a pic of them – sadly I never got the name of their owner, so if you see this set and know who they belong to please let me know. This photo led to an idea and connected in with a project I’d started the week before called Feet on the Overground; that rather than taking people’s faces that day I’d ask to take a pic of their shoes.

I got in touch with Kathryn and asked permission to reproduce her image. Here is her photo essay — The Sole of The Story 2011 — on Flickr. I love the way that from nothing, by taking an idea for a walk, this series of photographs not only tells a lot of new stories about The Story 2011 conference and those attending, to create a whole new layer of knowledge and insight that cuts through the day like a core sample, but also that it so tangibly captures something of the texture and the humour of the day.

I’ll let you know when my article on The Story 2011 comes out, probably in April.