Centre for Death & Society



Principal Investigator: John Troyer

Project Partner: Katie Day, 'The Other Way Works'

Funder: AHRC, REACT Model Feasibility Project

Duration: 01 February 2014 - 30 April 2014

Project Rationale and Aims

Useful links


The Other Way Works

This project imagines a software engine that automatically creates a video life story from an individual's social media content.

LifeDocs is a practical attempt to make sense of our vast stashes of personal data in a human, emotional, narrative way. Using their own social media content, we want to create a short film memoir of an individual - with the output feeling meaningful, personalised, beautiful and potentailly provocative. We want to see if we can create this using an automated process.

Our ambition is that the Life Docs service will be a commercial, stand-alone, direct-to-consumer product, but will also be used within the AfterLife Retreat (a large scale residential theatre event The Other Way Works are planning for 2015/16).

We will spend time researching, discussing and making decisions about how content and data will be selected, filtered and presented, based on questions around ethics, meaning, narrative, and technical feasibility.

We want to create a 'calling card' for the concept to help us attract further investment to allow us to develop a prototype.

Project outputs and impacts

  • We will create a mini documentary film about the concept, featuring interviews with us in collaboration with the filmmakers
  • We will create extracts of mock-up films in order to give people a sense of how Life Documentary films woudl look and feel
  • We will produce a Specification document for the software engine build, in collaboration with a software developer.

Project Partner

Katie Day is Artistic Director of The Other Way Works, who create daring and remarkable theatre that draws the audience into the very heart of the experience.

They recently produced, 'Bandstand', a collection of audio performances for bandstands delivered via a location-aware smartphone app.

Katie Day produced, 'Theatre Sandbox' for Watershed, Bristol in 2010, and brings that experience of developing theatre and technology projects to her own work on this project.

Katie brings expertise in production, storytelling/narrative, and understanding of visual communication, and performing the self/yourself. Her current fascination with the afterlife and its impact on the now is what has inspired this project, and she is keen to draw on Dr John Troyer's research in the area of death and memorialisation to inform the project.

Find out more about this project

Name: Mrs Caron Staley
Title: Institute Manager
Department: Dept of Computer Science
Location: Virgil Building 3.28
E-mail: c.staley@bath.ac.uk
Phone: work+44 (0) 1225 386275