The Flat (2006)

Like much of the work on Dreaming Methods, The Flat was inspired by the memories I have of spending time with my grandmother as a child.

My grandmother lived in a small upstairs council flat on the edge of a large housing estate in West Yorkshire, England, and my brother and I used to stay with her after school until my dad got home from work.

Both my brother and I have memories of feeling as though the flat was haunted. The final scene is based on a drawing that my brother produced when he was twelve having glimpsed a white hooded figure in the back garden.

For me, there was no other way to tell the ‘story’ of The Flat. The work is about powerful but fading memories triggered by an ordinary place drenched in a sinister mystery that cannot be explained or pinned down.

My experience of Andy’s The Flat began with what appeared to be a straight forward promise of elements of a Adobe Flash point and click on screen adventure. These notions become immediately challenged by the inverted directional mouse control which automatically inflicted a sense of disorientation. An ethereal quality was at once created by shifting and unstable image flickers. A timer subliminally added a sense of urgency, there were cinematic like fragments presented to me and as I uncomfortably set about exploring this wonderfully layered and atmosphere milieu, I was interrupted by loud knocking, as if I had been caught somewhere I should not have been. “You were right about me hiding the truth” as a text and as a bait to my curiosity to investigate further.

The spare almost junk, room a potential treasury, the old bathroom, the overall topology was simple and yet managed to feel labyrinthine, again I was a child caught in the wrong place. The tuning radio stations, ideas, hints of ethereality punctuated my experience of the flat, disjointed; snippets of statements urged me to discover more. I entered and re-entered what may have been a ghost house. The fragile hush of my imagination held me riveted in that unstable space. An on-screen experience which traditional media would find near impossible to replicate. The Flat is a genuine exemplar of innovative new media approaches to narrative construction.

Review: Michael J. Maguire