The Korsakow System (pronounced ‘KOR-SA-KOV’) is an easy-to-use computer program for the creation of database films. It was invented by Florian Thalhofer, a Berlin-based media artist. Korsakow Films are films with a twist: They are interactive – the viewer has influence on the K-Film. They are rule-based – the author decides on the rules by which the scenes relate to each other, but s/he does not create fixed paths. K-Films are generative – the order of the scenes is calculated while viewing. And, as Florian likes to say, Korsakow is not a religion.
Here you will find a growing set of resources for all things Korsakow: Download the latest version for PCs and Intel Macs; view outstanding Korsakow Films in the Showcase; find answers to your basic or advanced questions in our Quick Start, Tutorials and Tips & Tricks sections or our FAQs; discuss Korsakow with other users in the Forums; read about the people behind Korsakow, below; hear about updates and related events; and, discover what a SNU is.
There are several ways to support the continued development of Korsakow, including: requesting new features; reporting bugs; offering help and advice to other users; sharing tips and tricks; assisting with the translation of the software into other languages; spreading the word about this site; contributing news about how you or your community uses Korsakow; dropping us a line to say ‘hi’; and, for the specialists out there, holding a workshop or writing new or improved code for the application. Begin by introducing yourself in the Forums or contact us directly to say hello. Whatever your investment in Korsakow, we hope you find the software useful and productive for your media creations.
Korsakow version 5.0 is free*, open source software, built in Java, and is made available under the GNU General Public License. The application was originally written in Director, which required that projects be played using Shockwave. Korsakow Films had hence become gradually more difficult to view online. In 2008, Florian teamed up with Matt Soar (Concordia University, Montréal) to begin a major overhaul of the application.
*Korsakow is free if you’re using it for educational purposes (teaching; computer labs; school assignments) or a small projects, i.e. with production budgets of less than €2,000, or $2,800. If this doesn’t describe you, please email us before using this software. (If you are using Korsakow for educational purposes or small projects and you find our software useful, please consider sending us a donation, however small. Thank you.)
Concept: Florian Thalhofer. Programming: David Reisch and Stuart Thiel, with assistance from Gabriel Gosselin. Project director: Matt Soar. Korsakow logo: Matt Soar. Logo animation for the preloader created by Bruno Nadeau and implemented by Gabriel Gosselin.
The redevelopment of Korsakow (2007-2011) was originally a project of CINER-G (Concordia Interactive Narrative Experimentation and Research Group), supported by a grant from the Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC) under its Programme Appui à la recherche-création, and co-directed by Matt Soar and Monika Kin Gagnon, Department of Communication Studies, Concordia University, Montréal. The ongoing redevelopment of Korsakow (2011-2014) is a project of Adventures in Research-Creation (ARC), also co-directed by Matt Soar and Monika Kin Gagnon, and supported by a Research/Creation in the Fine Arts grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The ARC website features a set of resources on database narratives and interactive storytelling, originally researched and compiled by CINER-G.