Kunstwerk Multimedia is an immersive science fiction project that explores the story through music, visual, and industrial arts
R. Nicholas Starr is the man behind Kunstwerk Multimedia, an award winning graphic artist and long time musician. After exhibiting his art across the country and playing in bands here and Japan, he decided to sit down and start a solo project titled Esgal. His initial goal was to mix medieval music with martial industrial, but he came across a problem. How would he justify using rauschpfeifen and gemshorns in what turned into a decidedly sci fi sound? From that he began to develop Esgal as just one character in a larger story line. A time traveler who went to 1349 Europe to study the plague. He came back scarred, physically and mentally, after nearly dying in Strasbourg. He later released a composition titled 1349, which Kunstwerk Media will release in the 18th year of the 21st century. Starr had also dabbled in Drum & Bass music, which eventually led him to create the character Tobias Keller. Keller is a future time EDM artist, biohacker, and activist. In another one of Esgal’s time trips the two cross paths, which sets the scene for Starr’s Protean world. A cyberpunk tale of corruption and rebellion.
In developing these characters Starr came out with merchandise to help tell the story. Because of Esgal’s experience in the plague he came out with a set of bandana masks to cover his scars and keep the stench of death out. Tobias Keller is incredibly paranoid about government and corporate tracking built into cars, so he travels by skateboard. This resulted in a collaboration with Liqwood Longboards to create the exact board Keller rides. Starr then contacted several artists to help bring the world together. Those artists Paul Gerrard (Hellraiser Origins, Wrath of the Titans, Halo) to work on cover art and character design and Christopher Horst (Wretched, Archspire, Battlecross) for iconography.
Through their cooperation he began to really develop his setting and started to wonder where else he can take his story. Because of his involvement with the US Transhumanist Party, he stays well informed about upcoming technology and looks at how it can be used to progress art. Because of that artificial intelligence became an obvious next step. He is currently working on an AI form of his character Esgal, with a second AI for Tobias Keller coming in the near future. The goal is to not only have a character people can talk to, but an artificial sounding board for future writing. Along with his fiction work, Starr has written several published articles and is contributing a chapter on art and transhumanism to a book being published by Springer Science next year.