Editor:
Judy Malloy


Authoring
Resources

Social Media Archeology

Collaborative
Narrative

Twitter

MUDs and MOOs

Poetry Generators

The Electronic Manuscript.

Electronic Literature Authoring
Classic Resources





Electronic Literature:
Conferences and Exhibitions

Dene Grigar
Documenting Curation
as Critical Practice

Pathfinders: 25 Years
of Experimental Literary Art, MLA2014 Convention, Chicago

Chercher le texte: the 2013 Conference of the Electronic Literature Organization Brings Electronic Literature to the Public in Paris, September 23-28

E-Poetry 2013, Kingston University, London in June; Program Features Presentations, Exhibitions, Performances, and a Pedagogy Colloquium

With a Theme of "Avenues of Access", MLA2013 Includes an Exhibition of Electronic Literature and over 60 Digital Humanities Panels

Remediating the Social, Edinburgh, November 1-3, 2012

ELO2012,
Media Art
Exhibition to be Held
at WVU, June 20-23

Critical Code Studies
Working Group 2012
:
Reading Code in Context

Belgrade Resonate Festival
March 16-17, 2012

2012 MLA Convention to Feature Elit Panels and Exhibition

Dene Grigar, Lori Emerson,
and Kathi Inman Berens Impact Report for the
Electronic Literature Exhibit at MLA2012

Dangerous Readings
Explores Frontiers
of New Narrative

Elit Well Represented
at ISEA2011

Electronic Literature Organization Moves to MIT



A resource for teachers and students of new media writing, who are exploring what authoring tools to use, for new media writers and poets, who are interested in how their colleagues approach their work, and for readers, who want to understand how new media writers and poets create their work, the Authoring Software project is an ongoing collection of statements about authoring tools and software. It also looks at the relationship between interface and content in new media writing and at how the innovative use of authoring tools and the creation of new authoring tools have expanded digital writing/hypertext writing/net narrative practice in this vibrant contemporary creative writing field.



August, 2014

Featured Authoring Software Statements:
J.R. Carpenter: The Broadside of a Yarn
and Bill Bly, We Descend


J.R. Carpenter: The Broadside of a Yarn
Software: QR code, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, HTML, Photoshop, Gimp


J. R. Carpenter is a Canadian artist, performer, poet, novelist, new media writer and researcher, based in South Devon, England. She began using the Internet as a medium for the creation and dissemination of non-linear narratives in 1993. Since that time, her work has been presented in journals, festivals, and museums around the world, including the Electronic Literature Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art; Montréal Museum of Fine Arts; Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum; The Art Gallery, Tasmania; The University of Maryland; Jyväskylä Art Museum, Finland; Palazzo delle arti Napoli in Naples, Kipp Gallery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; E-Poetry, Barcelona, Spain; the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, England; and The Banff Centre, Canada.
J. R. Carpenter is currently a member of faculty for In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge, a ground-breaking new residency program at The Banff Centre, in Canada, and she is a practice-led PhD Researcher, working in the emerging and converging fields of performance writing, digital literature, locative narrative, media archaeology and networked art practices at University College Falmouth, in England.

C ommissioned by ELMCIP for the 2012 Remediating the Social exhibition in Edinburgh, The Broadside of a Yarn is a richly detailed 21st century locative broadside, in which a series of computer-generated narrative dialogues are accessed via QR codes.

One generator "is composed entirely of dialogue from Joseph Conrad's The Secret Sharer. Another contains lines of dialogue from Shakespeare's The Tempest," she explains in her Authoring Software statement. "Details from many a high sea story have been netted by this net-worked work. The combinatorial powers of computer-generated narrative conflate and confabulate characters, facts, and forms of narrative accounts of fantastical islands, impossible pilots, and voyages into the unknown undertaken over the past 2340 years."

Existing not only as a series of gallery mounted "map squares" of images found and/or created, in Edinburgh but also as a live many-voiced performance, The Broadside of a Yarn was/is in her words "a pervasive performative wander through a sea of sailors' yarns".

Visit J. R. Carpenter's Authoring Software statement on The Broadside of a Yarn to find out more.



Bill Bly
We Descend Vol. 1
(Eastgate, 1997)
Software: Storyspace
We Descend Vol. 2
Software: Tinderbox


B ill Bly is the author of the ongoing hypertext We Descend. Volume 1 of We Descend was published by Eastgate in 1997. Volume 2 was exhibited at the Convention of the Modern Language Association in January 2013 and 2014. His works also include Wyrmes Mete, a hypertext chapbook of poems, and, with John McDaid, he was awarded the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in the Field of Media Ecology for their music CD, Media Ecology Unplugged.

As a teacher, a founding member of the Hypertext Writers Workshop, and the recorder for the legendary Cybermountain Colloquium, Bill Bly has also been active in working with colleagues and students in the creation of electronic literature. He taught dramatic literature and theatre history at New York University (NYU) for 20 years, until he became interested in hypertext, which he taught both at NYU and at Fordham University. He also ran the writing program at Wagner College in Staten Island. Currently, he teaches Speech Communication at Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania.

In an Authoring Software statement about his densely layered work, We Descend, he sets forth the struggles and pleasures of creating hypertext. Beginning with reading Robert Coover's seminal article in New York Times Book Review, he describes how he ordered every title published by Eastgate; his Eureka moment with Stuart Moulthrop's Victory Garden while participating in Robert Kendall's online Hypertext Poetry & Fiction class at the New School; the creation of We Descend in Storyspace; and the creation of We Descend Volume 2 in Tinderbox.

"What started out in the early 1990s as a simple node-link hypertext has somehow turned into my life's work," Bly observes.

Visit Bill Bly's statement on We Descend to find out more.



July, 2014


Silvia Stoyanova and Ben Johnston
The Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform

Software: HTML,TEI and associated XML technologies


Figure 1.Paragraph View from the Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform Website


S ilvia Stoyanova holds a PhD in Italian literature from Columbia University with a dissertation on Giacomo Leopardi. She has taught Italian language, culture, cinema and literature at Columbia University and at Princeton University, and is presently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Digital Humanities at Universität Trier in Germany.

She is interested in exploiting the relational dimension offered by digital technologies for the dynamic mediation of modern fragmentary narratives, such as the intellectual notebook, and for the construction of knowledge sites. Since 2004 Silvia Stoyanova has been experimenting in private with hypertextual argumentative writing within the limits of Microsoft Word, i.e. with fonts, colors, diagrams, WordArt animations, hyperlinks, etc. She is optimistic that the current academic interest in technological approaches to the humanities will cultivate a fertile environment for scholarly hypertext.

B en Johnston is manager of Princeton University's Humanities Resource Center, founding member of the University's Digital Humanities Initiative, and Senior Instructional Technologist at Princeton's Educational Technologies Center. Johnston has worked with faculty from across the University to develop and maintain technology projects for teaching and research, and has taken a lead role in the development of several projects focusing on electronic databases for textual analysis and transcription such as the Princeton University Sefer Hasidim Database, (PUSHD) the Nationalism, Ethnicity and Self-Determination Index, (NESDi) and the Princeton University Geniza Project.


F or Authoring Software, Silvia Stoyanova and Ben Johnston discuss the creation of their Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform, which migrates Italian poet and scholar Giacomo Leopardi's extraordinary hypertext precursor, the Zibaldone -- created in the 19th century over the course of 15 years -- to a web-based platform.

"In its larger scope", Stoyanova notes, "the project studies the structure of this fragmentary text and its author's techniques for its semantic organization as a model for adopting hypertext to mediate the phenomenological method and relativistic thought procedure at work in migrating similar research note collections into argumentative narrative."

Based on Leopardi's hypertextual organization of his notebook, Stoyanova and Johnston's innovative project also serves as a resource for potential uses of large databases to create hypertext literature.



Silvia Stoyanova and Ben Johnston: The Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform

T he Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform (which will be implemented in the summer of 2014 at http://zibaldone.princeton.edu [1]) is a digital reconstruction of the hypertextual design inherent in the research notebook (Zibaldone) of the acclaimed nineteenth century Italian poet and scholar Giacomo Leopardi. The project was undertaken at Princeton University in the Fall of 2010 by Dr. Silvia Stoyanova (French and Italian) and Ben Johnston. (Humanities Resource Center) Consultant: Dr. Clifford Wulfman, Coordinator of Library Digital Initiatives. The Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform is currently being developed in collaboration with the Trier Center for Digital Humanities in Germany.

In its larger scope, the project studies the structure of this fragmentary text and its author's techniques for its semantic organization as a model for adopting hypertext to mediate the phenomenological method and relativistic thought procedure at work in migrating similar research note collections into argumentative narrative. This objective indeed recalls the original conception of hypertext by Ted Nelson as a medium for capturing the many possible trajectories in the course of developing an argument, instead of sacrificing them because of the limitations of the two-dimensional space of paper. It was precisely in an attempt to overcome the same limitations that Leopardi interspersed his notebook with thousands of cross-references, linking its apparently fragmented passages, creating the blueprint of a virtual hypertext. [2] [Figure 1]

Although its title and to some extent its contents reflect the humanist compiling of commonplace books, (in which readers and scholars extracted quotations from their readings) the Zibaldone is more akin to the modern intellectual diary and further exhibits features of the present-day academic blog, such as a date stamp and thematic tags for each entry. While Leopardi was noting down observations and commenting on books without an immediate objective in mind, at the same time he was also recording their connections to previous reflections and intended to eventually rework his material into formally cohesive discourses on a great variety of subjects -- from linguistics, to social mores, to aesthetic theory. For this purpose, he indexed his material thematically and added more cross-references between passages while re-reading.




Figure 2. 1827 Index is a detail of the beginning of the index Giacomo Leopardi wrote in 1827 for his Zibaldone. (as implemented on the Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform) "1827 index" has about 800 themes and subthemes.

.......................complete story





June, 2014

Hold the Light:
The 2014 Electronic Literature Organization Conference,
Milwaukee, WI, June 2014




W ith panels on "Models of Narrative", "Troubadours of Information", "Writing and Riding the Net", "Philosophical Approaches", and "Literary Games"; a "Developing for New Platforms" Roundtable; fifty new works responding to the question: "What distinguishes Electronic Literature?"; and much more, the 2014 Electronic Literature Organization Conference will convene in Milwaukee from June 19-21. ELO2014, Hold the Light, is hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by electronic literature pioneer and Professor in the UWM Department of English, Stuart Moulthrop. Featured works of electronic literature will be exhibited at the Digital Humanities Lab and the Conference Room, both in the UWM Golda Meir Library.

"In addition to the conference's continuing concern with particular arts and ideas, Hold the Light invites thinking about what electronic literature can mean at a moment when all communications are touched by computation and digital networks," Moulthrop notes.

"It is a watershed moment in that the organization is giving out the first of two annual prizes, The N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature and The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature", ELO President Dene Grigar writes in a statement that accompanies Authoring Software's coverage of ELO2014. "Hayles will be present to give a keynote address and announce the recipient of Hayles award."

Keynote talks will also be given by Jill Walker Rettberg, University of Bergen, writer Illya Szilak, and Lane Hall, and co-founder of the Overpass Light Brigade. . "...Neither preserving nor directly opposing the conventions of print-lit, e-lit functions as a reflecting apparatus that unmasks language and meaning-making as machines through the revelation of its own machine-works," Illya Selzki notes in the abstract for her keynote. "Using multifarious examples from the work of Alan Bigelow, Mez Breeze, Emily Short, Jason Nelson, and others, I will show how these re-inscribe obstruction, glitch, error, randomness and obsolescence as potentiality... "

The Conference name "Hold the Light," was inspired by the Milwaukee-based collective Overpass Light Brigade, who use LED signboards to convey activist/community messages. such as the message PRACTICE PEACE at a vigil for Sikhs killed in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Presenters in sessions that range from "A Feel for Algorithms" to "Children's Elit" include Sandy Baldwin, Kathi Inman Berens, Serge Bouchardon, Giovanna di Rosario, Carolyn Guertin, Lori Emerson, Dene Grigar, Leonardo Flores, D. Fox Harrell, Dominic Kao and Chong-U Lim, Marjorie Luesebrink, Mark Marino and Rob Wittig, Talan Memmott, Nick Montfort, Judd Morrissey, Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang, Jessica Pressman, Mariusz Pisarski, Aaron Reed, Scott Rettberg, and Anastasia Salter among many others.

Curated by Kathi Inman Berens, the exhibition Hold the Light includes artists from France, Poland, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Ireland, Slovakia, Hong Kong, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In addition to evenings of performance, artists will also present their work in demo sessions, where they'll talk informally with guests who traverse their works. "It's a rare convergence for so many elit artists to be in one place at one time", Kathi Inman Berens notes in her statement about the exhibition. "The point of gathering live when often we can access each other's work online is to curate not just works but also conditions for artistic and intellectual surprises."

"...what makes the work that the ELO does absolutely imperative in this 'Digital Information Age', as scholar Paul Ceruzzi calls it, is its leadership in developing methods for evaluating quality of 'digital' creative and critical works and its insights into cataloging a growing body of 'digital' fiction, poetry, and other literary forms..., President Dene Grigar writes in a statement for Authoring Software's coverage of ELO2014. "ELO 2014 Hold the Light provides us the opportunity to continue this important work together for three magical days. I hope to see you there."



EL02014 Media Arts Show:
Anastasia Salter and John Murray
View from Within
"...The project was inspired by Scott McCloud's vision for the future of webcomics as an infinite canvas, with the browser as a portal to an experience unbounded by the printed page. The work is constructed from layers of hand-drawn illustrations. A new version, built in collaboration with John Murray in Unity and designed for an augmented reality platform, will be on display at the ELO 2014 Media Arts Show." Anastasia Salter

Complete Story




May, 2014


Deena Larsen
Marble Springs 3.0
Software: Wikidot



Colorado native Deena Larsen has been a central voice in the writing and understanding of new media literature.

Her seminal hypertext, Marble Springs, about the lives of women in a Colorado mining town, was published by Eastgate Systems in 1993. Her work has also been published by the Iowa Review Web; Drunken Boat; Cauldron and Net; Riding the Meridian; Poems that Go; The Blue Moon Review; New River. and The Electronic Literature Collection. Her current work is the Rose Project which in her words "ascribes meaning to letters, adding nuances to language."

For many years, Deena Larsen hosted forums and workshops for the eliterature community. She currently hosts the website Fundamentals : Rhetorical Devices for Electronic Literature, and her archives, The Deena Larsen Collection, are housed at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland.

Authoring Software encourages writers to document different approaches to choices and to the utilization of authoring systems and platforms. In her statement about Marble Springs 3.0, Deena Larsen presents a glimpse into the process she utilized to migrate the narrative framework for the hyperfictional Gold rush town, Marble Springs -- from HyperCard to the 2011- Wikidot version, Marble Springs 3.0.

"The first poem, 'Quilts', in Marble Springs added characters who demanded that their stories be told. So I then wrote 'Scraps' to show Sadie, and so on and so on. And there was no logical end point," Larsen explains. "So my vision of Marble Springs grew to an open-ended, never ending place-- a one-to-one map of reality as people came and went in the town. I wanted a place where readers could make their own marks on the town. In HyperCard, this was an ungainly, expensive programming nightmare that barely hinted at what a wiki could do automatically. Now, the Marble Springs wiki is a collaborative space where readers can easily join in. You can follow scandals on the Forbidden list, wander the maps and graveyards, and then add your own insights into this tightly intertwingled little Colorado gold rush town." ......more about Marble Springs 3.0



April, 2014


Regina Pinto, AlphaAlpha

365 instances of the letter "A"
Produced by Regina Pinto, AlphaAlpha Uses Graphics, Animation, and Sound to Create an Effective Work of Collaborative Visual Poetry

April, 2014 begins with a replay of South American artist Regina Pinto's AlphaAlpha, for which she uses a variety of graphic art, animation, video, website design, and sound software applications to create a dynamic work of computer-mediated visual poetry. In this screen-viewed medium, where text can be encountered in a visual manner, AlphaAlpha focuses attention on the representation of the first letter of the alphabet, resulting in a work of collaborative literary art that, with its evocative connotations of "first letter", also imagines and illustrates how words and text can be represented on the Internet.

The AlphaAlpha project is a classic collaborative work in that participants were invited to create within the context of an interesting idea, and the producer incorporated their work in a framework that in this case includes texts and visual implementations of the letter "A". The project both alludes to the vibrant South American tradition of visual poetry and calls attention to how text can be represented on the World wide Web. Participants were from all over the world including Joesér Alvarez; (Brazil) Isabel Aranda; (Chile) Muriel Frega; (Argentina) Satu Kaikkonen; (Finland) Maja Kalogera (Croatia) Yuko Otomo; (USA) Isabel Saij; (France) Reiner Strasser (Germany) and Araceli Zúñiga. (Mexico) among many others.... ......more about AlphaAlpha




April Featured Interview: Mark Bernstein

Mark Bernstein is chief scientist at Eastgate Systems in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he develops new hypertext tools including Tinderbox, Twig, and Storyspace and publishes original hypertext fiction and nonfiction. In his interesting, informative responses to the interview questions, Mark Bernstein talks about the history of Storyspace and Eastgate. The interview concludes with his lively, educational, sometimes practical, sometimes provocative advice to new writers of hypertext narratives and with a look to the future of computer-mediated literature.


Judy Malloy: How did you get started working with hypertext literature?

Mark Bernstein: I met Ted Nelson in 1976. Ted was briefly flirting with an academic career. I was in college. Computer Lib had just been published, and Ted was working on what would become Literary Machines.

Years passed; I got my doctorate and went down to DuPont to help set up an AI research group. When that blew up -- DuPont wanted all its AI work to be done in FORTRAN IV -- I came back to Eastgate to work on electronic books. Even in 1987, it was clear that the future of serious reading lies on the screen. I wanted to be part of that, and this seemed to be a research area within the scope of a small, independent firm. We started to publish hypertexts after the second hypertext conference in 1989. In those days, everyone was desperate to know whether people would (or could) read hypertexts. Everyone in the field had built their own hypertext system; they wrote hypertexts themselves, assigned graduate students to perform evaluative studies,and recruited their own undergraduates to serve as test subjects. It was the very definition of a methodological problem, and it seemed a good solution might be to provide some well-known "standard" hypertexts.

And so we published afternoon, and Victory Garden, and then King Of Space and Quibbling and its name was Penelope.

These hypertexts helped focus discussion. For the first time, if you and I wanted to talk about the craft of hypertext writing, we could talk about a specific work we'd both read, a work with some ambition and scope, a work we could admire and with which we might disagree.... complete interview


March, 2014



March Featured Resource: The Electronic Manuscript

Cynthia-Beth Rubin: visuals, narrative
Bob Gluck: music, programming
Layered Histories: The Wandering Bible of Marseilles
installation, Jewish Museum in Prague
Photo by Dana Cabanova, from the collection of the Jewish Museum in Prague Photo Archive



W ith their visual impact and their surprisingly beautiful emphasis on words, medieval manuscripts, are a cogent field of study and inspiration for the creation of electronic text. Focusing on manuscript-like uses of dense and/or visual text and on the creation of electronic manuscripts to be read aloud, installed in community settings, or web-situated in online community settings, a resource of selected different approaches is presented in an Authoring Software feature on The Electronic Manuscript.




Adriene Jenik
MAUVE DESERT: A CD-ROM Translation


"Committed", in her words, "to using and abusing new last technologies", Adriene Jenik is an award-winning media artist, filmmaker, and educator. Currently Professor and Director of the School of Art at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, part of Arizona State University, she has also been an active member of the Paper Tiger TV collective and Deep Dish TV.

She brings to her work -- which has been at the forefront of exploratory media and new media narrative and of public art using community-based wireless networks -- a knowledge of technology; an interest in creating new forms of literature, cinema, and performance; and a narrative sensibility that is sometimes community-based, sometimes addresses issues of gender and sexuality, and sometimes looks at the human connection in a technology-mediated world.

Adriene Jenik's narrative of the creation of MAUVE DESERT: A CD-ROM Translation, based on Nicole Brossard's le Désert Mauve, is a classic look at the process of creating a new media narrative. And -- as she continues to update the work, recently releasing a DVD documentation -- is also an example of how writers and artists work to keep their projects current in the face of changing platforms and applications.

"The beauty of words, the power of the desert, and the fears and fantasies of human evolution with technology are all still real -- and present and prescient in the work," she observes in her statement on Authoring Software. ....more





February, 2014

Featured Work

William Harris
Hyper Poems
Software: Microsoft marquee


Detail: William Harris, "Armistice", n.d.


W illiam Harris (1926-2009) taught classics at Middlebury College in Vermont for thirty-two years. A sculptor, composer, and poet, when he retired in 1990, he worked with computers -- compiling an electronic Latin dictionary, Humanist's Latin Dictionary, that was published by Centaur, as well as a series of evocative electronic poems and image/text works.


"I want a poem to be meditated, not read through," he writes in his essay for Authoring Software. "So by taking it off the page and making it a variable field of words, I think we are trying something new and something possibly very interesting."


"Thus," he observes, "each poem is continually evolving out of its own internal history, which at times may give a very different appearance to the whole display on the screen. The first appearance will be even like any text. Next some lines will start to go in different directions, and some will have a different programmed speed while others re-speed themselves later. Later, as a surprise, groups of words may possibly arrange themselves to the right and left of the screen leaving the center empty, or they may all congregate centrally before starting to wander sideways. The interesting thing about this variability is that as the poem progresses, more of the text obeys the internal patterning generated by the running program, and less and less the initial pattern which I have set up."


A World War II Veteran, Harris, who had been battling cancer for several years, died at the age of 83 in February 2009.

To read his complete Authoring Software statement, visit William Harris: Hyper Poems






January, 2014:
Pathfinders: 25 Years of Experimental Literary Art at MLA 2014


Pathfinders: Documenting Curation as Critical Practice
Curatorial Statement by Dene Grigar




P athfinders: 25 Years of Experimental Literary Art, the exhibit that opens on January 9 at the Modern Language Association 2014 Convention, begins with the premise that curation is a critical practice born out of research and, so, constitutes a scholarly activity. While this sentiment is not a controversial one in fields like Fine Art, where curating works of art relies on deep knowledge of art, history, and culture; highly honed interpretative and evaluative skills; and a great deal of creativity, it is relatively new idea for the Humanities. The recent book, Digital_Humanities, however, makes a strong case for curation as a "fundamental activit[y] at the core of Digital Humanities. Just as in Fine Art, curation in Digital Humanities involves "the selection and organization of materials in an interpretative framework, argument, or exhibit" that "brings humanistic values into play in ways that [are] difficult to achieve in traditional museum or library settings" [1]

To make the connection between scholarship and curating absolutely clear, this exhibit is built directly out of Pathfinders: Documenting the Experience of Early Digital Literature, a digital preservation project led by Stuart Moulthrop and me and sponsored by a National Endowment for the Humanities Level II Start Up grant.

Pathfinders, the project, is an unusual digital preservation scholarly activity in that its intent is to capture not just the work of art but also the user's experience with the work. In that regard, we have videotaped each of four electronic literature artists reading through their work. This reading we call a "traversal" because it leads a viewer through a work that is both interactive and multi-linear, from its beginning to some level of closure. We add to the artists' traversals, those by readers, some of whom have never experienced electronic literature before or who may not be familiar with early digital literature. Interviews with the artists and readers augment the information, which will be edited, collected, and eventually disseminated in a multimedia book. So, the first order of selection for Pathfinders came out of an overarching conceptual framework focusing on a particular artifact -- early digital literature --- and particular seminal works constituting experiments with digital texts that can no longer be experienced on current computing devices: Stuart Moulthrop's Victory Garden; John McDaid's Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse; Judy Malloy's Uncle Roger; and Shelley Jackson's Patchwork Gir. In essence, they all comprise works that are quickly becoming lost works of literary art.



John McDaid Traversing Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse
in The Electronic Literature Lab (ELL)


P athfinders, the exhibit, showcases the work that Stuart Moulthrop and I have, heretofore, completed on the project -- that is, all of the videotaping of the traversals and interviews for each of the four artists -- and extends it into current experimental work. In that vein, the exhibit is divided into two sections, with early experimental works organized at the front of the space and current work, beyond.

Thus, the exhibit opens with Station 1, entitled "Paths to Digital Literature", featuring four vintage Macintoshes from my lab (The Electronic Literature Lab, or ELL). Here visitors find an Apple IIe displaying Uncle Roger; the Mac Classic featuring Victory Garden; the Mac LC 575, Patchwork Girl; and the LC 580, Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse. The addition of Bill Bly's We Descend to the exhibit, showcased alongside McDaid's work, hints to the next phase of Pathfinders-- a partnership with the University of Maryland's Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, where Bly's work has been collected. Plans also include the collaboration with the University of Colorado Boulder's Media Archaeology Lab, led by Lori Emerson. As mentioned previously, these five works represent early experiments with digital literature, pioneering efforts by artists that are part and parcel of high art that parallel the impetus to experiment that also occurs in print literature. This particular argument lies at the heart of the exhibit, Electronic Literature & Its Emerging Forms, that Kathi Inman Berens and I curated at the Library of Congress in April 2013, where we showed, for example, the connection between concrete and kinetic poetry, cut up poetry and hypertext, among other ideas.

A t Pathfinders, accompanying each computer in Station 1 will also be an iPad displaying raw video footage from the traversals and interviews taken during the Pathfinders project data collection. This additional material will make it possible for visitors to experience the works, first hand, on the computer on which readers would have originally experienced the work when it was first released and, then, see and hear the artists traverse the work themselves and talk about the production of the work. Culturally and intellectually situating the works in this way aims to provide an enriched intellectual experience for exhibit visitors.

Past this section of the exhibit visitors find "Current Directions" where they discover contemporary experiments with digital literature. As Stuart and I point out at the exhibit website, it is our contention that just as hypertext authoring systems like Storyspace and HyperCard were seen as new technologies that allowed for highly experimental writing in the 1980s and 1990s. [Bolter,2] contemporary technologies like Leap Motion, augmented reality software, and other technologies also lend themselves for compelling experimental literary work.

The process of selection of this section of the exhibit centers on large categories of works and employs terminology that may be familiar to Digital Humanists visiting the exhibit. So, here we find stations entitled "Multimedia Books and Apps", "Immersive Environments", "Participatory Media", "Augmented Reality", "Physical Computing", and "Mixed Mediums". In all cases, we selected only one or a couple of works to highlight, aiming for a small amount of art to exhibit so that visitors can, ostensibly, experience all of the art during the convention. We also feature some new and upcoming artists, who may not yet be well known among those working in electronic literature as well include artists from outside of the U.S. to offer a global perspective. And finally, we have chosen some works that are so new, like Amaranth Borsuk, Kate Durbin, and Ian Hatcher's Abra, that they have come to us in beta versions.

A t Station 2 "Multimedia Books and Apps", visitors find Samantha Gorman & Danny Cannizzaro's PRY, Amaranth Borsuk, Kate Durbin, & Ian Hatcher's Abra, and Andreas Muller's "For All Seasons". Displayed on iPads, these works represent new forms of digital publication. While multimedia books can have close resemblances to websites, apps represent the first born-digital object with no corresponding print cognate. From this perspective, they constitute compelling objects of critical study, particularly as an environment for literary production. Station 3 "Immersive Environments" offers Christine Wilks and Andy Campbell's Inkubus, an interactive playable narrative that utilizes both 2 and 3D technologies for immersing readers in the work. Station 4 "Participatory Media" highlights Jay Bushman's tweeting of Mike Daisey's performance piece, The @gony @nd the Ecst@sy of Steve Jobs, and, so, represents a work of twitterature, the first featured at a MLA exhibit. At Station 5 "Augmented Reality", visitors will find Jacob Garbe's Closed Rooms, Soft Whispers, a work that brings together analog and digital into a haunting virtual experience. Station 6 "Physical Computing" hosts Josh Tanenbaum and Karen Tanenbaum's The Reading Glove. I experienced a version of this work at the International Digital Media and Arts Association conference in Vancouver, Canada in 2011, where, at the time, both artists were graduate students studying at Simon Fraser University. While the original offered a tabletop interface with which to interact with the objects, this portable version, created especially for the Pathfinders exhibit, utilizes a computer screen. Finally, Station 7 "Mixed Mediums" offers both Erik Loyer's Leap Motion experiment with physical gestures and digital narrative, "Breathing Room", and Jason Nelson's experiment with speech and text, Speech/Media_To_Text_Poetry_Translation.




The Pathfinders Team: Stuart Moulthrop and Dene Grigar, working onsite at Princeton.
Photos: J. Malloy



W hile critical work in the Humanities has traditionally occurred in the context of an essay aimed at a print publication, the critical work represented by the Pathfinders exhibit is centrally situated in the context of an activity. In this regard, it is both showing and telling about one's research. In so doing, it places a heavy emphasis on empirical, direct experience with objects as they combine with other objects in the exhibit space, with other human observers experiencing the objects, and with objects' and observers' relationship with the physical environment in which they are found; writing that generates from this activity serves as documentation of that primary intellectual activity and articulates, scriptually, the theoretical underpinnings and methodologies used to produce and execute the activity that is implicit in the act of curation. In essence, what Pathfinders seeks to demonstrate is an important concept in Digital Humanities -- that doing is not separate from thinking.

Stuart and I hope if you are planning to attend the MLA 2014 Convention in Chicago that you will visit our Pathfinders exhibit and experience, firsthand, our research into past and present experimental digital literature.

_________________

1. Burdick, Anne, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner and Jeffrey Schnapp, Digital_Humanities. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012. p. 17 (my emphasis)

2. Bolter, Jay, Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print, Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1991. p. 23



Resources:

Pathfinders: Documenting the Experience of Early Digital Literature
led by Dene Grigar, Washington State University Vancouver, and Stuart Moulthrop, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

129th MLA Annual Convention
Chicago,9-12 January 2014

Digital Humanities at MLA 2014
A list of 77 Digital Humanities sessions at MLA 2014, compiled by Mark Sample





Winter 2013 Featured Work:
J. R. Carpenter Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie and JR


J. R. Carpenter conducts the Hermit Crab Reading Choir, in which, members read Excerpts of the Chronicles of Pookie & JR in a round, at the launch of GENERATION[S], a collection of code narratives, published by Traumawien. Cabaret Fledermaus, Vienna.


J. R. Carpenter is a Canadian artist, performer, poet, novelist, new media writer and researcher, based in South Devon, England. She began using the Internet as a medium for the creation and dissemination of non-linear narratives in 1993.

Since that time, her work has been presented in journals, festivals, and museums around the world, including the Electronic Literature Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art; Montréal Museum of Fine Arts; Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum; The Art Gallery, Tasmania; The University of Maryland; Jyväskylä Art Museum, Finland; Palazzo delle arti Napoli in Naples, Kipp Gallery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; E-Poetry, Barcelona, Spain; the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, England; and The Banff Centre, Canada. She is a two-time winner of the Quebec Short Story competition, recipient of the Carte Blanche Quebec Award, and recipient of research and production grants in literature and in new media from the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebéc and Canada Council for the Arts.

J.R. Carpenter's work is interesting and entertaining, creatively using software and narrative to take the reader on explorations of community, animal companions, and the lives of writers and artists. In Chronicles of Pookie and JR, she adapts a story generator, written in Python by Nick Montfort, to tell a story of hermit-crab human interactions, in this case her adventures with Ingrid Bachmann's hermit crab Pookie, also known as Pookie 14.

Story generators use a variety of computer-mediated composition systems to create poetry or narrative. For instance, they may generate plot or characters, or they may ask users to input text that is the systematically recontextualized, creating, as in Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie and JR, a software-mediated story.

For more about J.R. Carpenter and how this work was created, visit Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie & JR page on Authoring Software.




November 2013 Featured Work:
Aaron Reed: Blue Lacuna




Aaron A. Reed is the author of award-winning works of interactive fiction, (IF) including Whom the Telling Changed (2005) and Blue Lacuna, (2009) an IndieCade finalist, and his new work includes 18 Cadence, an iPad storymaking platform. His work has been exhibited/published at the 2010 Electronic Literature Organization Conference at Brown University; the (dis)junctions Media Festival at UC Riverside; the UC Santa Cruz Digital Arts Research Center, and the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume I, among others. He is the author of Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7.(Course Technology PTR, 2010)

In his work, Aaron Reed continues to experiment with new forms of electronic literature and participatory storytelling, creating a series of new works that include his recent a full length IF novel Blue Lacuna. In his statement for Authoring Software, he describes the creation of Blue Lacuna, focusing particularly on levels of interaction and how they enhance the user experience.

"All of these levels of flexibility hopefully allow the story to be about different things to different people;" he writes, "readers should feel more complicit in the outcome of the narrative through realizing that they had a hand in shaping how things turned out. My hope is that work like this actively engages the audience in acts of self-reflection, creating stories that don't just talk at their readers, but listen, too."

For more about how Blue Lacuna was created, visit Aaron Reed's page on Authoring Software.




New Authoring Software Statement, October 2013

María Mencía
Birds Singing Other Birds Songs
Software: Flash, Illustrator, Audacity



María Mencía is an artist-researcher and Senior Lecturer in New Media Theory and Digital Media Practice in the School of Performance and Screen Studies at Kingston University, London. Encompassing language, visual art, and sound, her work in digital poetics is experimental, textual, and generative. It has been presented, exhibited, and published internationally, including the International Symposium on Electronic Art; (ISEA) onedotzero; Electronic Language International Festival; (FILE) International Contemporary Art Fair, Madrid; (ARCO) Computers in Art and Design Education; (CADE) Caixaforum; E-Poetry 2013; Cherchez le Texte, the 2013 Conference of the Electronic Literature Organization, Paris; the TATE Modern; the Electronic Literature Collection; and the Anthology of European Electronic Literature.

In her words:

"As an artist academic for 14 years, I have been researching in the fields of digital art, digital poetics, language, and new media. My background in Fine Art and Linguistics has influenced my practice-based research and creative projects interconnecting language, art, and digital technology. It explores the area of the in-between the visual, the aural and the semantic. I am always interested in experimenting with the digital medium with the aim of engaging the reader/viewer/user in an experience of shifting 'in' and 'out' of language. This involves looking 'at' and looking 'through' transparent and abstract textualities and linguistic soundscapes."

In Birds Singing Other Birds Songs, she explores a translation process in which the songs of birds are translated into language and then translated back to bird songs via the human voice. In the resultant work, the viewer interactively sets animated bird shapes in motion. Creating an innovative user-controlled experience, they sing the sound of their own text, while flying across the blue-sky screen.


Visit María Mencía's
Authoring Software Statement on Birds Singing Other Birds Songs
to find out more.



Featured Authoring Software Statement, October 2013
Megan Heyward: of day, of night
Software: Director, Photoshop, After Effects, Pro Tools



Megan Heyward is a digital media artist who works at the intersection of narrative and new technologies. Her electronic literature projects -- I Am A Singer and of day, of night of day, of night -- have been widely exhibited in Australia and internationally, including MILIA New Talent Pavilion; (France) ISEA02; (Japan) Festival of Cinema and New Media; (Canada) Electrofringe; (Australia) Contact Zones; (USA) Videobrasil; (Brazil) Viper; (Switzerland), Stuttgarter Filmwinter; (Germany) and ELO2012. (USA) Of day, of night was published by Eastgate Systems in 2005.

A Senior Lecturer in Media Arts and Production at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, Megan Heyward is currently working with narrative and locative technologies, as well as early stage development of a new electronic literature project for tablet devices.

For Authoring Software she describes the creation of her evocative new media narrative of day, of night.

"Conceived as an experimental digital narrative, of day, of night interweaves video, text, graphic and audio elements in a hybrid storytelling environment that moves between literary, cinematic and game-like approaches," she writes to begin her statement.

And she notes that "The work sought to be an enveloping, responsive, multimodal narrative -- one which responded to touch, made sounds, one where text would shimmer and undulate; as well as a work that made space, from a narrative perspective, for ideas of uncertainty, indecision, wandering and chance."

Visit Megan Heyward's statement on of day, of night to find out more.




On the October 2013 Authoring Software Twitter Page, listings -- of Twitter poetry, narrative and netprov -- include, among many others:

Jay Bushman: "Loose-Fish #1: The Good Captain"
Joseph deLappe: "Reenactment: The Salt Satyagraha Online"
Joy Garnett: "#LostLibrary"
Dene Grigar: "The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project"
Joseph Kosuth: "Fifteen stones in place, all out of shadow..."
Mark Marino/LAinundacion: "The LA Flood Project"
Chindu Sreedharan: "Mahabharata on Twitter -- A Narrative Experiment"
and An Xiao: "The Artist is Kinda Present".

The Twitter Page also documents Twitter resources, such as:

Adeline Koh, "Twitter in a Higher Education Classroom: An Assessment"
Dhiraj Murthy, Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age
and Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein, The Twitter Book.

To find out more, visit the October 2013 Authoring Software Twitter Page



Chercher le texte:
the 2013 Conference of the Electronic Literature Organization
Will Bring Electronic Literature to the Public in Paris, September 23-28



S et in Paris, Cherchez le texte, the 2013 Conference of the Electronic Literature Organization, (ELO) will bring to the public and the International digital literature community a multitude of forms of digital literature presented in exhibitions, performances, documentation, and panels/critical discussion -- beginning with a session on French digital poetry and also including two sessions on "Electronic Literature as World Literature".

Dominant themes at the heart of the Conference are:

A desire to present to a large public the many forms of electronic literature that have developed internationally

The presentation of historic genres of electronic literature, such as hyperfiction and generative poetry, in conjunction with contemporary genres and platforms of contemporary electronic literature, for example, the touch pad works by Collectif i-Trace, Caitlin Fisher, and Erik Loyer that are included in the exhibition

And the lineage of electronic literature in relationship to the work of younger practitioners

Cherchez le texte, the first ELO Conference to be held in Europe, is hosted by the Laboratoire Paragraphe and the EnsAD. (Ecole nationale suprieure des Arts Décoratifs) The organizing committee is chaired by Professor Philippe Bootz, (Paris 8) who is the co-founder of L.A.I.R.E, a French collective in digital literature and Transitoire Observable, an international collective in programmed poetry.


T he official languages of the conference will be French and English. In their words:

"Au cours d'une semaine intense de débats, performances, conférences et expositions, la littérature numérique s'offre à lire, à voir, à entendre, à jouer et à toucher en divers lieux culturels parisiens."

"The ELO is a family made up of hundreds of people distributed around the world but united by a love of electronic literature and experimental writing," observes incoming ELO President Dene Grigar, Director and Associate Professor of the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver. "And so what I like about ELO 2013 Cherchez le texte is that it introduces the idea of an annual conference. We can now come together more frequently to reconnect and to share our ideas and work. It is a celebration of our family in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, one with a rich tradition of experimental literature, where electronic literature will be completely at home."

ELO Vice President and Director of West Virginia University's Center for Literary Computing, Sandy Baldwin points out that the conference will also be an excellent showcase for French electronic literature, as well as for emerging writers and scholars.

There is a long tradition of e-lit, particularly generative and algorithmic poetry and narrative in France, with its own unique characteristics, he explains. "As to young scholars and artists: many of the presenters are new faces, doing brilliant work, and looking at e-lit in new ways. In the end, this is the most important thing a conference can do -- keep the field fresh."

Launched under the leadership of the Laboratoire Paragraphe, (Universitè Paris 8) the Excellence Arts-H2H Lab, and Laboratory Music and Computer Marseille, Cherchez le texte is one of the most important international events of digital literature ever to have been organized in France.

"A lot of the credit goes to Professor Philippe Bootz of the University of Paris 8. (Saint Denis) Bootz and his colleagues worked hard to schedule events at tremendous venues, and of course Paris is full of amazing locations," Sandy Baldwin emphasizes. "We're starting with performances at the Pompidou Museum, followed by a day of presentations at the Bibliothè que Nationale de France. (BNF) The main conference events are at EnsAD, with additional performances at Le Cube. In all, these are tremendous showcases for e-lit, and the organization is honored to be featured in these venues."

E LO 2013 will be followed by ELO 2014 in Milwaukee, and then the conference will return to Europe for ELO 2015 in Bergen Norway. "And hopefully we'll eventually hold conferences in Australia, South American, and elsewhere," Badwin notes.


Exhibitions and a Series of Performances Present Electronic Literature Throughout Paris



Phillipe Bootz: Detail from Ping Pong Poem,
to be presented in a series of Evenings of Performances at le Cube, Issy-les-Moulineaux


Les littèratures numèriques d'hier á demain

O rganized by le laboratoire Musique et Informatique de Marseille (MIM) in collaboration with le Labo BnF, (Bibliothèque Nationale de France François-Mitterand) and le labex ARTS-H2H de l'universitè Paris 8, among others, the exhibition Les littèratures numèriques d'hier á demain will open on September 24 at le Labo BnF and run until December 1, 2013.

The gallery will feature digital poetry created for the exhibition by Brian Barrachina, Douglas Duteil, Cassandra Ribotti, as well as Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse's Between Page and Screen.

The concurrent virtual gallery includes an international selection of web-based works of electronic literature.


Illya Szilak: title page from Queerskins. The title page includes images by Illya Szilak and Pelin Kirca; graphic design by Cyril Tsiboulski who also created the interactive experience for Queerskins. Queerskins will be on exhibition in the Virtual Gallery, le Labo BnF, through December 1, 2013.


Among many other works, the web-based exhibition at le Labo BnF includes:

M.D. Coverley (USA) Tarim Tapestries
Chris Funkhouser (USA) Funk's SoundBox 2012
Catherine Lenoble (France) Petit bain
Judy Malloy (USA) From Ireland with Letters
Maria Mencia (UK) Transient self-portrait
Jason Nelson (Australia) untitled art/poetry games
Gao Tian (France) je l'ai dèjè oublièe;
Elvia Wilk (Germany) Kenny Drama

plus works by Mez Breeze and Andy Campbell, J.R. Carpenter, Loss Pequeño Glazier. Jean-François Gleyze, Mark Marino, Mark Sample, Illya Szilak and many others.




JR Carpenter: ..and by islands I mean paragraphs
"...and by islands I mean paragraphs casts a reader adrift in a sea of white space dotted with computer-generated paragraphs whose fluid compositions draw upon a literary corpus of island texts ranging from Shakespeare's The Tempest, to Bishop's Crusoe in England. Collectively these islands constitute a topographical map of a sustained practice of reading and re-reading and writing and re-writing islands...and by islands, I do mean paragraphs."
on exhibition in the Virtual Gallery, le Labo BnF, through December 1, 2013.


Festival Evenings of Performances

D uring Cherchez le texte, a series of elit-based performances will take place at venues including Petite salle du centre Pompidou; BnF François-Mitterand Grand Auditorium; Le Cube, Centre de crèation numèrique; and EnsAD.

Hortense Gauthier and Phillipe Boisnard will perform Contact / HP Process at Le Cube:
"A man and a woman write to each other through intermediary screens and from behind their keyboards they improvise a dialogue in which they deconstruct and blur network chat and relationship codes in a poetic, performance-driven way."

Philippe Bootz will perform his Pong ping poème, a work which is part of his "little poems which are uncomfortable to read" series. In Pong ping poème, 50 texts are read in a random order. But the audio is controlled by a ping pong game, and the performer must win in order to be heard.

Chercher le texte: The Complete Story





Social Media Community - The Resource Continues!


The first Community Memory terminal, 1973
Housed in a cardbox box at Leopold's Records in Berkeley, California, it was an ASR-33 Teletype connected by a 110-baud line to an XDS-940 host in San Francisco.
(Photo licensed by Mark Szpakowski for the Community Memory Projectunder Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike)


There are many different ways in which social media platforms can be used as authoring systems. They include An Xiao's performative Morse Code Tweets @ The Brooklyn Museum; how Jay Bushman used Twitter-based sequential storytelling to create The Good Captain, based on Benito Cereno by Herman Melville; how Antoinette LaFarge's Plaintext Players have used MOOs to improvise in real time, in her words: "creating a text that was partly written, partly performed"; how Mark Marino and Rob Wittig combined performance and narrative in their netprov Reality:Being @SpencerPratt; and how Dene Grigar used Twitter to produce the collaborative narrative, The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project.

Authoring Software begins the Fall 2013 season with a continuing look at the early history of social media platforms in the arts and humanities. .......complete resource


Summer, 2013


Dan Waber
a kiss
Software: Twine


detail from a kiss by Dan Waber, Drunken Boat 17, 2013


Dan Waber is a poet, playwright, publisher, and multimedia artist, whose work is almost always language-based.

Waber's works of electronic literature include Strings, presented in Flash and published in the Electronic Literature Collection v. 1; the collaborative hypertext, that reminds me; and the brief, dense, fluxuating poems in his elegant collection cantoos.

a kiss, an innovative use of the freeware hypertext application Twine, was published in 2013 in Drunken Boat 17.

In his statement for Authoring Software, Waber explains that "You begin at the center of all things, the moment of a kiss and are able to move outward from that moment in several directions. Each choice leads to more choices, the further away you move, until at the outermost limit all possible choices lead back to the moment of a kiss."

Visit Dan Waber's Authoring Software statement on a kiss to find out more.




The August 2013 edition of Authoring Software's Poetry Generators Resource
is now available Suggestions for more additions are welcome!




Editorial: Introductory Remarks:
Authoring Software for Pedagogic Practice
2013 E-Poetry Festival, Kingston University, London, June 17

Looking at e-poetry through the lens of 27 years of creating electronic literature, I would like to celebrate the role of authoring systems as core components in the expression of individual vision -- not only for experienced practitioners but also for students. .......complete text




July 2013 Featured Work:
Judd Morrissey
The Last Performance [dot org]
Software: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, Drupal




Writer and code artist Judd Morrissey is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Writing, Art and Technology Studies, and Performance, where he creates electronic literature, performance art, and site-specific installations.

Morrissey's work -- which includes My Name Is Captain, Captain (in collaboration with Lori Talley, Eastgate Systems, 2002) has been exhibited and published Internationally including Visionary Landscapes: the 2008 Electronic Literature Organization Conference, Vancouver, WA; The Iowa Review Web; Eastgate; E-Poetry 2005, London; Cerisy 2004, Normandy, France; Computers and Writing 2004; Language and Encoding, University of Buffalo; p0es1s: International Exhibition of Digital Poetry, Germany; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Rockford Art Museum; Chicago Cultural Center; Mobius, Boston, MA; and the DeCordova Museum. In 2006, Morrissey was a recipient of a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers' Grant.

He is a founding member of the interdisciplinary art-making and curatorial collective, OPENPORT and an Associate Member of Goat Island performance group.

For Authoring Software, Judd Morrissey writes about the creation of The Last Performance [dot org], a poetic "evolving collaborative space" in which an array of generative text -- collaboratively composed in thousands of "lenses" -- assembles and reassembles in an elegant dome architecture structure.

The Last Performance is a constraint-based collaborative writing, archiving and text-visualization project responding to the theme of lastness in relation to architectural forms, acts of building, a final performance, and the interruption (that becomes the promise) of community.

This project was conceived in response to the work of the Chicago-based performance collective, Goat Island, (of which I am a part) and their decision, after 20 years of practice, to create a last performance. The electronic work is evolving over two years in parallel with the creation and performance of the company's final performance work, The Lastmaker.

The structure of the project is taken from my research with Goat Island into double buildings, a phrase we are using to describe spaces that have housed and survived multiple historical identities, with a specific concern for the functions of churches, mosques, and museums. The central structure of The Last Performance is a virtual dome, based on the cupola of a particular Croatian double building, a construction of circles within circles consisting of 4,680 glass lenses. The lenses of the cupola have been transposed as compositional spaces that will be populated until the dome is complete. The dome writings are also processed as source material to create a constantly evolving textual landscape. .....complete statement



June, 2013

E-Poetry 2013 to be Held at Kingston University, London in June;
Program will Feature Presentations, Exhibitions, Performances, and a Pedagogy Colloquium



Created by Zuzana Husárová and L'ubomír Panák, the interactive textual and new media performance I : * ttter will be exhibited in the E-Poetry 2013 exhibition Words Unstable on the Table, at the Riverside Gallery, curated by María Mencía.


F ollowing Festivals in Buffalo, West Virginia, London, Paris, and Barcelona, E-Poetry, a seminal International Festival of digital literature and scholarship, returns to London. Presented by the Buffalo-NY based Electronic Poetry Center, with the support of Kingston University London and the Watermans Art Centre, E-Poetry 2013 will take place from June 17-20 at Kingston University.

"This Festival is intended as a worldwide gathering, different perspectives convening at one time," the Festival notes. "We hope to build connections that are sustainable, energizing, and that reach across disciplines. More importantly, the 'poetry' in 'E-Poetry' does not signal a genre preference but an ORIGIN -- MAKING as a means of realizing art, a delight in digital literary invention. Our emphasis is on the multiple literary and artistic ramifications of digital media writing and its critical reception through extending modes and practices that transcend limits of genre or specific technologies. We celebrate new voices, emergent thoughtful articulation, performance, and cultural breadth in expression."


"every presenter is a keynote"

Poets, scholars and researchers who will present at E-Poetry 2013 include Amaranth Borsuk, Serge Bouchardon, Andy Campbell, John Cayley, Giovanna Di Rosario, Natalia Fedorova, Penny Florence, Leonardo Flores, María Mencía, Nick Montfort, Jason Nelson, Sarah Tremlett, Talon Memmott, Christine Wilks, and Jody Zellen, among many others. Conference presentations also include a pre-festival Pedagogic Colloquium hosted by María Mencía, artist-researcher and Senior Lecturer in New Media Theory and Digital Media Practice in the School of Performance and Screen Studies at Kingston University.

"Every presenter fits nicely and, as always, at E-Poetry -- every presenter is a keynote!" Loss Pequeño Glazier, Director of the Electronic Poetry Center and the E-Poetry festivals, emphasizes.

"Where else do you get so many keynotes, one after another?!"


"....twists and turns with dazzling treats at the end of gorgeously honed paths"

Poet Loss Pequeño Glazier, who is a professor in the Department of Media Study, SUNY Buffalo, is also enthusiastic about the breadth and the open format of the program. "It's got range, style, diverse conversations, threads, themes, motifs; a stunning range of innovative performances; ...it presents twists and turns with dazzling treats at the end of gorgeously honed paths; it's rich with UK presenters; it includes special panels from Russia, on Latin American digital poetry, presentations from Slovenia, Poland, Romania, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Australia, a special guest winging it from Hong Kong, plus we also include Western Europe and North America. Lots of newcomers all around!"

The program also includes presenters from Peru, Iran, Mexico, Greece, Puerto Rico, Latvia, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Norway, Sweden, France, Australia, Canada, and the US. "I am especially excited about the number of women artists and scholars and younger participants, who appear in the program in highly visible places," Glazier notes.


A Pre-Festival Pedagogic Colloquium

E-Poetry 2013 will begin with a pre-festival Pedagogic Colloquium, produced by poet and Kingston University Professor, María Mencía.

Among the professors, poets, and researchers in electronic literature, who will address the practice and theory of electronic literature in the classroom, are:

Serge Bouchardon, University of Technology of Compiègne, France
Leonardo Flores on teaching with ongoing scholarly blogging
Judy Malloy (virtually) on Electronic Literature Authoring Systems
María Mencía on "Theory as analysis and methodology in practice-based creative media"
Jeneen Naji, National University of Ireland Maynooth
Kate Pullinger on "pedagogy in the field of where creative writing meets technology"
Maya Zalbidea Paniagua, Universidad La Salle, Madrid

Other presenters include Amaranth Borsuk, University of Washington, Bothell; Antonella Castelvedere, University Campus Suffolk; Maria Engberg, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden; Zuzana Husárová, Comenius University and Masaryk University, Slovakia; and Talan Memmott, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.


Words Unstable on the Table



Curator María Mencía's invitation to the E-Poetry 2013 exhibition, Words Unstable on the Table.

In her words from the catalogue:

"The works in the exhibition touch upon a variety of themes, literary, cultural, social and historical aspects such as; nature, identity, gender, multilingualism, reading, remixing, translation, evanescence, online-communication and digital culture. And they do so by combining different software, programming languages, mobile technology, network possibilities and new media tools, to produce a wide spectrum of creative practice in the form of game like structures, videos, digital-poems, net.art and language new media art." ........ complete story





Featured Link: Taroko Gorge by Nick Montfort
Accompanied by Electronic Literature Community Homage-Interventions


Detail: Nick Montfort: Taroko Gorge


I n January 2009, during a visit to Taroko Gorge National Park in Taiwan, MIT Professor and electronic poet Nick Montfort created a work of generative poetry using Python. He finished Taroko Gorge on the journey home and then ported it to JavaScript and made it accessible on the World Wide Web.

It wasn't too long afterwards that Scott Rettberg appropriated Nick's authoring system and created the urban intervention "Tokyo Garage". Scott was followed by J.R. Carpenter, whose "Whisper Wire" transported the landscape to the age of technology.

And an electronic literature community tradition had begun.

There were subsequently a series of works that in response, Nick lined through. (although they were still visible)

They included, among others:
Mark Sample's homage to George Takei, Andrew Plotkin's duet between the code and the text, Kathi Inman Berens kitchen-situated Tournedo Gorge, and Leonardo Flores' homage to Gary Snyder's mountain poetry.

Offering the potential for student exploration of the uses of an elegant authoring system,Taroko Gorge -- rooted in landscape description, constantly changing -- succeeds because Montfort carefully planned the flow of the work and created meaningful data sets (allowing, for instance, for transitive verbs and imperfect verbs) and in the process created a resonant, contemporary poetry array that inspired collaborative response.

The resultant eliterature community works have been reviewed by Leonardo Flores at http://academic.uprm.edu/flores/transmogrify.html, accompanied by his own remix of the poets and the process.

And/or, visit Taroko Gorge by Nick Montfort et. al.




Detail: Judy Malloy: Scholars Contemplate the Irish Beer
Authoring System: Nick Montfort: Taroko Gorge








Archive

Below are archived statements create during the 2008 Electronic Literature Organization Conference and during the 2008 Seminar on Electronic Literature in Europe Many of these statements will be retooled with separate pages in 2014.




Stefan Müller Arisona
Exploding, Plastic & Inevitable
Soundium, Ableton Live, Modul 8

Swiss new media artist/researcher Stefan Müller Arisona works with real-time multimedia systems and live multimedia composition and performance software. His audio-visual performance narratives have been shown and performed internationally. Currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Chair for Information Architecture of ETH Zurich, Switzerland, his research includes the development of the Soundium multimedia performance platform; (with Steve Gibson) as well as mathematical modeling for the performance of musical gestures and interactive software systems for urban design and simulation. He is co-editor, with Randy Adams and Steve Gibson, of Transdisciplinary Digital Art - Sound, Vision and the New Screen

The work he performed at the 2008 Electronic Literature Organization Conference in Vancouver, WA is a 21st Century reenactment of The Exploding Plastic Inevitable a seminal multimedia work that was originally created and performed by Andy Warhol with Lou Reed's The Velvet Underground and Nico in the 1960's.

More information: San Francisco Performance of Exploding, Plastic & Inevitable at Swissnex


Exploding, Plastic & Inevitable

Since Steve Gibson and I are going to present the Exploding, Plastic & Inevitable show (also accompanied by a live audio and visuals workshop) during the conference, it might be best to give some background for the software used there.

Authoring tools we're using

audio: Ableton Live
visuals (Steve): Modul 8
visuals (Stefan): Soundium, see below.

Steve may have to add a few things, he did a lot of custom stuff for other projects, such as Virtual DJ.

At this point I can give more information about the custom software Soundium:

Soundium is a research multimedia authoring and processing framework. It has been used for many live visuals performances and several digital art installations. However, it is not really an "end user product" and requires a quite a bit of multimedia processing knowledge in order to use it.

written in java and c++, and based on open source software: linux, gcc, x11, ffmpeg, etc.

available for free download
further infos are at: http://www.corebounce.org/wiki/Main/Publications




Alan Bigelow
What They Said
http://www.webyarns.com/WhatTheySaid.html
Flash, Sound Studio, Photoshop


Alan Bigelow combines images, text, audio and video to create interactive web-based digital fictions that address contemporary issues including philosophy, religion and the uses of mass media.

His work has been published and/or exhibited at Turbulence.org; Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts; Freewaves; Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center; The New River; and E-Poetry 2007.

A Professor in the Humanities Department at Medaille College in upstate NY, he was recently a visiting online lecturer in Creative Writing and New Media at De Montfort University, UK


What They Said

Work Description:

What They Said (2008) is an online work which is a commentary on mass media and its use of authoritarian messages, both outright and subliminal, to influence culture and political will. The work is created in Flash and uses a synthesized combination of text, images, video, and audio; its interface is a hybrid of television and radio visual elements intended to enhance the user experience and require their participation in the viewing of the work.

What They Said is meant not just as a commentary on mass media, and how it is used, both intentionally and by media programmers' blind acquiescence to current political paradigms, to distort meaning and manipulate citizens worldwide. It also suggests our own culpability, as the ones who turn on the media devices and listen to the messages. We bear some responsibility for the perpetuation of these messages, and we are the ones, if we have the will, to turn them off.

To progress through What They Said, the viewer must first turn on the media "device." They then use a slider, reminiscent of an old-style radio channel indicator, to "read" the various messages. These messages--instructions for work, family life, cultural beliefs, and aesthetics--are archetypal in nature and use a linguistic double-speak favored by many governments, present and past. The viewer's choice of messages is random, snatched, using the slider, from the static ether visually (and auditorially) presented in the piece. When the last message is read, the piece automatically generates a short closing visual followed by a subtitle. Total viewing time is approximately five minutes.

Media:

This work, like all my other work, was created in Flash, with imported files that were edited in Sound Studio and Photoshop. Flash is a very resilient and robust application that is relatively easy to learn and remarkably obedient to the unusual demands of digital storytelling.

Right now, the most interesting challenge to me (other than creating new work!) is how to move online Flash works into the mainstream of gallery shows. In the United States, at least, it appears that many galleries are not used to considering online works as representative material for exhibitions; when asked, though, many are intrigued and ask to see the work, even when it is not within their usual call for submissions.

Part of their reluctance to accept web works/Net Art is the difficulty of pricing such work for sale. Rhizome.org has a revealing interview with Aron Namenwirth of artMovingProjects on this topic
( Interview with Aron Namenwirth of artMovingProjects)


Steve Ersinghaus
The Life of Geronimo Sandoval
http://www.steveersinghaus.com/SSP/Sandoval.html
Storyspace

Steve Ersinghaus is a digital artist, fiction writer, and poet. He is the author with of 100 Days: 100 drawings 100 poems; (with Carianne Mack) Stoning Field; The Life of Geronimo Sandoval; and the hypertext poem That Night. (Drunken Boat, Spring 2009)

Steve Ersinghaus earned his Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Texas-El Paso. He teaches writing, literature, and new media at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, Connecticut.


The Life of Geronimo Sandoval

The Life of Geronimo Sandoval, a novel in hypertext, took approximately four years to complete. I had originally begun the work with a fairly conventional plan: to write a book-based novel. I began with an image, two people talking by a river in southern New Mexico, and quickly realized that the novel and its characters wanted a differentform: the novel needed a form appropriate and implicit to the voice of its first person narrator/hero, Ham Sandoval.

I found the form with the help of Eastgate Systems' Storyspace. The initial image of The Life of Geronimo Sandoval became not merely a place to begin writing the novel but an episode within a larger narrative that could appear at any appropriate time given Ham Sandoval's method of storytelling. Storyspace because the appropriate tool to explore Ham Sandoval.

Storyspace is hypertext authoring software. I would also call it an authoring framework. It provides not just the requirements of a word processor or a means of reading and presenting hypertext, but an environment for creating, organizing, revising, visualizing, and distributing hyperlinked works. I could also write the previous sentence this way: Storyspace can be the proper tool for works of art that demand hypertext as an implicit form. What Storyspace provided for Sandoval was a means of finding the voice and logic of the narrative.

In Storyspace's work environment I could find sequences and sections swiftly and accurately and work with multiple writing spaces simultaneously. With Storyspace, the writer may employ a variety of link types to the text as well as control how links behave under certain conditions. Storyspace provides map, chart, and outline views that provide flexible means of examining narrative space. Keyword assignment, search facility, and the ability to import other digital media into the environment make Storyspace a powerful creative tool with ample aesthetic possibilities not just for the study of technology but of the human lifeworld.


Susan M. Gibb
Paths
Flash, Tinderbox, Storyspace


Susan M. Gibb holds an A.S. degree in English from Tunxis Community College and is currently supplementing with courses based in Creative Writing, and New Media. She is a writer of fiction as well as non fiction and poetry, has served as editor of otto, the Tunxis literary journal, and has produced and edited a traditional archery magazine sold in the U.S. and abroad. Her workshop session on "The Hypertext Effect: The Transfiguration of Writing and The Writer" was presented at Hypertext 2008 in Pittsburgh, PA.

She is always working on hypertext projects using Storyspace and Tinderbox software and exporting for presentation online, has published some work on her website, Hypercompendia, and is currently participating in 100 Days: Summer 2009, a collaboration of individual artists producing a work each day for 100 days. Susan Gibb also writes online on her websites dedicated to Literature, Writing, Hypertext, New Media forms, and life's "story moments."


My introduction to hypertext was in a contemporary fiction course, and there was a bit of resistance to what appeared to be a jungle of story. However, it intrigued me enough as a writer to want to master not only the reading but the writing of narrative into the hypertext environment.

With the Storyspace program offered by Eastgate Systems in mind, I prepared by planning out what I felt was the perfect story to be told in hypertext. Paths is a story of a couple who fell in love in college and who may or may not have ended up together. What other medium could so entwine the coulda's, woulda's, and shoulda's of such a basic choice in life?

Once I got the Storyspace software, it was a matter of transferring what were basically four paths of stories into the format. Very, very easy to do. Even though the manual is one of the best I'd ever encountered in its pointed instructions and illustrations, the software was so well arranged that it wasn't necessary to consult except for specific maneuvers.

I soon realized that the structure I had envisioned for the story was not using Storyspace to its optimum performance capabilities with its opportunities for exploration into time and character. The excellent Map View was the best to work into as it enabled the placement of the parts within the whole. All the originally planned links were severed and I let the stories flow into each other from more natural intersecting points. Past and present have no certainty in this narrative and the interplay of memory and perspective opened a playground for true character development. 75 writing spaces -- or text boxes -- stretched into 300, all because the event of hypertext invites the author to tarry in an area of the mind that might otherwise be kept from the reader.

I am working on more in the Storyspace software and find that as with the first effort, the format focuses on what is vital to a very small portion of story without hindering the creative flow. Particularly in editing, I've found that the writing improves as it seeks the most concise yet imaginative manner of telling a tale; each box of words being self-contained and asking the writer, as much as the reader, to linger a bit, just as does the form of a poem.

The full journey of writing in Storyspace has been documented in my Hypercompendia weblog and can be read at Storyspace Index


Dylan Harris
All Hands
Sound Forge, Soundtracker Pro, Audacity, Studio Artist, Paint Shop
Pro, the Gimp, GarageBand, Final Cut Express, Windows Notepad


Originally from England, now living in Dublin, "arts explorer" Dylan Harris is a poet and software engineer whose print and multimedia poetry has appeared in print and online.


I'll write a poem using pen, paper and beer. I'll use Sound Forge, Soundtracker Pro or Audacity, depending on reverb, to make an MP3 recital. I'll assemble a videocast using the recital, photos processed in Studio Artist (I like it), text in Paint Shop Pro (windows fonts) or the Gimp (unix fonts), in GarageBand (simple) or Final Cut Express (complex). The videocast is posted using iWeb.

Except for videocasts, I prepare web pages using Windows Notepad, because it doesn't exclude things its designers didn't expect.



Ian Hatcher
Signal to Noise, Opening Sources
http://clearblock.net/stn
http://openingsources.com
HTML, CSS, Javascript, AJAX, PHP, MYSQL


Ian Hatcher is a writer, musician, and programmer from Seattle. His work has been presented at the 2008 Electronic Literature Organization and Electronic Literature in Europe conferences and published by Counterpath Press.

He is the primary composer for the Chicago-based contemporary dance ensemble The Moving Architects, with whom he performs live.

As of 2009, he is a graduate student in Literary Arts at Brown University.


Signal to Noise, Opening Sources

All my work in elecronic writing has been created for (and often in response to) the architecture of the web. My primary interest for some time now has been the development of adaptive multi-reader texts -- works which track multiple simultaneous readings and navigations and use this data to influence and evolve content in realtime. No authoring software yet exists with this kind of functionality, at least not for my purposes, so I've been writing the engines myself using a combination of programming languages and libraries. The method I'm using to continuously pass data between a reader's browser and my PHP code is AJAX, which is remarkably easy to learn and implement if you go through a Javascript library such as JQuery, Mootools or Prototype. Anyone interested in authoring web-based work (AJAX aside) should definitely spend some time experimenting with these libraries, which provide excellent sets of tools to make Javascript far easier and more intuitive to write. As a bonus, they let you safely ignore a lot of the pitfalls of making one's code compatible with Internet Explorer.

I like HTML, Javascript, and PHP because they are all free and, in the first two cases, produce inherently open-source work. You can go to almost any page with Javascript, view the source, find the linked .js file, and check out exactly how it operates. There is a certain nifty elegance to this kind of transparency.

Some software I've found useful:

Aptana, a free and open-source development suite.

MAMP/LAMP/WAMP, free virtual server software. Indispensable when coding in PHP.

JQuery and Prototype, my two favorite Javascript libraries. Also free.

TextMate , unfortunately not free, but the best text editor available for OSX.



Chris Joseph
Inanimate Alice by Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph
http://www.inanimatealice.com
___ http://www.chrisjoseph.org/
Photoshop, Premiere, Sound Forge, Acid, Flash

Digital writer Chris Joseph, aka babel, creates electronic literature, multimedia, and interactive art.

His work has been exhibited internationally, including among many others, the 2008 Biennale of Sydney; Visionary Landscapes, Electronic Literature Organization Conference 2008; Digital Media Valencia 2008; Boston Cyberarts, E-Poetry, and SIGGRAPH.

His current work includes Flight Paths, a "networked novel" funded by the Arts Council England; Inanimate Alice, a series of interactive multimedia stories; and remixworx, a collaborative digital remixing community.

From September 2006 until September 2008, he was the first Digital Writer in Residence at the Institute of Creative Technologies in De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

Chris Joseph is editor of the post-dada magazine and network 391.org.


Inanimate Alice

Inanimate Alice is a series of multimedia short stories depicting the life of a girl growing up in the early years of the 21st century. Across ten episodes, the story of Alice, games animator, and her one true friend in life, Brad, the game character she has created, is told using a combination of text, sound, and images. "Episode 1: China" begins with Alice aged eight and subsequent episodes track her through adulthood until her mid-twenties. Each episode becomes increasingly interactive and more game-like, reflecting Alice's own developing skills as a game designer and animator.

Inanimate Alice represents a project that could not have been created or distributed without the software developments of the past decade. The series uses manipulated photographic images, illustrations, video, sound, and text to tell the story. These elements were created using a PC and various softwares: Photoshop (graphics), Premiere (video), Sound Forge and Acid (sound effects and music).

Finally Flash is used to combine these elements and create the final work. Flash offers a method for creative artists to produce high-quality multimedia at a relatively low cost, and even more importantly, it allows a cost-effective and simple method for distributing the piece to a worldwide audience.

More specifically, Flash was chosen for the following reasons:

1. It has a very wide user base, so represents a great way to distribute work online without putting off those users who are unfamiliar with installing software plugins;

2. It allows the relatively simple creation of randomized, non-linear and interactive elements. For example, in each episode there are elements that are generated at random from a set of pre-defined possibilities (such as Ming's paintings, and the motion of the texts) -- possibilities that can be explored with this kind of digital animation, as opposed to a linear (filmed) animation;

3. It offers an extremely wide range of animation styles. Movement between scenes in Inanimate Alice is generally very dynamic, employing slides, pans and zooms to suggest an animated graphic novel, in a style that blends comic, animation and film. But techniques and elements of classical animation can also be found throughout, for example Alice's hand-drawn animations of Brad, or the looping desert backgrounds in Episode 1 that are reminiscent of early Disney cartoons. All these styles can be easily explored within the Flash authoring environment.


Rob Kendall
Pieces
http://www.wordcircuits.com/pieces
Flash; XML, X-Lit

Born and raised in Canada and currently living in Menlo Park, California, Robert Kendall is an e-poetry pioneer, who has been creating interactive multimedia poetry since 1990.

His book-length hypertext poem, A Life Set for Two, was published by Eastgate Systems in 1996, and his hypertext poetry has also been published and exhibited Internationally including The Little Magazine; Iowa Review Web; BBC Online; Cauldron & Net; Dodge Poetry Festival; the Second Annual Poetry Video Festival, Chicago; Manhattan Cable TV; and the Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia.

Kendall's printed poetry has appeared in Rattapallax, Contact II, River Styx, New York Quarterly, Barrow Street, and Indiana Review. His print work, A Wandering City, (Cleveland State University Poetry Center) won the CSU Poetry Center Prize.

He is co-developer of Connection Muse, an adaptive hypertext authoring system for Web poetry and fiction, and his articles and essays about computer technology and computers in the arts have been widely published including in PC Magazine, PC Computing, Poets & Writers Magazine, Leonardo, Electronic Book Review, Cortland Review, Kairos, and Purdue University Press.

Robert Kendall is the host of the website Word Circuits

Since 1995, he has taught hypertext poetry and fiction through the online program of the New School University in New York.


Pieces

I created this work in Flash. It makes use of drag-and-drop functions and transitional fades that very few other delivery systems can create. The method I use for text-handling is not the one normally employed by Flash authors. All the text is stored in an XML file, which is read by the work's SWF file at runtime. This means that I can edit or expand the text of this work freely without having to recompile the SWF file. I can also easily organize it into paths and sections/lexias. It's very difficult to work with large quantities of text in Flash, unless you put the text into external XML files in this manner.

Pieces is the first step in a large-scale project from which I hope will eventually emerge an X-Literature XML specification--an XML format that will allow me and other authors to create complex Flash works solely by creating content in XML that will be rendered by a Flash-based X-Lit Player. I will be working in conjunction with the ELO to work out the details of the X-Lit spec itself. In conjunction with developing a preliminary version of the spec, I am also building an authoring tool in AIR (a new programming IDE recently released by Adobe) that will let people create Flash works without having to use or even own Flash. My XML format currently handles only text, but ultimately it will also handle graphics, video, and audio, and will store elements defining animation, interaction, styles, and interface elements. Preliminary details about the project, which is in its very early stages, are available at http://www.wordcircuits.com/xlit

Prior to working in Flash, I used the Connection Muse to help create most of my Web work. This is a JavaScript-based authoring system for adaptive hypertext, which I codeveloped with the French computer scientist, Jean-Hugues Réty ( http://wordcircuits.com/connect). This system allows the components of a hypertext to respond dynamically to a reader's progress through the work, changing links and content to suit the current reading situation. Many of the features of Connection Muse have already been incorporated into my XML format, and I hope eventually to port all the system's features to the X-Lit authoring system.

When the X-Lit spec, player, and authoring tool are fully developed they will allow an author to store in a single XML file all the text and pointers to external media content for complex hypertexts, interactive pieces, and animated works. Features not supported by X-Lit can still be implemented directly in Flash, so an author won't lose any functionality by using the system, even if it doesn't directly support all desired functions. I'm excited by the prospects of this system and its new approach, and I hope it will someday see wide use.


Donna Leishman
RedRidingHood
http://www.6amhoover.com/redriding/red.htm
http://www.eliterature.org/collection/1/works/leishman__redridinghood.html
Software: Flash, Sound Forge

Donna Leishman's work is a combination of critical writing and practice-led research in digital art with a particular interest in the intersection of narrative with Internet based interactivity. Her practice has been exhibited internationally both in art and design contexts. Themes in the research include the aesthetics of dissonance, visual digital literature and the psychology of literary characterization.

Donna Leishman is currently an academic specializing in digital media design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in the University of Dundee, Scotland. She was an Emmy award nominee for her work on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, and her responsive animations have been showcased in The New York Times and The Guardian Online, as well as exhibited at The Lighthouse, Glasgow, Scotland; Alt-w: New Directions in Scottish Digital Culture; Studio Zeta, Milan; the Boston Cyberarts Festival; the DeCordova Museum; Technopoetry Festival, Georgia Tech; UKinNY Festival, Parsons School of Design, New York; and Visionary Landscapes, Electronic Literature Organization Conference, Vancouver, WA.

With background as a visual artist and web designer, she has created a series of visually-rich narratives and fairytales that combine elements of magic realism and pop culture with animation and interactivity. In her statement for Authoring Software, she talks about the creation of her classic (launched in 2000) animated and interactive version of "Little Red Riding Hood", and in particular about her use of Flash.

"All works are seeded and born within traditional sketchbooks, so I draw everything first but they grow and become real within the Flash environment," she observes.

More information about Donna Leishman's work can be found on her website at http://www.6amhoover.com


Donna Leishman: RedRidingHood

The interface, interactivity and animation within RedRidingHood, like subsequent projects: The Bloody Chamber, Deviant: The Possession Of Christian Shaw and Contemplating Flight, was entirely produced using Abobe Flash. Simple sound editing software such as Soundforge or Audacity was used to create and or edit the sound content. Given my background as a visual artist and web designer the quality of the graphics were of key importance, Flash offered (and still offers) a robust yet simple drawing toolbox -- a small sister to professional vector art packages such as Illustrator and Freehand. In 2000, it was important to consider the streaming and filesize of the animation (Broadband wasn't a common luxury), so Flash allowed bigger bang for your buck in terms of both graphic and animation/movement complexity given its excellent streaming compression. I had previously written about the problematic aesthetics of early Elit works which tended to be of poor visual / typographic quality, I argued that the audience scope was thus limited and rarefied and unlikely to reach broader public audiences.

I still work entirely within vectors rather than bitmaps, vector animation rather than video or film. My PhD thesis touched upon the value or interest in establishing a sense of digital crafting or the *fragital* -- a hybrid of detailed line art and a sense of handcrafting, a holographic touch from the author yet within digital media. All works are seeded and born within traditional sketchbooks, so I draw everything first but they grow and become real within the Flash environment.

Flash also allowed me to program and develop actionscript generated random sequences (within the Dream Sequence in RedRidingHood) and manage the non-linear narrative structuring. The Flash Player is also very pervasive and has penetrated the majority of web users. Sound editing and syncing sound to action and motion remains a fascinating process and one that, time permitting, I would like to develop so the total media crafting, image, movement, interaction and audio is completely complimentary.


Mez
Poetic Game Interventions [V.1] [from the Twittermixed Litterature Series]
Twitter and World of Warcraft

Australian-based net.artist, Mez Breeze has been creating of Internet-based code poetry and poetic game interventions for fifteen years.

Her work has been exhibited widely, including ISEA; ARS Electronica; The Metropolitan Museum Tokyo; SIGGRAPH; The Brooklyn Academy of Music; New Media Scotland; Laguna Art Museum; Alternator Gallery, Canada; HTTP Gallery, London; and Postmaster Gallery, New York.

She was JavaArtist of the Year 2001 and in 2002, she was the winner of the Newcastle Digital Poetry Prize.


Poetic Game Interventions [V.1]

I began my MMOG interventions in the 90's using the _Everquest_ game interface 2 project/interject in2 the conventional game-chat stream by riffing off other players chatlines and reworking chat sections via poetic manipulations. I'd also mangle logs of these chats and project them into a wider networked sphere by reposting them to various email list forums.

I'm currently extending this type of poetic intervention/textual reworking of game_text during my time playing World of Warcraft. My latest intervention is titled "Twittermixed Litterature" and involves WoW characters ["toons"] on the Bloodscalp Server standing in Ironforge [an in-game location] + live remixing [in_game] chat that occurs between players and guild/character names that rotate past. I then remash these lines [+ any feedback I receive in-game from the players themselves] into a live Twitter stream, making a multi-access channelling or [as I labelled it in the press releases]: "Twittermixing prefound identity marker texts from live-time character actions in World of Warcraft" and "MMO Voyeur Aggregationistic Rem(H)ashing."


Ethan Miller
Narrative Units -- http://ethanmiller.name/projects/narrativeunits/:
Code based, networked data visualization

Software tools used: Written in the Python programming language,
and depends on the Python libraries PyGame (for rendering graphics)
and BeautifulSoup (for reading HTML).

Narrative Units

Interface/authoring tools are an interesting question to me... For the last three years or so I've worked almost exclusively within a command-line interface. My code editor is Vim. Like many CLI users, I find it efficient and simple - it allows me to think through the keyboard without a lot of hunting and clicking with the mouse to interfere.

From the perspective of media practice, I see the interfaces I use while working as very much a part of the work. Here is a screenshot of Narrative Units: http://ethanmiller.name/media/images/uploaded/narrunits_.png which may explain more visually than I can articulate verbally. I think the relationship, on the one hand, may have to do with the parameters/biases imposed by software: Programming languages and plain-text/code editors offer relatively more freedom of movement than 'wizards' and options panels (more possibilities for errors isn't a bad thing either).

Beyond that though I think a plain text interface in the context of a visual/auditory/networked practice speaks to the soft borders between those forms and the codes that run through them. The relationship, say between code that creates an image, the image file, and how it's represented on a screen, is complex and fascinating. The transformations all happen through 'languages' which are comfortably represented in plain text. I guess, for me, keeping my working interface within the confines of plain text, while creating visual/auditory work, keeps me situated within that "boundary" area that I find so interesting.


Nick Montfort -- http://nickm.com
Lost One: Curveship, Python

New media writer and scholar Nick Montfort is the author of the MIT Press books Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction (2003) and Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (2009, with Ian Bogost) and co-editor of The New Media Reader. (2003, with Noah Wardrip-Fruin) He founded and blogged at Grand Text Auto, a group blog about computer narrative, games, poetry, and art, and now blogs about interactive narrative, poetic digital writing, and new media history at Post Position.

Montfort is a leading writer and programmer, whose interactive fiction authoring system, Curveship, was released in 2011. His work includes The Purpling; (published in The Iowa Review Web) Ten Mobile Texts; ("five stories, an aubade, an epic, a sestina, a lipogram, and a ballad for Short Message Service", published in The New River) and Fields of Dream. (with Rachel Stevens, published in Poems that Go) Additionally, his work has been exhibited at or published in FILE, Sao Paulo, Brazil; bleuOrange, Montréal, Canada; the Carmen Conde Centenary, Spain; Cauldron & Net; the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the Beall Center for Art + Technology, U.C. Irvine and the Digital Arts and Culture Conference.

An Associate Professor of Digital Media in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nick Montfort currently serves as the President of the Electronic Literature Organization.


Lost One

An interesting recent piece for me to mention is Lost One, which has not been released but was first publicly read at the Open Mic & Mouse, The Future of Electronic Literature Symposium, (sponsored by the Electronic Literature Organization and Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities) University of Maryland, May 2, 2007.

This piece was written to demonstrate my interactive fiction system Curveship, (formerly called nn) which is also unreleased. I began work on this system as part of my dissertation work at the University of Pennsylvania. Curveship is written in Python. It is is currently a research system -- good enough to prove some points that I have been trying to prove. I am finishing a more stable and comprehensible version of the system and working on some longer-form interactive fiction in the system. I hope to release Curveship around the end of this summer. (2009)

I'm particularly interested in writing e-lit in programming languages that are capable of general computation. Curveship falls into this category, while also providing specific facilities for varying the narration of a story independent of what the underlying events are. I'm also currently working on a series of very small Perl poetry generators and on some story generators in Perl. I have also written electronic literature in Inform 6, Processing, HTML, Java, the Windows 95 help system, and plain text.


Stuart Moulthrop
Recent Projects
Flash

One of the first creators of new media literature and a distinguished new media writer, digital artist, and scholar, Baltimore, Maryland native Stuart Moulthrop is the author of the seminal hyperfiction Victory Garden, (Eastgate, 1992), a work that Robert Coover included in the "golden age" of electronic literature.

His works -- that include Hegirascope, (1995) Reagan Library, (1999) Pax, (2003) Under Language, (2007) and Deep Surface (2007) -- have been exhibited and or published by Eastgate, The Iowa Web Review, the ELO Electronic Literature Collection; New River; Media Ecology; The New Media Reader; Washington State University Vancouver; and the Digital Arts and Culture Conference. Two of his works have won prizes in the Ciutat de Vinaros international competition.

Stuart Moulthrop is a Professor in the School of Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore where he is the Director of the undergraduate Simulation and Digital Entertainment program.

He has served as co-editor for Postmodern Culture, was co-founder of the TINAC electronic arts collective, and was a founding director of the Electronic Literature Organization.


Under Language and Deep Surface

Since the turn of the century, I've been working exclusively in Flash, with an increasing emphasis on code-intensive, object-oriented projects.

Also important are various tools for generating 3-D images and animations, including 3DStudio Max and Poser, tools for converting text to artificial speech, such as TextAloud, and the sound library at Freesound.org

My most recent projects are:

"Deep Surface" http://www.hermeneia.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1871&Itemid=654

"Under Language" http://iat.ubalt.edu/moulthrop/hypertexts/ul/

My headlong dive into ever more elaborate code structures has brought my work closer to the thermocline between e-lit and computer games. Both the most recent pieces have explicit game features, such as end-of-play conditions (game over), and scoring systems. You can probably tell that I spend much time in my day job (which, oddly enough, happens mainly at night) teaching aspiring game designers how to think with code.

Withal, I remain a compulsively verbal artist, and can't shake the type off my boot blocks, even as I seem compelled to invent "new disorders" of writing (as I recently heard John Cayley quote Derrida).

Flash remains a convenient choice for many things -- though it bears noting that ActionScript 3 demands significantly more patience and attention than its precursors, and turns casual scripting into something much more like industrial-strength programming. Adobe seem to assume that graphic designers and application developers will be happier if their tools clearly delineate their job functions (i.e., the designers are discouraged from touching code). I think that's a terrible development for ARTISTS.

In the future, I'd like to build with materials that aren't Adobe -- using things like Processing, especially the excellent RiTa system from Daniel Howe at Brown, or a fascinating utility called Dasher, which is a gestural substitute for keyboard input. Also on my do-list are Inform, the venerable authoring system for traditional interactive fiction, and of course, HTML-JavaScript, where I still have deep roots.


Alexander Mouton
Velvet
http://www.unseenproductions.net/velvet.html
Flash, HTML, Java Script, Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, QuickTime

Working with photography, video, bookmaking, sequenced images, and sound, Alexander Mouton creates artists books and electronic works online and in performance and installation situations.

Produced by Unseen Press, his artists books are in collections Internationally including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Kunst Bibliothek in Berlin, Germany

He is Assistant Professor of Digital Art & Design at Seattle University in Washington, where he also teaches artists' book structures.


Velvet

As a visual and sound artist working also within the form of the artists' book, I understand net art as a virtual extension of a much older physical tradition of self-published artists' books. I began working with narrative/poetic artists' books in the early 90's and began experimenting with Director in 2001 as I was able to incorporate motion and sound into the mix. I moved thereafter to the Flash programming environment because it affords a better possibility for compressing video, still images, and sounds to sufficiently small sizes for web publishing without sacrificing the aesthetic integrity of the media.

I work with Final Cut and Quicktime Pro for video editing, Adobe Photoshop for image editing, and Logic and Audacity for sound editing. Currently, I combine the raw materials from these programs using Flash, and with javaScript and actionScript I can customize the users viewing environment, incorporate interactivity, and program randomization features to break from traditional linear narrativity

For the piece Velvet specifically, my goal was to produce a highly interactive environment which was very personal in nature and which immerses a user inside the mind and identity of the artist for the exploration of states of mind, dreams, and memory. I was also interested in incorporating as many media as possible - text, still images, sounds, & video - and to do so using a diverse body of work from over the past 15 years of my active art-making. The interactivity plays a significant role, not only for navigation, but for the generation of meaning. Velvet was designed with a non-linear narrative in mind, with an overarching structure in place that allows for a degree of authorial direction amidst the user-determined sequencing.



Kate Pullinger
Flight Paths by Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph
http://www.flightpaths.net
CommentPress, Netvibes

Born in British Columbia and based in London, Kate Pullinger writes for print, digital media, radio, and film. Her recent work includes the multimedia graphic novel Inanimate Alice and the networked narrative Flight Paths.

Her works of fiction have been published by Phoenix House, Bloomsbury, Cape/Picador, Five Star, and Serpent's Tail. She co-wrote the novel of the film The Piano with director Jane Campion, and from 2001-2007 she was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. Her new novel, The Mistress of Nothing, is in press in the UK by Serpent's Tail and in Canada by McArthur & Co.

Kate Pullinger currently teaches on the MA in Creative Writing and New Media at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.


Flight Paths

We've been working on Flight Paths for around five months now, and a lot of that time has been taken up trying to figure out how to make it work. Despite massive advances and changes on the web over the past few years, it still remains fairly complicated to create an open access site that can include multimedia.

The first version of Flight Paths went up in a WordPress blog, with the add-on of CommentPress, the widget created by the Institute of the Future of the Book that allows us to foreground comments on the right-hand side of the page, instead of buried beneath each post. While this seemed like a good idea at the time, this widget was actually created for people to comment on works that were already written; CommentPress works best when you've got a draft of a text that you want to allow people to comment on paragraph by paragraph. It doesn't work so well when the project, like Flight Paths, is being created afresh.

At the same time as working on the public face of the project, Chris and I have been busy in the background making links with other organisations, collecting submissions from interested people, creating our own submissions, visiting the supermarket in Richmond to make recordings and take photos and videos, interviewing the journalists behind the original project, etc etc.

After a few months, it began to become clear to us that the wordpress blog wasn't really the right venue for this project - a blog is a blog, even with the fab CommentPress widget - and what we are trying to do is not create a blog. Neither of us are natural-born bloggers, and this project isn't about writing a blog. Around this time, Netvibes, a homepage application that we had both been using, launched Netvibes Universes, and this seemed like the ideal platform to move 'Flight Paths' to - we'd always wanted to be able to curate the web for this project, to be able to collect things from all over the web, as well as collecting submissions. The Universe does in fact work well as a curatorial platform, although, inevitably, we've had mails from some of our contributors saying they can't get the Universe boxes to open.

However, quite apart from whether or not the Universe works across various browsers and operating systems, another issue for us is where to house the discussions that arise out of the submissions and from the various issues and themes behind the project. With the CommentPress widget the blog was almost okay for discussions, though we have never used the blog as a blog and have always manipulated the posts, using the Table of Contents the CommentPress widget created, trying to keep numbers of posts to a mininum in order to stop entries from being buried in the blog archive. This was quite labour intensive, and also counter-intuitive -- again, trying to make a blog resemble something that isn't a blog -- so recently we've decided that, for discussions, we should use a forum. We've put a forum up in the Flight Paths universe, and are currently pondering how best to organise it.

All of this has been slow and time-consuming; I've found I've needed ages to ponder it all and get my head round how best to make this project work online. Doubtless we will continue to tweak it as it grows.


Jim Rosenberg
http://www.well.com/user/jer/
Squeak

Interactive poetry pioneer Jim Rosenberg has been working with with non-linear poetic forms since 1966, and his Diagrams Series 4 was published on the seminal Art Com Electronic Network on the WELL. His visually elegant, word-dense, spatial hypertexts -- including Intergrams and The Barrier Frames and Diffractions Through -- are published by Eastgate.

His work has also been performed, published and/or exhibited at The San Francisco Poetry Center; Intersection, San Francisco; Cody's, Berkeley; St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, New York; The Kitchen, New York; Harvard University sponsored by The Grolier Poetry Bookstore; Leonardo; E-Poetry; and the Electronic Literature Organizaton Conference.

Rosenberg is an influential hypertext and new media poetics critic and researcher, whose writing has been published in the ACM Hypertext Conferences and the Electronic Book Review, among others.

He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, painter Mary Jean Kenton.


I have come to believe that authoring systems are the problem, not the solution; the short answer to what authoring system I use is: I don't. The authoring system should be smashed -- to smithereens. Let the smithereens loose. What I use is not an authoring system but an ecosystem for nurturing feral smithereens.

This means: the object of attention is (surprise): the object. Authoring is not something you "do" in an "authoring system" -- as opposed to some other habitat of the object as encountered by the reader; authoring is just something naturally there, as a normal function of what an object does. It is not something you turn "on" but something you might decide to turn "off". "Playing" is not something that you do in some separate jail called a "player" or something you do inside that prison otherwise known as "web browser window", it is something the object naturally does. In place. Feral. Loose on the desktop, perhaps. Or if it's in a specific place, a place that you made -- the place is itself an object. Everything is an object. Including zero.

In this environment there is no boundary between "playing" and "authoring". There are only objects that behave. Some behaviors modify the object, some don't. Some behaviors modify other behaviors, some don't. Some behaviors I had to code myself, most I didn't. The concern is not authoring, but doing: What does the word object do, what can you do to it, with it, for it (or even against it.)

An object space. An open object space. Generic enough that I don't have to write all the code, but open meaning I can write my own code and insert it into the space so there is no boundary.

So, of course there is "a system"; I'm not supporting my poetry in an environment I programmed 100% myself in machine language from bare metal -- no one would do that. The object system I use is called Squeak. You could argue, I suppose, that there is no real difference between Squeak and an authoring system, but most authoring systems are not so generic. The list of packages which have been produced in Squeak is quite broad, resembling a scaled-down list of packages available for a generic operating system. The Squeak "World" could easily serve as the main GUI desktop for an operating system, as Gnome or KDE does for Linux.

This is just a snapshot. For a more serious write-up, I still stand by "Questions about the Second Move", which appeared in Cybertext Yearbook 2002-2003, and for the technicalities, "Hypertext in the Open Air: A Systemless Approach to Spatial Hypertext", (pdf) from the Third Workshop on Spatial Hypertext at Hypertext '03.


Stephanie Strickland and Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo
Vniverse - http://vniverse.com/
slippingglimpse - http://slippingglimpse.org/
Director; Flash

Stephanie Strickland is the author of V, which was one of the first works of literature to appear simultaneously both in print, V: WaveSon.nets/Losing L'una, Penguin, 2002, and on the Web, V: Vniverse. Her cyberpoem True North was published in print by the University of Notre Dame Press and as a work of literature on disk by Eastgate. True North was awarded the Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Salt Hill hypertext prize. V: WaveSon.nets/Losing L'una also received the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award.

Strickland's digital works include V: Vniverse, with Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo; Errand Upon Which We Came, with M.D. Coverley; Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot; and slippingglimpse, with Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo and Paul Ryan. Print scores for the Ballad and slippingglimpse appear in her book, Zone : Zero, which was published by Ahsahta in 2008. slippingglimpse was introduced at E-Poetry in Paris and featured at E-poetry in Barcelona. Her poetry has also been published/exhibited by The Paris Review, Grand Street, New American Writing, Fence, Black Clock, Zoland Poetry, Vlak, The Poetry Foundation, The Iowa Review Web, Cauldron & Net, Drunken Boat, Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, Word Circuits Gallery, Blue Moon, The New River, Furtherfield, and Poets for Living Waters.

Her essays about electronic literature appear in Leonardo Electronic Almanac, ebr, Isotope, and volumes from MIT Press and Intellect Press Ltd.

A member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Literature Organization, she edited the first volume of the Electronic Literature Collection with Kate Hayles, Nick Montfort, and Scott Rettberg. She also co-edited an issue of The Iowa Review Web.

Stephanie Strickland has taught hypermedia literature as part of experimental poetry at many colleges and universities, most recently in the PhD poetry program at the University of Utah. She lives in New York City.



Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo is a New York City-based digital artist and educator, whose innovative work utilizes incremental streams of words and/or photographs to create new media art and literature.

Her work has been exhibited and/or performed at the Modern Museum of Art; (Bogota) Hammer Museum; (UCLA) Exit Art Gallery, NY; CalArts; Rhode Island School of Design; Net Art Columbia; E-Poetry; and the 2008 Electronic Literature Organization Conference, among others. She an active member of Madarts, an arts collective based in Brooklyn, NY.

Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo has taught art and design courses in Colombia, South America; New York; Guatemala; Dominican Republic; and Japan.

She is currently Assistant Professor of Integrated Design in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.


Vniverse and slippingglimpse

1-Why did we use Director for Vniverse and Flash for slippingglimpse; or, what is the relationship of interface/content to the tools we used?

V: VNIVERSE: Our original thought was to use VRML, or to make an installation, to actually seem to move in a three-dimensional star space-to turn to look at different texts as you turn in space and trigger the stars. Perhaps, today, were we at Brown or someplace with a CAVE, it would be possible to work out such a piece for a CAVE.

But in fact in 2000, we used Macromedia Director because it was the most widely used multimedia authoring tool at the time, and it was what Cynthia was using in graduate school. The biggest problem was drawing the constellations, getting the lines/diagrams to be dynamically generated whenever anyone rolled over or clicked a star.

The biggest ongoing challenge is to make sure our projects are up-to-date and viewable as hardware and software changes at such a fast pace.

SLIPPINGGLIMPSE: The main reason for using Flash for slippingglimpse was so that we could dynamically animate and visually layer text on top of videos. Director can't do it. You can track motion and layer text on video in Processing, but Processing requires a Java applet on the viewer's machine that is not as widely adopted as the Flash player, and we wanted the project as accessible online as possible.

As well, Cynthia was interested in learning Flash. However we wished to do things that Flash barely supports, certainly not Flash 7. Fortunately Flash 8 came out just in time to do our project. There is a new bitmap API in version 8 that facilitated the motion capture script. We continued to have problems with how many pieces of text we can use at once. Doing multiple things at once and drawing them is something Flash 8 is still pretty clunky at. Therefore we had to break down the poem text and select something like 10 to 15 phrases ranging in length from 1 to 7 words to be dynamically chosen and drawn in the full-screen (water as reader) mode of the piece.


2-How has our use expanded new media practice?

V: VNIVERSE: To our knowledge it hasn't, but we believe the Vniverse interface is capable of being generalized. At a reading at U. California Santa Barbara, an audience member felt it was a widely usable data visualization. It combines diagrammatic structures with text in a pleasing way.

We feel the most interesting aspect of the programming is that the whole program happens in one frame, and therefore time is generated via coding and not a timeline. Sticking to one frame allowed us to dynamically generate the animations of text and of constellations, as opposing to predetermining and then animating them. We wanted to create a space that would allow infinite possibilities for interaction and not one where we had to predict how users would interact.

SLIPPINGGLIMPSE: We haven't seen any other video-based Flash pieces with dynamic layering of text elements. We have seen motion capture programming in performance and installation work, but not much online and rarely with text.


3-What is the relationship between the print work and e-work; or, what is the relationship of interface and content?

SLIPPINGGLIMPSE: There is an ecologic-philosophic practice of threeing (described in Paul Ryan's book, Video Mind, Earth Mind) that is related to the three-mode structure of slippingglimpse. In this digital poem, we aim to give equal weight to two kinds of language: to weight natural languages and human readers equally with non-human languages-and non-human readers. The computer is, of course, a non-human reader; but, in this piece, so is the water-and the water, as well, is a non-human text, a text affected by gravity, by chaotic attractors and catastrophic changes in state, patterning itself, resolving its interior motions into forms that continuously renew. These forms are called chreods.

In slippingglimpse, water (in the 10 ocean videos) is the first reader. We track the water reading by using motion capture coding that assigns the text to locations of movement in the water. The metaphor is that the water's motions provide a scanning, as our eyes scan text. This aspect is best read in the full-screen mode.

In turn, in the scroll-text mode, the poem-text tracks, or reads, image/capture technologies by sampling and recombining the words of visual artists who use digital techniques. It combines their words with Strickland's own-and with words from an old folktale, The Passion of the Flax, which explores the very oldest capture technologies, such as harvesting plants for food and flax for paper.

Completing this "round-robin" of reading, image-capture videography-and-video-editing read the water's flow pattern, reading for and enhancing these patterns to which dynamical systems return even as they continuously change. The high-resolution mode shows the chreod patterns best.

With respect to V: Vniverse and True North, versions of question 3 were posed in Jaishree K. Odin's Iowa Review Online interview http://www.uiowa.edu/~iareview/tirweb/feature/strickland/stricklandinterview.pdf


Sue Thomas
Hello World: travels in virtuality
Print book: http://www.rawnervebooks.co.uk/helloworld.html
Free download: http://www.rawnervebooks.co.uk/helloworlddownload.html
Blog/webview: http://travelsinvirtuality.typepad.com/helloworld/
LamdaMoo: telnet://lambda.moo.mud.org:8888 type 'co guest' to connect

Born and based in England, writer/new media writer Sue Thomas
founded the seminal trAce Online Writing Centre in 1995. Her online
writing projects include the The Noon Quilt, a collaboratively-created
new media "quilt" of art and writing and the online forum Writing and the
Digital Life
that explores digital technologies, writing, and lived
experience.

Published by Raw Nerve Books, Overlook, The Women's Press and Five
Leaves, among others, her print works include the cyberspace travelogue
Hello World: travels in virtuality; Correspondence; (short-listed
for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel) Water;
and Wild Women: Contemporary Short Stories By Women Celebrating Women.
She is currently writing The Wild Surmise, about relationships between
cyberspace and the natural world.

Sue Thomas is Professor of New Media in the Institute of Creative
Technologies and the Faculty of Humanities at De Montfort University.


Hello World: travels in virtuality

I fell into LambdaMOO in 1995 and knew immediately that it would change
my creative life for ever. Until then I had written text, but at Lambda
I could actually live in it, be made of it, and travel along it. I had no
idea what would happen as I began to learn how to be an artist of the MOO,
but I hung out in The Living Room ( @go #17 ) making a nuisance of myself
with Francesca da Rimini (Gashgirl) and other members of the Australian
feminist performance group VNS Matrix, and experimented with virtual presence
at a number of online events which exhorted participants to be ready to sit
by their computers for hours at a time ("Bring sandwiches" said an invitation
email) and playing around with our identities until everyone's heads were
spinning. I was writing all the time, but it wasn't a book, it was a life.
Entire days were spent typing, and I often turned on a capture file to log
every interaction, every conversation, every line of code. I built rooms,
emotions, and people. I morphed from one persona to another and swam around
in a mess of ego, mine and others, learning not just who I really was but
also who I really might be.

I wanted to write about LambdaMOO but I didn't know how. For several years
I tried to write a novel set there, but it was banal and embarrassing,
demanding enormous footnotes explaining to the reader exactly how it
really is possible to sit in a virtual hot-tub ( @go #388 ), have virtual
sex, or communicate telepathically. In the end I gave up - indeed, I gave
up writing altogether in despair at what seemed to be the limitations of
words. But it was only temporary. About a year later I had a revelation
when I realised there was no need to wrap the whole experience up into
fiction. What I needed to do was write about it as nonfiction. After all,
it was indeed very real, not just to me but to hundreds of others who
spent part of every day in text-based virtuality. Those imaginative
people at Raw Nerve Books picked it up and were enthusiastic about
providing a webview as well where I could add on all those extra
elements that only come to you after a book has gone to print, and
so in 2004, nine years after my first visit to LambdaMOO, Hello World:
travels in virtuality
was published in hard copy and I, at last,
felt I had got to grips with my virtual life and could finally relax.

@go #388
The Hot Tub
The hot tub is made of molded fiberglass: on three sides a bench will
seat five comfortably (and ten who are friendly), and on the fourth
side there is contoured couch for one luxurious soak. There are two
rubber mounted buttons here. You may push either the right or left
button. The rising sun puts a rosy glow on everything. The
underwater light is on. The bubbling jets are on.
You see thermometer and Hot Tub Bar here.
Aaaahhhh! The water is at that perfect
temperature where you can just lie in here forever.
Splash!

Materials
Hello World: travels in virtuality is made with object oriented
programming via the LambdaMOO Core; lots of post-its and small notebooks;
manuscripts created with A4 paper and inscribed by nice black pens
(medium tip) then typed up in Microsoft Word; ink, print and paper via
Raw Nerve Books; PDF downloads; Typepad blogging software, and the user's
imagination.

I am now working on The Wild Surmise, a study of nature and
cyberspace which aims to bring the virtual and the material even closer
together -- http://www.thewildsurmise.com


Eugenio Tisselli
MIDIPoet
http://motorhueso.net/midipeng/index.htm

Born in Mexico City, Eugenio Tisselli is a writer and programmer, whose work includes artists software, social technologies, and digital narratives. His installations, performances, software and text works have been featured in publications, festivals and exhibitions around the world, and he collaborates regularly with artist Antoni Abad at the mobile phone networking site http://megafone.net

Since 1999, when he wrote the first version of his MIDIPoet software, he has created a series of visual poetry performance works composed with sound, projected words, and visual images. Sometimes starting with a few words and building -- in conjunction with sound -- to the inclusion of graphic images, photographs, and arranged words; sometimes combining still phrases with moving words and performer actions, his work highlights the relationship of letters to words and groups of words, as well as the relationship of the performer to the words in ways that are important to an exploration of reading/viewing text in the development of new media literature.

Tisselli has been an associate researcher at Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris. He currently teaches at and is co-director of the Master in Digital Arts at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.

For his contribution to Authoring Software, he writes about the creation and uses of MIDIPoet software.

More information about Eugenio Tisselli's work can be found at http://www.motorhueso.net


MIDIPoet

Back in 1999, when I wrote the first version of MIDIPoet, software for the real-time manipulation of texts and images via MIDI was either expensive or very difficult to use. (and in some cases, both) So, my aim was to develop a software tool that would be powerful, easy to use, and that would allow me (and others) to compose and perform interactive pieces of visual poetry.

In its current version, (which was released in 2002) MIDIPoet consists of two applications: MIDIPoet Composer and MIDIPoet Player. As their names suggest, Composer contains a set of tools for creating MIDIPoet pieces, and Player performs them. The MIDIPoet environment has its own programming language, made up from relatively complex text commands. In order to make things easier, (and allow other people to approach the tool with realtively little pain) MIDIPoet Composer offers a visual way of creating MIDIPoet pieces, so there is no need to write code. MIDIPoet itself was written in a combination of C++ and Visual Basic, and only runs under Windows. It is available for free download at http://motorhueso.net/midipeng/index.htm

MIDIPoet has been used in different contexts: digital poetry performances, interactive installations and even VJ sessions. Of course, it offers very limited possibilities when compared to other current electronic literature authoring software; yet I find that MIDIPoet is interesting precisely because of its limitations. I believe that every tool potentially pre-determines the results of its usage, imprinting its recognizable marks onto the pieces created with it. I also find that there are very few tools oriented towards performative electronic literature. The fact that MIDIPoet can be controlled either by the computer's keyboard or almost any MIDI instrument makes it a very adequate tool for live presentations.


MIDIPoet performances

Here are some of my videos of my MIDIPoet performances:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhGHN3pnvps (Barcelona, 2008)

http://vimeo.com/8278370 (E-Poetry, Barcelona, 2009)

And finally, a poetry performance / concert by Christopher Funkhouser using MIDIPoet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9PkkqOzCf4 (ELO-AI, Brown University, 2010)



Noah Wardrip-Fruin
Screen: Cave Writing;
Role Playing Games

Newmedia writer and scholar Noah Wardrip-Fruin is a co-creator of Screen, a virtual reality narrative on the walls of a room-sized space. "Memory texts appear on the Cave's walls, surrounding the reader. Then words begin to come loose. The reader finds she can knock them back with her hand, and the experience becomes a kind of play - as well-known game mechanics are given new form through bodily interaction with text." he writes to describe this work in Screen (2002-present).

The author of four MIT Press books, including The New Media Reader; (2003 with Nick Montfort) and Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives; (2009, with Pat Harrigan) he is also a co-host of Grand Text Auto, a group blog about computer narrative, games, poetry, and art.

His work has been exhiited and/or publshed by the Guggenheim Museum; Sandra Gering Gallery; SIGGRAPH; Whitney Artport; Hypertext 2004; Boston Cyberarts Festival; Beall Center for Art + Technology, UC Irvine; Leonardo; and the Iowa Review Web among others.

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Screen

Probably my most interesting work, from this perspective, is Screen.

When we were moving the Brown Cave from the SGI/Irix machines to IBM/Linux machines, we knew we had to do major work to translate the piece. So we decided to start over from scratch, creating an approach to literary work in the Cave that became the basis for the Cave Writing software project that continues today.

Here's a SIGGRAPH sketch on the initial work: http://www.noahwf.com/texts/nwf-caveWriting.pdf

Here's the website with some information on the current effort: https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/display/wdm/cave+writing+resources

And, in terms of my writing, you might be interested in these sections from my forthcoming book that talk about the platforms used for story/game RPGs and how they shape the experience: http://grandtextauto.org/2008/02/05/ep-32-role-playing-games/

http://grandtextauto.org/2008/02/06/ep-33-an-example-star-wars-knights-of-the-old-republic/

Finally, yes, the Software Studies initiative is quite connected to these questions. We're hoping to have a meeting next year to discuss the platforms/software used by elit authors. I'm really looking forward to hearing more of what you find.


Joel Weishaus
The Way North: Dreamweaver; Photoshop
http://web.pdx.edu/~pdx00282/North/Intro.htm
Mirror site: http://www.cddc.vt.edu/host/weishaus/North/Intro.htm


Born in New York City, writer, critic, digital artist Joel Weishaus has lived and worked in the West -- the San Francisco Bay Area, Taos, Albuquerque -- for many years. He now makes his home in Portland, Oregon.

His writing and digital literary art have been exhibited and/or published by City Lights Books; North Atlantic Books; Albuquerque Museum; Stanford University Museum of Art; Adleburg Poetry Festival, Adleburg, England; Electronic Language International Festival, San Paulo, Brazil; and The 2008 Electronic Literature Organization Conference; among others.

Joel Weishaus has been a photography critic for Artspace: A Magazine of Contemporary Southwest Art, and an Adjunct Curator (Video Art) at the University of New Mexico Art Museum.

He is presently writing and distributing an online journal, The Gateless Gate, which is "a walk for the sake of walking about the rugged trails of existence-non-existence, switchbacking the sacred and profane."


The Way North

Dreamweaver is the central program I use for digital projects, an apt name for work that goes a-dreaming, and everything seems to end up there. I also use an old version of Photoshop, mainly for sizing photographs, and an array of smaller programs. It's not the technology that interests me, and certainly not the interrogation of code, but how language finds itself somewhere else, and sheds its limitations.

The Way North was originally titled "The Idea of North," as homage to an old CBC radio broadcast by a genius named Glenn Gould. I chose "The Way" over "The Idea" to indicate movement that's not only in the head, but kinesthetic too, actual walking.

The project's theme is climate change, the importance of which I suggest visual artists and poets haven't touched yet in any meaningful way. Focused on the folkways of the Inuit People, whose culture has been the hardest hit, their experience is one indicator of the future distress this planet is facing. A northerner by temperament, who exiled himself in a southwestern desert for 23 years, The Way North is also a celebration of finding my way home.

I call the genre of my digital work, Digital Literary Art, which is the dream of combining text and image begun during the Upper Paleolithic on cave walls and itinerant rocks, and realized here primarily with text: how to write it across and down a monitor; how to work it into a larger vision of itself. There are also photographs, some sound, and animations, with text boxes triggered by hidden links. In fact, all the links are hidden, my request being that the reader caress the page to see what opens up.

I am a first-generation digital literary artist. Having grown up in front of a typewriter, I was dragged to the computer, where I now comfortably live. For now at least, what holds the two paradigms together is the keyboard, whose basic layout remains the same. Like the land bridge that once spanned the Bering Strait, we have something solid over which fingers walk and minds leap, so far.


Nanette Wylde
The Qi Project, 2008
http://qiproject.net
Flash, Final Cut, Perl, CGI

Born in California, Nanette Wylde lives in Redwood City and Chico, California. Her language-centered work includes artists books, interactive net art, and audio-visual textual narrative.

Her work has been exhibited widely including Computers and Writing 2009, UC Davis; Olive Hyde Art Gallery, Fremont, CA; Purdue University; Los Angeles Center for Digital Art; The Portland Art Center; The Krause Center for Innovation Art Gallery; Euphrat Museum, Cupertino; The Lab, San Francisco; Rhonda Schaller Studio, New York; Telemar Cultural Center, Rio de Janeiro; Merced College Art Gallery; Works, San Jose; University of British Columbia, Canada; Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill; International Meeting of Experimental, Sound and Visual Poetry, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and SIGGRAPH.

Nanette Wylde is an Associate Professor, California State University, Chico, Department of Art and Art History.



The Qi Project

When I began working with interactive technologies in 1994 my software of choice was Director. Changes in both the software and OS X have made Director less workable for me. Some of my early projects created in Director became inoperable in OS X or technical changes were too big to remake them and maintain the original aesthetic of the project. This has made me a bit wary of overly specialized and system dependent software. Currently for interactive projects I primarily use Flash. I respond to its flexibility and stability (for now).

However, the technology I use is very dependent on the needs of the project. I still find myself working in web-based programming languages: HTML, Perl CGI scripts, and JavaScript. Although I am using Director to revive some of my earlier OS9 projects, I haven't begun a new project in Director for at least five years.

About The Qi Project

The Qi Project is an inquiry into the nature of humanity and what it means to be human at this moment in time. Qi is a Chinese word which literally means 'air' or 'breath.' It is considered to be the circulating life force. The Qi Project exists as (1) a gallery installation (2) a website (3) a process-based intervention. The gallery installation includes: two channel video, text and audience participation. The website: represents the interventions; includes elements in exhibition; and invites participation. The intervention is the process and residue of questioning: What does it mean to be human? What is humanity? This was done via postcards, email, telephone, website, and in front of a camcorder. The Project was launched at The Krause Center for Innovation Art Gallery in Los Altos Hills, California in February 2008. Continuing is the companion website.


About the Authoring Software Website

Authoring Software is a collection of information about new media authoring tools, statements by authors and software creators; and information about conferences, books, and programs organized by and for the electronic literature community. Authoring Software is a website-based learning environment for: teachers and students of new media writing who want to explore various authoring environments; new media writers and poets, who are interested in how their peers approach their work; and readers, who want to understand how new media writers and poets create their work.

The project currently contains documentation of work by new media writers, text artists, and story-tellers from all over the World, including New York, Chicago, Colorado, California, Oregon, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington State, Maryland, rural Ohio, rural Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, Spain, and Switzerland. From many countries, from rural and small town areas, as well as from urban and suburban areas, the many new media writers who are represented in this project are an indication of the importance of this field in fostering digital media and learning throughout the world.

Featured software includes commercial applications such as Flash and Dreamweaver; applications created for the hypertext and educational community such as Storyspace and Literatronica; and artist-developed software, such as Fox Harrell's GRIOT System, Snapdragon, created in Caitlin Fisher's AR Lab at York University, and Eugenio Tisselli's MidiPoet.

As a research tool, guide, and information resource for new media writers and creative writing teachers, Authoring Software highlights best practices and recommends appropriate tools to both veterans and new-comers to the field. Authoring Software's Editor in Chief is new media poet, writer, and editor, Judy Malloy.

Background

The Authoring Software project was begun in conjunction with the 2008 Electronic Literature Organization Conference in Vancouver, Washington. Participants in the 2008 Electronic Literature in Europe Conference in Bergen, Norway were also invited to contribute. The project was featured at the Computers and Writing 2009 Online Sessions, hosted by the University of California at Davis. In 2010 a News and New Books section was added, as well as separate pages for Software Applications.

New Media Writing

New media writing (also known as hypertext literature, electronic literature, digital literature, e-poetry, born-digital literature, net narrative, net art, or interactive literature) is computer-mediated writing that uses computer technologies to create new narrative forms which may be hypertextual, multi-pathed, nonlinear, exploratory, interactive, software generated, kinetic, performative, collaborative, installation-based, augmented reality, immersive, social media-based, and/or inherently visual. It may also be multimedia, utilizing combinations of image, sound, text and/or video.

The process of creating new media literature is complex, and there are many choices of paths. Authoring Software looks at the creation of new media art as a whole process, also interviewing software creators and including other information about applications software and new media writing, such as publications, conferences, and software details. And it looks at the relationship between interface and content in new media writing with a focus on how the innovative use of authoring tools and the creation of new authoring tools have expanded digital writing/hypertext writing/net narrative practice.


return to Authoring Software

About Judy Malloy

Judy Malloy is a new media poet, who has been working in the field of computer-mediated literature for 25 years. In addition to editor of one of the first online publications devoted to art and technology, Leonardo Electronic News, (that later became Leonardo Electronic Almanac) she has experience as a database programmer and technical information specialist. She was also a core member of the mid 1980's influential software on art discussions on Art Com Electronic Network, of the Arts Wire team that worked with technology transfer in the arts beginning in the early years of the public Internet, and of the 2012 Critical Code Studies Working Group. She is the editor of the MIT Press compendium, Women, Art & Technology, and her papers include "Creative Approaches to New Media" (in Education and Technology: Critical Perspectives and Possible Futures, Lanham MD, Rowman and Littlefield, 2007) She is the also author of Judy Malloy, "Authoring Systems", in Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media and Textuality, edited by Lorie Emerson, Marie-Laure Ryan, and Benjamin Robertson. Johns Hopkins University Press,in press, 2013

A pioneer on the Internet and in electronic literature, Malloy followed a vision of hypertextual narrative that she began in the 1970's with experimental artist books created in card catalog and electro-mechanical structures, and in 1986 she wrote and programmed the seminal hyperfiction Uncle Roger. In the ensuing years she created a series of innovative hypernarratives works published by Eastgate and on the Internet, including its name was Penelope and l0ve0ne, the first selection in the Eastgate Web Workshop. In 1993, she was invited to Xerox PARC where she worked in Computer Science Laboratory as the first artist in their artist-in-residence program. In 1994, she created one of the first arts websites, Making Art Online. (currently hosted on the website of the Walker Art Center)

As an arts writer, she has worked most notably as Editor of The New York Foundation for the Arts NYFA Current, (formerly Arts Wire Current)an Internet-based National journal on the arts and culture.

Her work has been exhibited and published internationally including the 2008 and 2010 Electronic Literature Conferences, San Francisco Art Institute, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, Sao Paulo Biennial, the Los Angeles Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston Cyberarts Festival, The Walker Art Center, Visual Studies Workshop, Environmental Film Festival Ithaca, NY, Eastgate Systems, E.P. Dutton, Tanam Press, Seal Press, MIT Press, The Iowa Review Web, and Blue Moon Review. Parts of her recent work Paths of Memory and Painting have been exhibited or presented at the Berkeley Center for New Media Roundtable, the E-Poetry Festival at the Center of Contempory Art in Barcelona, and the University of California Irvine, as well as short listed for the Prix poesie-media 2009, Biennale Internationale des poetes en Val de Marne. She is currently creating a new work, From Ireland with Letters.


For information about the Authoring Software project, email Judy Malloy at jmalloy@well.com


last update July 1, 2014













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Writers and Artists
Talk about Their Work
and the Software They
use to Create Their Work


Mark Amerika

Mark Bernstein
__Interview with Mark Bernstein

Bill Bly

Jay Bushman

J. R. Carpenter
__ The Broadside of a Yarn
__ Entre Ville
__ Chronicles of Pookie and JR
__ STRUTS

M.D. Coverley
__ Egypt: The Book of
Going Forth by Day

__ Tin Towns

Caitlin Fisher

Chris Funkhouser

Dene Grigar
__ 24-Hr. Micro-Elit
__ Fallow Field

Fox Harrell

William Harris

Megan Heyward

Adriene Jenik

Antoinette LaFarge

Deena Larsen
__ Marble Springs 3.0
__ The Pines at Walden Pond

Judy Malloy

Mark C. Marino

María Mencía

Nick Montfort
__Nick Montfort and
Stephanie Strickland
Sea and Spar Between

Judd Morrissey

Stuart Moulthrop
__ Interview with
Stuart Moulthrop

Karen O'Rourke

Regina Pinto

Andrew Plotkin

Sonya Rapoport:
__Interview with
Sonya Rapoport

Aaron Reed

Scott Rettberg

Silvia Stoyanova and Ben Johnston
The Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform

Stephanie Strickland
__Nick Montfort and Stephanie Strickland
Sea and Spar Between

Eugenio Tisselli

Dan Waber