Chat Transcript: February 4, 2001
Sunday February 4 (in trAce WebBoard)

21:00 London, 16:00 New York
Program chat--trAce New Media contest winner, Talan Memmott

Talk with Talan Memmott, the winner of the 1000 prize of the second trAce/Alt-X Competition. Lexia to Perplexia (in the Iowa Review Website) is innovative in its technology, in its writing and in its graphics. Spend some time browsing through this intriguing award-winning site then meet with Talan to find out more. The winning work is innovative in its technology, in its writing and in its graphics:

Related Links

Session Start: Sun Feb 04 20:39:07 2001

Topic is 'Meet Talan Memmott: a 20-minute interview followed by questions from the floor and discussion '

Helen Whitehead, Armele_Adams (armele), mez, Jeremy_Bushnell (jbushnell), Marjorie_Luesebrink, Sue, Shelley_Jackson, R_Adams, Chris_Wilson and Talan Memmott (talanM) have joined #trace

Helen says, "Hi Talan, we're just preparing to greet you!"

talanM says, "hold on... only half here... preparing... BRB.... :)"

mez fumbles a dream ridden hello:)

mez fingers the air, her headthorts beaming quickly thru the cerebrosphere...

mez says, "hey Helen:)

Helen says, "I am just flicking through Lexia to Perplexia again, something different every time."

mez inserts cheers, and hears a lilting bell whis][tle][per...

Helen says, "Hello Shelley! Glad you could make it today."

jbushnell says, "Is this chat going to be get transcribed somewhere? Or should I get a pen?"

Sue says, "Yes, please do get a pen!"

Helen giggles

Helen says, "Yes, there'll be a published log on both trAce and ELO."

Sue says, "Yes, I am logging it and I bet Helen is too - and Talan?"

Helen says, "One of them is bound to survive...."

jbushnell goes to get a pen

Shelley_Jackson says, "Hello! almost didn't make it."

R_Adams wanders back into the room with his coffee and says hello

talanM says, "Ok... now I am in the building..."

Helen offers sushi and canapes round

mez revolves, a spinning doorw][eight][ay, a wunderbarish crooning moving thru the l][ingual][ines

Shelley_Jackson says, "Shelley blows her nose, AGAIN."

Helen says, "A cold, Shelley?"

Shelley_Jackson says, "I am deeply involved with phlegm."

Helen says, "Deena is having problems connecting today."

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Ah, I hope she didn't have to go to Kinko's this time - they are probably ready to rent her a bed!"

mez picks an errant st][ring][ang of flesh and m][outh][elts...

Sue says, "Well, you can't escape the body even in cyberspace."

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "We shall try, tho."

Deena_Larsen has joined #trace

mez offers deena a handshake m.bided with the word "hello"

Loki93c_,Elizabeth_James (Elizabeth), and Chris_Wilson have joined #trace

Loki93c_ waves at all present and Chris adds his greetings has joined #trace

mez says, "helloah liz;0"

mez says, "LOKI!!!"

Loki93c_ says, "In the (virtual) flesh :-)))"

Sue says, "Hi Chris - glad you could come."

mez spins a s][ilicon][dance step, static mounds of hellos flipping drom her lips

Helen says, "OK, let's wait a couple more minutes."

Helen says, "While we're waiting for stragglers, Deena and I would like to organise this week's chat as follows: an introduction to Talan, and his work, and a few questions, and then we'll throw it open to the floor. How does that sound?"

talanM says, "Couple more minutes couple more cups o' coffee, quickly, followed by a red bull chaser..."

mez monitors][keyboards, N mouses][ her emo.ti][ng!][cons

mez ob.serves, ob.lates, and w][ait][eights

JeremyB is agreeable to Helen's plan

Helen b[l]ows to mez

armele refills her glass

mez filahs a circuitry note 2 helen, scribed with a packette tone][r][ of thx...

Sue says, "Talan - good :)

Helen says, "OK, perhaps we should start... "

Helen says, "I want to very warmly welcome Talan Memmott, winner of the 2nd trAce Alt-X new media competition trAce Alt-X new media Competition with Lexia to Perplexia."

talanM says, "Glad to be here!"

Helen says, "Talan is an artist & writer from San Francisco, edits the ejournal Beehive, and is also in the commercial web business."

Helen says, "He's younger than me but I won't say by how much :)"

Helen says, "So congratulations to Talan for his well-deserved win!"

Helen says, "trAce last spoke to you, Talan, in March last year about your work as web writer and editor, when we invented the immortal new description of web-specific art/lit as eb-sork. Today we'll focus a little more on the prizewinning piece Lexia to Perplexia. But first Talan, tell us a little about how you came to web-art, your background?"

talanM says, "Coming to web-art... well it is more of a merging of various practices I was already involved in..."

Helen says, "Art -- writing -- eperformance?

talanM says, "Painting, writing, and writing code, mixed with theory, and an unexplainable urge to do unfocused research in various areas..."

Helen says, "You have been something of a theorist as well, which shows in your work."

mez f][r][izz][on][es N ][william][burroughs in2 thought, x.][text][tracting.....

Helen says, "How did Lexia to Perplexia come to be? Did it evolve from previous work?"

talanM says, "Theory and fiction merge in my work, in Lexia to Perplexia... The piece is part of a larger group of works, which include Reasoned Metagoria, A Machicolated Body, Delivery Machine 01, and Delimited Meshings..."
Editor's note: These are linked from Talan's home page--which will be updated much more frequently than this archive ;).

Helen says, "So we have more delight to come?"

Helen says, "The criteria for this competition asked for innovative writing style, conceptual design unique to the medium and groundbreaking webdesign and navigation Lexia to Perplexia is much more than just text and image on a screen....a true hypermedia experience."

talanM says, "Delimited Meshings isn't out yet... But the others are all online... There is a new work, a next work -- Translucidity:here-there-elsewhere..."

Helen says, "Where will that be? or is it too soon to say....?"

talanM says, "Translucidity --- no date, location yet... still in the works..... delimited Meshings will be at Cauldron and the Net"

Helen says, "How long does it take you to produce a work like Lexia to Perplexia?"

talanM says, "Lexia to Perplexia took about 9 months to complete... but the work is ongoing with the advent of Netscape 6 -- as much of the code must be revisited..."

talanM says, "Well, I think Lexia to Perplexia takes an application approach in its formation... It is a package... and operates within itself, though the interaction of the user... it is an abstraction that cannot be abstracted from itself..."

Helen says, "Does it come to you as a whole or do you work on the elements separately? I know that you don't see a distinction between the elements -- even the click of the mouse is part of the "reading"."

Helen says, "Is that depressing or just a challenge?"

talanM says, "The formation of the work comes out of a lot of PRE:media(t)ation.... It is formed together, or things grow out of other things..."

talanM says, "Well, I got into writing for the ENDURANCE challenge... and proceeded to work on the same novel for 10 years..."

Helen says, "I liked Shelley's comment that "the reader's first pleasure will ... be ...visual" I find it a feast for the eyes, but there is more than just a text enhanced with images isn't there?"

talanM says, "Shelley's observations are accurate... in that the visuals, the interactions are used in a syntactic manner, as well as contributing to the self-narrativizing aspects of the work... It's all TEXT."

Helen says, "The images are text?"

Shelley_Jackson says, "Do you think you've "found your form" by synthesizing these elements in the way you have, you still write what you could call, uh, "pure" text?"

talanM says, "I include images in my definition of text... I've said elsewhere that I sort of live by the notion the world is text..."

Helen says, "It's more of an "appliance" or "operation" than a writing on a screen..."

Helen says, "The reader takes part in the work rather than reading it."

talanM says, "I do still write "flat" texts... But, there is something in being able to extend the textual operations to a visual, performative level which I find intriguing..."

Helen says, "But this innovative approach has consequences for readability, doesn't it?"

armele says, "I like the idea of 'flat' texts."

talanM says, "Yes, Helen -- an application... I am working on something else that goes into distinctions between Agent, Appliance and Apparatus -- but that is a longer term project..."

Helen says, "Are the montage, placement and structure also text?"

talanM says, "Yes --- MISE EN SCENE -- in the Artaudian sense...."
Editor's note: The Antonin Artaud site has a good list of his writings and biography.

Helen says, "Artaud?"

talanM says, "Yes... One influence upon my work -- hypermedia or other -- is "The Theater and its Double." I think this book should be further examined for relevance in hypermedia."
Editor's note: You can get Antonin Artaud's The Theater and its Double at Powell Books as well as other places, but I plugged Amazon the last time, so...

Sue says, "Talan, I have always been interested in the fact that you and many other web-artists have been chefs in your time! Can you say something about the way you combine images and text in relation to the way you combine recipes?"

talanM says, "I mean, text becomes environmental...."

Helen says, "So the theater has something to teach hypermedia writers?"

talanM says, "hmmmmmm.... From MISE EN SCENE to MISE EN PLACE...."

Shelley_Jackson says, "This pertains to something I've been puzzling over: how to keep the (live) hypertext reading from becoming (your word) flat."

Shelley_Jackson says, "Seems to me there must be better ways to implicate the live readers/spectators in the text."

Sue says, "Have you read Brenda Laurel's book on computers as theatre? Perhaps that is relevant here."
Editor's note: You can get a review of Brenda Laurel's Computer and Theater and see lots more reviews and other related books at Amazon (I know, I said I would plug others this time, but...)

Helen says, "But in including so much in the environment, it becomes difficult to read and sometimes even unreadable: as in the flashing text and superimpositions in Lexia to Perplexia exe.termination."

talanM says, "Not sure better ways but OTHER ways... More ways... Why not... exe.termination... the unreadability and functionality of the section is implied in the title to some degree...""

mez says, "Can we jump in yet?"

Helen says, "Yes, let's discuss this all of us."

M__B enters and says, "Good evening."

Helen says, "Hi M_B, we are discussing Talan's prizewinning Lexia to Perplexia and whether the mixing of elements in the hypermedia is like 1) recipes 2) theater 3) difficult to read."

mez says, "Shelley}} was going 2 say this is something I've been working on for a while now, engineering "flat" text into a live hypertextual x.perience..."

Sue says, "Nick Montfort is here - one of the runner up writers - and he can tell us about performing text, can't you Nick?"
Editor's note: Nick Monfort, William Gillespie, Dylan Meissner's The Ed Report is on the Shortlist of honorable mentions, which lists URLs and descriptions.

Nick_Montfort says, "Hi, I guess I find it interesting to pervert established formats, both in performance and in on-Web display. Hence a government-report-like document lends itself to a press-conference treatment. But I don't think that approach extends to every project."

mez says, "Sure Nick, agreed."

Helen says, "Talan's works are probably the least flat examples I have ever read."

armele says, "I am interested in the idea of mise en scene, subverting the accepted web scene."

Helen says, "The unreadability itself has meaning in the context of the text?"

mez says, "...Taking the word and x.tending 2 it a revamped meaning threshold..."

armele says, "The only way to move on."

Sue says, "It would be very possible I think for Talan's work to be interpreted by a contemporary dance group."

Sue says, "I would like to see that."

mez sees the network shiver, a static round of sets N rules written in2 irc[ellular[s

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Hey Joel, so sorry I missed your chat last week. The flu bug."
Editor's note: Margie is referring to the Joel Weishaus' Inside the Skull House, which was workshopped at OWEL in January. These workshops are not logged so we can concentrate on creating and critiquing. But you can check out further happenings and are welcome to join in--see our schedule.

Joel_Weishaus says, "Sorry I got here so late."

Sue says, "This leads me to ask - should we be working harder to integrate new media work with other artforms so it can be seen in other spaces?"

armele says, "Yes."

Helen says, "I wish I had been able to see the Incubation presentation of Lexia to Perplexia on three whiteboards."
Editor's note: Helen is referring to trAce's Incubation conference held July 10-13 2000 at Nottingham University.

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "The thing about breaking the rules is - what rules are we talking about? Print? Web? are there any?"

talanM says, "I am interested in that sort of trans-mediation as well Sue... as dance, as lecture, as hypertext..."


armele says, "There are implied rules, that are not necessarily unbreakable."

Sue says, "In my experience one of the problems is that webby people understand web and nonwebby people, frankly, do not - so what they try to convey as webby work is never accurate - we need a merging of understanding."

mez holds up her hands, m[onit.ore[arble keys g.lowing[with a soft buttered sound[

armele says, "But aren't arty webby people usually cross platform?"

Sue says, "armele, no they're not."

armele says, "All the geeks I know come from art background rather than techies."

Deena hands out spider webs to all

Joel_Weishaus says, "Maybe we're working for the next generation who grew up on the web?"

Sue says, "Joel, I think you may be right."

Helen says, "Joel, you certainly have a point."

Joel_Weishaus says, "And this is good, to think a generation ahead."

Helen says, "But some of the best web artists are, how can one put it delicately, not necessarily young?"

Joel_Weishaus says, "Yes Helen: we are a bridge."

Sue teehees at Helen

mez hands sue a template, con.struc.ted of cracked screens and ribboned marble veins, a scribe of m[edia new[eaning

Sue says, "Talan - is there much development here in San Francisco? After all, you are living at the cutting edge of tech art!"

Deena says, "I'd like to hear what people think about the dynamics of the web- are people changing more websites to deal with the dynamic code nature of the web?"

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Yes, and many of them aren't familiar with the old rules, and see their reification as new stuff, sometimes."

Sue says, "Someone pointed out to me at Incubation that most of the main speakers had grey hair!!!!!"

Joel_Weishaus says, "Or no hair."

Sue says, "Yes Joel - even no hair."

mez b.ridges the gap, buttons the codes, solv[ent[s the s[ilicon[trand....

Helen says, "But still, when non-webby people ask for websites, they think STATIC, magazines on the web."

mez Signs Taticile Actuals Till Identity Clicks [and links[

talanM says, "Some signs of support are starting to appear -- SFMOMA... but, in general, my work is invisible to local powers that be..."

Nick_Montfort says, "We're not really all just interested in numbers, are we -- writing Web bestsellers? I mean, we have readers or readerships we want to reach, it's not just 'as many people as possible.'"

Sue says, "Absolutely, Nick."

Joel_Weishaus says, "But Talan, is it a good sign when institutions begin to support an art?"

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Talan, your work may not be known in traditional circles, but perhaps that is because you aren't doing what they are, either."

Helen says, "Yet we think of California as leading-edge in so many things."

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Ha! loss of energy, for one."
Editor's note: This chat took place on the 21rst straight day of a power emergency/shortage in California.

Helen says, "Margie, yes, unfortunately I guess that's true."

Shelley_Jackson says, "There are all sorts of cross-platform communication problems. One of my complaints is that I am always having to explain my web projects to readers who seem unaware that there is a context in experimental writing, already, for the things I am doing."

Sue says, "Yes Shelley, absolutely. But that's a problem of experimental work, period.""

Shelley_Jackson says, "That long predates the web, I mean."

Nick_Montfort says, "Some of those people might be in museums, for some of us, and others might be sitting and reading Nabokov now."
Editor's note: Of cours, V
ladimir Nabokov now haunts the web at an appreciation site.

Helen says, "When we started on a project involving a museum exhibition, my friends said 'Oh good, something real for a change!'"

talanM says, "The support is a kind of erosion, the sign of a transition (perhaps generational) to the electrate.... I am certainly not against it... And, sometimes find it quite amusing when the Institutions are blind to the "real" work on the web..."

mez says, "Joel}} "I've written about this b4, I think when an institution begins a cohesive action to support an m.mergent genre then there is a distinct danger of a new and more restrictive canon b-in formed..."

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Yes, Sue, always."

armele says, "What constitutes 'real'?"

Sue says, "This is real :)"

Deena says, "What do people see as expectations on the web and how do these differ from experimental writing expectations?"

Joel_Weishaus says, "Also, Mez, they think it's not a threat to them."

mez says, "Sure Joel."

Helen says, "Would the exponents of "golden age of hypertext" recognise Talan's work as going beyond "hyper"Text."

Deena says, "Helen, I wonder about that. I think that we see lots of golden age elements in Talan's work: the montage, the linking and structure."

mez hears an echo, an erudite's s[l[ong[ing[, picked apart and lying die-sect[ion[ated

Sue says, "That's a good question, Helen."

armele says, "For me web work is more real than site based work as it can potentially reach more there.."

Sue says, "What do people think?"

talanM says, "Have they seen it..?"

Helen says, "We have certainly invited them to, Talan!

armele says, "The idea that something doesn't exist if no one sees it."

mez says, "It depends on yr definition helen, wot category of webart yr talking about..."

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Is the question whether or not web work is real? Is that it?"

Deena says, "armele, others, who are we trying to reach? and how does the web figure into this?"

armele says, "People who would enjoy work, who can access from home/work rather than traveling to a site."

Mike says, "I saw it but I got a few glitches on it."

Helen says, "When netscape 6 came along and so much work became unreadable and "lost" we felt it was not real, didn't we?"

mez says, "...I make [like my performance lines are here[, but Talan's work may be relegated 2 another aspect of wot we umbrella term new media/lectronic/digital art..."

Deena says, "Marjorie, what do we mean by real here? Is lost work real?"

Shelley_Jackson says, "This "real" question is freakin' me out."

Nick_Montfort says, "Whatever the real might be, you can always be phenomenological about it. If people see you work and they act differently, it changes their outlook on life, that's real. Whether you can touch the work or not doesn't matter much."

mez says, "How so, Shelley?"

Helen says, "mez, that was at the heart of the competition, what are we judging here? What do people call their "Art", and how do they describe themselves?"

Nick_Montfort says, "You work = your work."

Deena says, "Shelley, did you see a lot of expectations and play in the works for the contest?"

Shelley_Jackson says, "Deena, not sure what your question means. There was certainly a variety of projects."

Sue says, "It does seem that we often end up discussing 'what is real' and I wonder why we do that? I mean, we all know the answer."

Helen says, "Nick -- a great definition: if it touches people and changes something in them, then it is real "Art."

mez says, "Sure Helen, and that's an s.sue that is anxtremely m.portant 1, considering the genredirection that net/web art is now undergoing....

Deena says, "Nick, that is a great definition because it short circuits the temporality question." Joel_Weishaus says, "We make up reality as we go along."

armele says, "Is it bcos other see the net as 'unreal.' It's just a question of time..."

Deena hands out webbed watches to all

mez n.velops the text, a golden thread of reality unravelling in her arms...

Helen says, "Was Tracey Emin's unmade bed "real"? That was a major discussion too."

armele says, "You could touch it, (although not strictly allowed)."
Editor's note: Not to follow this intriguing other discussion, but apparently, some people did perform performance art on
Tracy Emin's unmade bed in the Tate Gallery in London 2000.

Helen says, "But it was just a bed, not art.. (so the comments went)."

armele says, "That's a whole other discussion, britart is a sham."

Helen says, "Ok, point taken, a different discussion."

Deena asks, "Is it the artifact or the experience that makes it real?"

Sue says, "I'd like to alert you to the fact that this log will be sent to a Wired journalist. Iin that context - what do you want her to know ? What are the most important things we want to say to Wired readers about the state of net art today?""

mez retrograde N gravels the p[innacle[ath...

Helen says, "I find it odd to have become an "Artist" because "writer" isn't a good enough description any more."

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Deena, I wasn't asking the question, I was asking if it WAS the question. The Web seems to me to be like any other performance venue, with an audience of some duration, a space to enact, and a time frame."

Deena says, "Marjorie, I guess I hadn't thought about the web as a performance venue. More of a communication venue ala the book."

Deena undergoes a painful paradigm shift.

Helen offers Deena a healing aromatic oil and ewonders if that's one of the insights for Wired.

armele says, "Bcos 'writing' has changed."

Joel_Weishaus says, "I called Talan a philosopher for our time, as I believe that the philosophy of a project is very important."

Sue says, "Joel - I think this is very important."

mez n.itializes, a text based cord surrounding text, an acuated wandering.....

Deena says, "Thanks Sue. MJ Rose (a Wired writer) is interested in the e-literature and e-artist aspects: How do we think these works differ from ebooks, and other kinds of works on the web?"

Helen says, "But there were MANY excellent descriptions of new medi art/writing. Personally I like Talan's rich.lit.: Hypertext : active text : web-specific writing : new media work : new media writing : net literature : Net Art : feminist hypermedia : poetry-multimedia installation : web integrated writing : moving poetry : storytelling : multimedia : hypertext poem : net-art-writing : Linguistic Aestheticism : journalism : new horizon breakthrough idea exposition : internet based narrative : : Possible Art : hyperfiction : Interactive Fiction : Hypertext Fiction : post-ultra modern digital art : public literature : Net-narrative : community art : net-essays : cyberpoetry : Digital Exploration : mutations :digital narrative : Net-specific hypermedia poetry : Hypermedia Literature : revolutionary web-specific writing : hypermedia poetry : interactive literature : randomly created web narrative : interactive poetry : Art : Proximism : Theater of Consciousness : Poetry : Confrontationalism : InterMedia Theater : Hyper-Essay : Informational Sculpture : hypermedia : digital literature : lit[arture : (these were not my inventions, but the ways the entrants to the New media Writing Comp described their work)."

Sue says, "But wait - all these new words put a lot of people off."

Deena says, "Helen, Sue, Shelley, I am so glad that you let the entrants describe themselves. What a wealth of different self reflections!"

Sue says, "Many web-based artists are writing about the way the web changes consciousness."

Deena says, "What is new media art/writing?"

talanM says, "Joel - can I use that :)"

armele says, "Was blake an artist or writer?"

Sue says, "Yes, Blake would have been very into the web, I'm sure."

Sue says, "I think of William Morris too - an artisan."

armele says, "Weird sue, me too!"

Sue says, "Armele - it's obvious really, isn't it?

Joel_Weishaus says, "Lots of projects aren't thought about long and deep enough BEFORE they're begun, like a novel is.."

mez says, " it's an @.tempt.ting 2 evoke a constructed reader/writer that is flavoured by technology..."

Deena says, "Mez, Talan, you both work so much with the idea of the media as an object, as something both reader and writer engage."

Sue says, "To make good web art to have to know the craft."

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Well, I think of a book as a performance. It takes longer, it has a different venue, and it has a different permanence, but it is yet a performance by the writer."

talanM says, "2 from the interview --- Nomolectic Electrature, Appliterature."

Joel_Weishaus says, "It's fascinating that no one really knows what to call their profession anymore!"

Sue says, "How can we be clearer when we try to communicate what we do?"

mez catches a grit of the past, a genre bound by power n packet driven cords, a sense of the static..

Joel_Weishaus asks, "Sue: Why do we need to be clear?"

Sue says, "Joel, we don't have to be clear, but it helps us help people to understand."

Joel_Weishaus says, "Clarity of purpose is for grant writing, not art."

Sue says, "Joel - do you really think so? hmm."

Joel_Weishaus says, "Yes, although it goes against my grain."

Sue says, "I am a novelist - if I'm not clear about what I'm writing, how can my reader ever understand it?"

JeremyB says, "Joel-- what about manifestos? Aren't they a sort of artistic statement of purpose?"

JeremyB says, "I like Kodwo Eshun's use of 'concept engineer' instead of 'writer,' although I suspect that doesn't help with Sue's issue..."
Editor's note: You can get Kondo Eshun's More Brilliant than the Sun at Interlink publishing.

talanM says, "We have to look at inferability in terms, open them up rather than close them down to a single definition..."

Deena asks, "How would the idea of web as medium work with the idea of web as performance venue?"

Sue says, "Well, I am very fond of 'imagineer' but that probably doesn't help either!"

mez commun[al[ N [repl[icates

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Spare me from being a concept provider, geez. It's more than that to write a greeting card poem."

Shelley_Jackson says, "There is the wee problem with multimedia that the media, to the extent you can tell them apart, don't all equally contribute to the work. What I loved about Talan's piece was that you COULDN'T tell them apart."

Helen says, "These things are all MUCH MORE than ebooks, which are merely written." Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Good point, Shelley. have you looked at the code on Lexia to Perplexia, incredible."

Helen says, "Talan, how do you see the interaction with the reader in your work? How do you expect the reader to respond in ways different from reading a book?"

mez says, "my prefered term is "netwurker"; it e.vo[cates[kes the idea of communicating/creating/x.pressing via the network, that the resultant work uses the tendrils of communication intrinsically..."

Deena asks, "How does the interaction with the reader differ with the different media?"

talanM says, "The book doesn't really touch Lexia.... Neither does the page really...."

armele says, "Sue, what you write may have multiple meanings."

Elizabeth says, "(I liked 'Poetry' Helen!)"

Joel_Weishaus says, "I don't mean the work, I mean who you are, what you do, how you define yourself, because this is always in flux."

mez [WO[man.ifests N di.jests[its all in good fun:)[

Sue says, "Yes armele, but pure stream of consciousness, in my humble opinion, is pretty boring."

Sue says, "Oh Joel - ok, we are talking at cross purposes here."

armele says, "it's difficult, has to be edited."

talanM says, "The User is engaged with an application that is telling the story of the user's engagement with the application...."

Deena says, "How do the rest of you see interactions with readers differing with different media?"


mez XXrosses, x.amining the burn point[allistic[s, revaluing the cross comm's worth

Sue says, "Joel - I agree that those kinds of definitions are best left to others, yes :)"

Helen says, "Yes, Talan, it is self-referential, so the narrative does not exist without the reader?"

Deena's mind whirls with the self-reflected vicious cycles here

Joel_Weishaus says, "Talan, yes. All writing is autobiography."

Deena says, "How does the application define itself?"

mez says, "I think it's dependent on the accessability quotient, the level the creator wants 2 m.plicate in the work itself, whether the meaning curve is set at a high or traditional lvl..."

Elizabeth says, "I was wondering though Talan whether you would ever also address a 'subject' that wasn't so tightly self-referential?"

Marna says, "I agree with you, Sue. Emotions are evoked by the specific. Semantic ambiguity is food for the head."

Deena says, "Yet, going back to Nick's definition of real where the reader is touched, maybe all work is about the user's/readers engagement with the application/book/performance."

Sue says, "Yes Marna."

talanM says, "Not autobiographical... It is an ontological game with the Internet as apparatus, the application as technology base, the applications content, and the user as inter-actor, in the operations of the conduit.... this is both the theory and operations of Lexia to Perplexia."

mez says, " I think[u[ge.ment is the key phrase here...."

mez says, "intr.Actor, as I say, Talan:)"

Helen says, "Yes, new media, hypermedia, whatever we call it, offers enhanced opportunities for engagement by the reader, compared with the traditional book."

Joel_Weishaus says, "Sounds like animism, Talan."

Deena says, "Yes, the user is the inter-actor. Is the application the outer or inner actor?"

mez says, "does the game m.phasis x.tend the meaning Talan? Does me...."

talanM says, "A Narcisystem...."

Helen says, "I like that.."

Deena says, "How does the web performance differ from other kinds of electronic performances? Do users bring different expectations of interaction and engagement--like rapid clicking and loading?"

Shelley_Jackson says, "mez, yes."

talanM says, "I think so mez... or that was certainly the intent...

mez sees play as the key, the c[l[ue-in point, the c[usp[urve....

Joel_Weishaus says, "So narcisystem stands for narcotic-system. And we are users?"

Deena hands out narcissus buds and self referential mirrors to all

Helen tops up the glasses to fortify the discussion

Helen says, "Talan has been a code-addict, and I suspect others here today are too."

Deena has a wild image of the applications and media as narcotics and runs screaming...

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "The game analogy fits, too, with sports, for example. A baseball game requires a certain amount of interaction--and when it is over, it is still real."

mez says, "I think if we can snag a intrActor's attn, in a way that seems 2 break apart predicted notions of meaning absorption without b-ing overtly threatening, then that's fantastic...a play lead in is wunderbar...."

talanM says, "Could...... But in Delimited Meshings it is Narcisys (narcissus).... which is a reiteration of the narcissus - echo theme in Lexia to Perplexia."

Shelley_Jackson says, "Extending our def. of reading to include all sorts of attentive behaviors."

Joel_Weishaus says, "The flower was a narcotic."

Deena says, "mez, this goes back to breaking apart traditional expectations. are there expectations of reading behavior that are specific to the web."

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Yes, Shelley, good idea. attention is golden."

Deena runs back for her herbal

Deena says, "Talan, how would you have written this differently for a "live performance"?"

mez says, "Deena}} n.deed, s.pecially given the his[her[story of the genre...that fragmented juxtaposed meaning filament, the additive infocurve that we use thru the click or link, the behaviour we display when using a browser/viewer all combines..."

Loss_Glazier has joined #trace and says, "greetings! mez says, "hey loss:)

Deena says, "Hi Loss, we are talking about the interactions and meaning in engaging the media in web based works."

Helen says, "May I, now that our official hour is up (though I doubt the conversation will die down!) thank Talan for his inspirational work, and his attendance here today."

Loss_Glazier says, "Sounds great!"

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Many thanks Talan, cheers. Hi Loss!"

Sue says, "Congrats Talan!"

JeremyB says, "Goodbye-- and congratulations."

Loss_Glazier says, "Congrats, Talan!"

Marna says, "Bye Talan! Congratulations!"

Deena says, "Yes, congrats Talan!"

Helen says, "Many congratulations Talan, on a prize well deserved, and I hope it brings you due notice ."

Sue says, "And congrats to Nick for a great runner up!

Deena passes out brain benders to all... and adds a bit of the narcisystem to them...

talanM says, "Well, the hypermedia piece could become source material for a somewhat abstract play, a short film, a dance... The text itself could be read from, in certain more tangible areas.... Or it could be delivered as a lecture,. or performance lecture.... wide open..."

Shelley_Jackson says, "Thanks Talan."

Sue says, "Talan I would like to see that."

Deena says, "Yes, going back, Talan, what is the main thing that audiences (such as wired) should know about your work?"

Joel_Weishaus says, "Yes, thanks Talan for your genius."

talanM says, "Thanks to all! :) I am happy Lexia to Perplexia made the grade ! :)"

Deena says, "Sue, Helen, Shelley, what is the main thing you would want to tell Wired readers about the contest?"

Loss_Glazier says, "Did Wired comment on Talan's work?"

Elizabeth says, "Hear hear Helen, and I have to go but love Lexia to Perplexia & am pleased to have seen a performance manifestation at Incubation too."

Deena says, "No, but they are going to do an article."

Loss_Glazier says, "That's great!

Helen says, "And may we thank Shelley for her hard work in judging what was a terrific field."

Deena claps and applauds all around

Helen hopes the cold gets better quickly, too

Deena says, "trAce/ELO will chat with frAme authors (Digital Labour, For Love or Money?) on February 18, 2001."

Shelley_Jackson says, "There was an incredible variety of work; imagine comparing a baseball game to a sculpture to a short story to someone yelling at you in the street."

Sue says, "Thanks Helen and Deena for the interview."

Shelley_Jackson says, "Which is the most intense experience? Which is best?"

Sue says, "And that was only the shortlist!" Helen would like to encourage everyone to read the works on the shortlist."

Deena imagines the depth and breadth and differences in engaging the reader and is thrilled."

Shelley_Jackson says, "But Talan's project bent my brain."

talanM says, "he he he."

Shelley_Jackson says, "And I liked that."

Sue says, "I expect you are getting the same breadth in the ELO Awards?"

Deena says, "There are still 11 days to enter the ELO contest!"

Marjorie_Luesebrink says, "Great session Deena, Helen, Sue--many thanks."

Shelley_Jackson says, "Talan, remind me to ask you something about something."

talanM says, "remind SJ about something about something.... ok..."

Deena passes out parting glasses

Deena says, "Whew! there is a lot of stuff to consider here about media and interaction and engagement!"

Helen says, "The log will be available on trAce (on the competition site ) as well as ELO."

Loss_Glazier says, "Sounds like a good session! I will read the transcript later."

Deena says, "It was fun. Loss, tell the rest of us (and the transcript) about the e-poetry conference."

Loss_Glazier says, "It's shaping up very nicely.A program should be posted within the next hours. And folks who submitted will be notified then, too. Judging by pre-registrants, the room we are using is nearly full!"

Deena says, "Loss, what is the URL for the E-poetry conference? and the dates?"

Loss_Glazier says, " and Buffalo, New York, April 19-21, 2001"

Deena says, "DAC is right after that April 26 -30 at Brown

Deena says, "We will be chatting with mez on April 1!"

Loss_Glazier says, "Yes, the following weekend."

Loss_Glazier says, "We actually thought it might work better that way so that international visitors could go to both."

Marna says, "Good planning."

Deena says, "Great . We are doing an additional 2 day DAC workshop event after DAC. You can see the workshop schedule for other events at"

Helen says, "Wish I could afford to come :("

Deena says, "Loss, I hope to come to both the e conference and DAC."

Loss_Glazier says, "But I can't believe E-Poetry 2001 is basically a sell-out!"

Deena says, "That is wonderful!

Loss_Glazier says, "I just had two people from Malaysia write me yesterday to ask if they could come!& will have folks from all over -- Australia, Europe, Latin America ..."

Deena says, "E poetry rules!

mez says, "OK, I'd better go start some work. thx all, and I'll c u all April 1rst [hopefully. thx for the chat:)"

Deena says, "We are chatting with mez and Rob Wittig on text(u)al uses on April 1rst, 2001 .

JeremyB says, "Time for me to get some work done... Thanks for the afternoon."

Deena says, "Thanks for coming, all of you!"

JeremyB says, "Hopefully I'll see some of you again-- this is my first time here."

Helen says, "do come again: next week we will be lighter and more social."

Deena says, "Right. the first and third sundays are program chats, and all others are light get togethers :)"

Deena hands round warm bottles of Guinness

Deena says, "We are probably going to shut down early today/tonight..."

Loss_Glazier says, "You mean the chat?"

Deena says, "Yes, I am on a borrowed computer (finally got in)"

Loss_Glazier says, "Just say when!"

Deena says, "And it is costing..."

Helen says, "I am going to go to bed, am very tired. Thanks for coming all. Thanks Deena for great teamwork!"

Deena says, "But send out the info on the conference, maybe we can do a DAC/epoetry chat!"

Helen says, "Bye folks."


Session Close: Sun Feb 05:02001


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