Chat Transcript: August 5, 2001

National Endowments for Humanities summer institute on electronic writing

Seminar, Literature in Transition: The Impact of Information Technologies, runs from July 2-August 10, 2001.

Come sit in on this class as we talk with participants about insights into new trends in literature, future possibilities, theoretical and practical developments, and more. The syllabus for the class is up at

Related Links

Start log: Sunday, August 5, 2001 2:16:26 pm CDT

Julianne arrives.

Deena says, "Hi Julianne! Are you Julianne Chatelain?"

Julianne says, "Hi Deena, yes I to listen and learn..."

Deena says, "Great! No one is here yet, but I expect folks soon."

Julianne says, "OK!"

Sue, Vika, Cleo, Jenny, Everdeen, Margaret arrive.

Deena hands round ice tea and cookies.

Deena says, "Hi all! We are warming up for our chat with Katherine Hayles and the NEH seminar on Literature in Transition"

Katherine arrives.

Deena hands round more ice tea and notebooks and pens for the class

Deena says, "Hi Katherine"

Julianne nods, waves at Sue and Katherine.

Deena flexes her fingers for better typing.

Sue says, "Hi Julianne - long time no see"

Julianne says, "Hi Sue, how is everything - now that I 'm back I hope to see you in a trAce chat too."

Sue says, "Deena is there a weblink for this chat?"

Deena shares a URL.

Sue says, "Thanks"

Helen arrives, like a train from Platform 9 and three-quarters.

Michele, Elizabeth, C&W_Guest , Taos_Guest quietly enter.

Cleo says, "Ah, you should have sent that with the chat announcement."

Deena says, "Yep, Cleo, I should have...sorry about that."

Dene arrives in her golden chariot drawn by two fiery dragons.

Deena says, "Hi all, welcome to the ELO/trAce chat with Katherine Hayles and her students in Literature in transition--Katherine, can you tell us a bit about the class first? What were the goals for the course? and what have you found?"

Deena hands round more ice creams and cool goodies.

Michele says, "Hi Deena."

Helen says, "Good evening/afternoon all."

Katherine says, "Deena, can you tell us the format?"

Deena says, "Yes, we can keep this pretty informal--I thought it would be nice to sit in on your class and find out what you have synthesized so far--what are the major insights you've seen?"

Katherine says, "We are a group of 16 people, from all around the country, gathered at UCLA for six weeks to read hypertext theory, literature, and pedagogy. It isn't really a class--more like a high-powered seminar."

Deena says, "Could the students in the course identify yourselves and tell us a bit about your backgrounds?"

Michele says, "Power bar seminar!"

Katherine says, "We ripped through hypertext theory, reading the likes of George Landow, Espen Aarseth, Bolter and Grusin. . .And we have read lots of creative hypertexts as well, including Deena's very own "Disappearing Rain" and also "Glide," "Lexia to Perplexia," and lots of others."

Julianne waves at a URL of the fascinating syllabus here:

Michele says, "Ooh, waving syllabi"

Jenny laughs

Taos_Guest says, "Vika is Del Doughty, who comes from Huntington College in Indiana.""

Vika says, "Hello, Del! Nice to 'see' you again."

Katherine says, "We have also talked about the expansion of hypertext beyond the link/lexia pattern. And here's something that may interest you, Deena: Del Doughty and Will Gardner have been giving us extensive information about the Japanese communal poetic form of Renga, showing its similarities to hypertext."

Katherine says, "Del, do you want to comment on that?"

Taos_Guest says, "Okay, then. Renga: it's linked verse--linked haiku and haiku-like verses, to be more specific. It's a very communal kind of poetry. A group of three or four poets will gather, one will begin with an opening verse (originally called a 'hokku'), then the second poet will "Answer" the first with a short verse that completes the hokku. Then it's the third poet's turn, and s/he completes the second poet's verse, being careful not to continue any kind of narrative from the first poet's verse. This continues for a predetermined number of verses. And that's generally it, I think, although there are lots of rules and subtleties. It can get complex. Maybe Will can add more."

Sue says, "Interesting!"

Deena says, "There are some great haiku community sites with linked Renga... Paul Conneally's Charnwood Arts project, Haikumania , links rens. New Sun Planet is a themed ren which uses hyperlinks to link writing and images. Photo Haiku provides photos and writers contribute their haikus based on the photos and the haikus already there."

Deena says, "Taos, how do you see the communities in renga comparing with collaborative writing in electronic media?"

C&W_Guest says, "Thanks, Dell, for the renga blurb. Helen, any Japanese writers part of your project? (from Will)"

Deena says, "There has now been over a decade on theory--for hypertext--are we seeing any trends and differences in theory now than theory in the 1980's and 90s?"

Taos_Guest says, "I should mention, Katherine, that others in the seminar may be under the impression that we were to start at 3 p.m. today. I was."

Katherine says, "Oh, yes, it seems to me that hypertext theory is moving away from print as its model and exploring more about what it means to write in digital media."

Deena rechecks the syllabus--it says 1-3pm Cal time..but ahh well...

Taos_Guest says, "Yes, I 'd be glad to comment, Katherine. But let me ask--why does everything I type appear twice in my window?""

Deena says, "Taos--the system is mirroring what you say on your screen, but we only see it once..." Deena thinks the system is too wrapped up in self -identities.

Katherine says, "The syllabus is largely American, but one of our assignments (added as we went along) was also to look at the "Jumpin' at the Diner" and "Dinner Party" sites, which have many European works as well. And we are always open to looking at new things too--suggestions are welcome!"

Deena says, "Taos--what insights have you gained from the theory and the shift in theory from print to modular?"

Helen says, "It's rather American that syllabus -- don't you count hypertexts by Brits and Australians, to name just two alternative countries?"

Deena says, "Helen, do you have any continental suggestions for Katherine's syllabus?"

Helen says, "Give me a little time .... and I 'll see! There's so much good stuff coming out new..."

Katherine says, "I'm rabidly interested in good new stuff! More, more!"

Deena hands round tea and cookies and invites others to ask questions on the syllabus, theory, hypertext, Renga, and communities-

Deena says, "Anyone, any good suggestions?"

Helen says, "try Fractured at And you can add Peter Howard, Diane Caney and Melinda Rackham to the
list of non-American new media writers. :)"

Deena says, "I love Peter Howard's Rainbow Factory, myself--such a neat use for flash and storytelling in visuals..."

Michele says, "Ooh, virtual rabid"

Michael Shumate arrives.

Dene says, "Deena, would you comment on the development of your work, from early hypertext to the present? We have been talking a lot in the seminar about this subject in relation to all authors."

Deena says, "Sure, Dene... I have come from a fascination with connections as meaning in themselves (Marble Springs ) to a fascination with structure as meaning (Disappearing Rain) and now, with my latest with Geoffrey Gatza e:electron and other flash stuff to working with motion as meaning...As well as totally fractured conversations.."

Sue says, "Katherine I 'd like to ask about the students - are they all at a similar level of understanding and skills or are you finding many differences between them?"

Katherine says, "Of course there are differences in background among our participants. But by and large this is a very hip group, with some very advanced folks in it, both in terms of theory and practice."

Sue says, "That's interesting - we often find a wide range of skills and it often takes a while to get everyone on the same page - which is fine and always interesting!"

Deena says, "Katherine, Dene, and students--have you found the diversity in experience helpful in seeing these works in new lights?"

Dene says, "In what way do you mean diversity?"

Deena says, "Dene, diversity in levels of experience with electronic writing, levels of programming, etc.."

Katherine says, "It's interesting to compare where folks are now with similar seminars I directed in 1995 and 1998. Each time a quantum leap in knowledge and skills. We have begun learning the basics of C++ with this group, using the Borland C++ Builder."

Deena says, " guys are learning c++ to code hypertexts and electronic meaning?"

Dene says, "I think it helps to have a familiarity with the medium to understand its processes, yeah:)"

Katherine says, "Yes, the idea is to learn how to take control of the Windows environment for both text and image. We have done a few little sample programs, but it opens the door to more."

Deena says, "Has learning to take this control led to sub-versions of this control? of the windows environment?"

Julianne thrills at the idea of taking control of the environment, leaping over tool problems

Deena says, "Yes, did you discuss how tools directly shape the works you are looking at?"

Taos_Guest says, "Diversity is always a blessing. In this group, I 've especially enjoyed hearing from Michele White. We don't have an art history prof at my college.""

Deena says, "Art backgrounds are really key. Have you looked at Reiner Strasser's work as he combines his knowledge of art and art history to electronic media?"

Katherine says, "We did look at one piece by Reiner, but perhaps not this one--can you give us a citation?"

Deena says, "Actually, I was thinking more in general-- but Water~water~water, a "transatlantic collaboration between Christy Sheffield Sanford, Reiner Strasser, & Bodies of Water," really merges art and text..

Michele says, "Thanks Del!"

Katherine says, "Well, C++ Builder acts as an interface between a "Whizzy Wig" what you see is what you get interface and the much more complex APCX Windows code."

Deena says, "I think the different backgrounds would be key to gaining insights into some of these works..."

Taos_Guest says, "I come at hypertext and multimedia from my little literary world, and unless I 'm prompted to think about this stuff in visual terms, I miss quite a bit of what's going on."

Sue says, "Taos that's interesting - have you found a divide between the text based thinkers and the visual thinkers?"

Katherine says, "We do have different backgrounds among our group, in the sense that some are theorists, some are practitioners, some are poets and scholars--all add to the richness of the experience."

C&W_Guest says, "It's also been interesting to have people who have experience with creative writing and teaching writing"

Michele says, "Do you think there is one "Creative writing community?" Couldn't we speak about MOOing or graphical chats under those terms?"

Helen says, "Can you give us a background of how this seminar came about and how do you choose the attendees?"

Sue says, "Michele I don't think there can ever be just one writing community"

Katherine says, "Definitely a divide between the visually inclined and the ttextually inclined--and one reminds the other of what one doesn't see/read/hear all the time."

Katherine says, "Like Michele, for example--can you expand on your comment about graphical chats?"

Sue says, "We have had some interesting experiences with poets brought to visuals and artists brought to texts - it intrigues me how they move into the 'other' world."

Michele says, "I don't see myself as exploring the visual solely."

Katherine says, "Of course not, but I thought you might say something about visual vs. nonvisual chats. . . "

Historical Guest arrives

Deena says, "Hi Historical--we are branching on many discussions, but I'd like to focus on Katherine Hayles NEH course itself--how it came about and how it is working?"

Michele says, "Well, graphical chats have a form of "Creative writing" in the way that they design and share avatars for each other."

Deena says, "Are there any specific examples from the course of people seeing works in new ways, thanks to the visual/textual or theoretical/practical distinctions?"

Taos_Guest says, "In response to Deena's question, the first thing that comes to mind is Lexia to Perplexia."

Katherine says, "I have been working with a print designers on a new book and we have been discussing lots of strategies for how visual and word can interact. . ."

C&W_Guest says, "With the textual elements in so much contemporary art, it really doesn't seem like such a leap to me for people to be combining these.--Will"

Michele says, "It might be more appropriate to call it a "Painting community" but it seems to me the reading of such representations suggests literary conventions."

"Deena says, "Electronic media is merging the visual and getting people together with these different backgrounds would be really intriguing..."

Sue says, "Can I ask a question about that? "As a text person,my graphics are useless"

Dene says, "That is where collaboration is useful, Sue"

Sue says, "This means - perhaps - that I will always need a collaborator in order to make good sites"

Historical_Guest says, "I hear you, Sue"

Sue says, "But what if I don't want to collaborate?

Timid Guest arrives.

Deena says, "Hi Timid Guest, we are talking about collaboration and visual/textual elements in electronic writing with Katherine Hayles and her students in Literature in Transition"

Sue says, "I think people worry about that"

Vika says, "Same here, Sue."

Dene says, "Yes, I am rethinking the way I approach literature. Particularly in the fall.""

Julianne says, "Sue then we have to make the tools better (back to tools again)."

Katherine says, "It seems that she prefers situations where the visuals say something that the text could not and vice versa. . ."

Katherine says, "The idea that some concepts are best conveyed through words, others through visuals."

Dene says, "Why, Sue?"

Sue says, "Why don't they want to? lots of reasons, I guess. Many artists/writers prefer to work alone, don't they?"

Deena says, "Taos, how did people see Talan Memmott's Lexia to Perplexia in different ways?"

Taos_Guest says, "Lexia to Perplexia wore me out when I tried reading it. It wasn't until I began understand the text as an image that I began to "Get it." Then I was able to go back and read bits and pieces. It hasn't cohered yet for me, but it's coming together."

Vika says, "It's not always a matter of desire - or lack thereof - to collaborate; at times there's an inability to collaborate due to external circumstances."

Sue says, "Vika, good point"

Dene says, "Yes, but when it comes to elaborate design and programming work, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to work alone."

Cleo says, "A theorist at MIT [I think] posits that after thousands of years spent evolving into a language oriented race, that via TV, the Web, etc., we no longer read, but are de-volving into a non-verbally oriented race once again - communicating via images, signs, etc."

Dene says, "That was Bolter's suggestion in Writing Space. The second orality argument."

Editor's Note: Jay David Bolter

Deena says, "So this is best seen as word as image.." Deena thinks about Lexia's code language...and mez's code language verging into imagery...

Editor's Note: Mez' data][h!][bleeding t.ex][e][ts were on the shortlist for the ELO fiction award

Katherine says, "I think it's nonsense to say we don't read. We are compulsive readers of everything--commercials, cereal boxes, etc."

Sue says, "I agree Katherine - indeed the web has forced people to read more"

Vika says, "Guess we'd better start on our re-education as Renaissance people. Katherine's seminar seems like a great venue for that, bringing together people with such different backgrounds."

Helen says, "I certainly don't think text is dead -- but the ways in which it can be enhanced are now myriad."

Deena says, "Electronic media has had a short history, but so far, what trends did the class see?"

Katherine says, "Maybe it's more accurate to say that the ways in which we read are changing--for frequent users of the Web, perhaps, becoming more impatient, wanting to read smaller blocks and move on."

Michele says, "I think text disappears in those settings but still actually structures our experience."

Deena says, "Are we converging on texts in new ways?"

Dene says, "Immediacy:)"

Michele says, "There is a lot of writing to read on TV, what about the news, a car ad, or the weather channel."

Deena says, "Michele, how does text structure our experience if the text itself has disappeared? Any examples?"

Katherine says, "It's a really interesting idea to think of text structuring our experience of how we read visual materials--I would also say the reverse is true. Witness "House of Leaves," which among other things uses visual and typographical design to break up the left/right and top/bottom patterns of reading."

Michele says, "I mean that we think the experience is visual but information is imparted by texts."

Historical_Guest says, "I think Katherine's right about readers' changing "

Dene says, "Text is transparent, Michele?"

Michele says, "Absolutely Katherine."

Julianne says, "Katherine & seminar folks, speaking of what people 'want to read' - have the teachers amongst you swapped ideas of how to get more readers to try the demanding stuff (like the works in your syllabus), and what kind of readers should we be reaching out to."

Dene says, "New teachers, public schools and university folks."

Julianne says, "Ah!"

Cleo says, "Come on though - if you query the average surfer, you will find that they look at things a lot more than they read them. many attest to never reading hypertext thoroughly, but just experiencing it visually/interactively"

Deena says, "If theory has gone from print based to electronic based, do we see any new insights into the way we write--the tools, the collaboration, the becoming jacks-of-all-skills?"

Sue says, "Deena I think the jacks-of-all-skills is a dangerous notion - it leads to a dilution"

Deena passes round dangerous jacks-of-all-skills as handy household and electronic writing help...

Michele says, "Snackies!"

Michele says, "Well, in film we rarely think of the important part that sound plays in structuring the narrative. However, turn off the sound and try to figure out what is happening."

C&W_Guest says, "Will here-- as a student & teacher of Japanese literature it strikes me that the Edo period (1600-1867) was a time when there was an extremely complex & advanced textual culture, and also a very heady visual culture, so I don't like the idea of it being an either/or proposition. . ."

Sue says, "Will, can you say how the two interacted?"

Katherine says, "I think one of the insights coming out of media-specific analysis (as I call it--analysis that treats electronic text as coded documents in coded media) is to see that there are always multiple languages cooperating in the same spaces--as in "Lexia to Perplexia" where English gets infected by code and also code by English."

Deena says, "Katherine, are there more than just languages cooperating here? We have touched on visual a bit, but I am also thinking about time-based animation, sound, etc..."

Historical_Guest says, "About changing first year students can now kludge together a pretty sophisticated web page, visually (albeit with canned elements). But they reject works which blur the lines between text and image."

>> Timid_Guest is now known as Aethers.

Michael Denner arrives.

Deena says, "Hi Michael, we are talking about language and vision colliding in electronic media with students in the NEH seminar Literature in Transition"

Katherine says, "One of the ways that complex literature gets disseminated, of course, is through university literature classes. So I 'm all for teaching hypertext in, say, the American literature curriculum."

Katherine says, "By languages, I also meant coding languages, which ultimately control sound, animation, etc."

Sue says, "Historical - why do they do that?"

C&W_Guest says, "Sue, they interacted in many ways, including complex illustrated books, and cross fertilizations in the theoretical realm. For example the idea of mitate, or parodic comparison, which migrated from haiku poetics to woodblock prints. A number of major popular authors were also illustrators/printmakers and vice versa. And of course the calligraphy was a major component of both the visual and textual."

Julianne hides her battered copy of Tale of Genji under a cushion.

Cleo says, "Can you be more specific about what you mean by "Blur the lines?""

Deena says, "So manipulating the code and the windows where the text is served is part of the language...So lines are blurred not only between vision and text but between medium served on and the work itself?"" "

Taos_Guest says, "Julianne--As a teacher, I 'll probably try using "Sand and Soot"; it won some awards as a print poem, then it migrated to the computer, and raises a lot of issues about how to read, how sequence is affective, and so on."

Julianne says, "Thanks Taos_Guest that's a great idea - to take the students along the path the work traveled...."

Katherine says, "I am interested in the idea that your students balk at text/image hybrids, because that seems to be where electronic literature is going, big time. Why don't they like it?"

Deena says, "Katherine, did you see any balking in this course about blurred lines? Did you discuss issues in archiving, identity, etc that these blurred lines brings?"

Katherine says, "Absolute the line is blurred between medium and text. That's a crucial point that critics are only beginning to understand."

Michele says, "I have an article that describes the ways that textual chat becomes visual through programming conventions and the ways that users describe themselves."

Dene says, "By whom, Michele?"

Deena says, "Part of your syllabus was showing the rare art books. Why did you do this, and did it help show relationships between text and image?"

Michele says, "I think this visual/textual dichotomy is distracting, although of course we all do it..."

Michele says, "Sorry, I wrote it."
Editor's Note: This refers to Michele White, "Visual Pleasure in Textual Places: Gazing in Multi-user Object Orientated Worlds," _Information, Communication and Society_ 2, 4 (Winter 1999). Information about the issue and an abstract are available at

Katherine says, "Personally, my students like hybrid texts. I 'm sure it depends on how the material is presented, the student population, and which works are chosen. But I will say that young people now are so visually sophisticated in their ability to read complex visual images that the material has to be good to hold their interest."

Deena says, "How will this understanding of the blur between media and text affect theory and new works?"

Katherine says, ""

Julianne thinks Katherine's point about code being text (or them infecting one another in certain works) is very apropos for what's going on in the courts - arguments about whether code is "Protected speech" -

Deena passes round new glasses for all to see each other reflected in imagery

Dene says, "I have been thinking that character will change drastically."

Katherine says, "Deena, we looked at Artist books to see how this genre of print literature was creating hypertext strategies in print."

Dene says, "Particularly in VR lit environments."

Historical_Guest says, "Why do they reject blurred lines? I dunno...they're a TV-fed, ergo graphically oriented bunch...but they like linear rose...insofar as they can process text, they want pure logos."

Deena says, "Wes, what is a pure logo? How can people draw lines between these areas, let along balk at crossing them?"

Everdeen says, "Logos=word"

Historical_Guest says, "That's what I 'm trying to puzzle out. They don't reject Sven Birkerts privileging of text, for instance; they like it. But the change he decries applies, for better or worse, quite well to them."

Michele says, "In the work of Jodi and some other net artists, the underlying code is also a form of visual language."

Taos_Guest says, "The day we looked at artist books I wasn't thinking visual/textual. I was thinking that the writers whose books are in Borders are not the great writers I thought they were. Writers who make artists' books and think of the materiality of the book as an interface are great writers."

Deena says, "Katherine, seminar students, what strategies do you see in hypertext coming from art book, art history, and other traditions?"

Katherine says, "Lots of wonderful material there that is hardly ever mentioned in discussions of hypertext, but which is really relevant to the discussion."

Historical_Guest says, "BTW hi Katherine, Deena...Wes Chapman here..."

Deena says, "So we have the materiality of the book and the materiality of the computer to consider--I begin to see why programming in C++ is vital to manipulate that materiality..."

Julianne says, "Yes, I am a big fan of The Humument, how did that go over in the seminar?"

Katherine says, "The Humument was one of the books we discussed, and as usual, it won a following immediately."

Julianne says, "Great..."

Historical_Guest says, "Pardon my ignorance, what's The Humument?"

Julianne says, "A book by Tom Phillips in which he painted over (and found a new story in) a Victorian novel, simply by subtracting..."

Sue says, "He bought old books and wrote all over them, drew on them, blanked out words - all kinds of things. He did all the things you're not supposed to do to books :)"

Katherine says, "Wes, it's a wonderful artist book by John Phillips that "Remediates" a Victorian novel by William Mallock originally entitled "A Human Document." Phillips takes each page and makes a painting out it, sometimes with the original text partially visible, sometimes not, creating a complex interplay between his narrative and Mallock's--great stuff. . ."

Deena says, "Hmmm...somewhat like John Cayley's North'rs?"

Julianne says, "Well, not simply by subtracting. Has to be experienced I guess, sorry"

Deena says, "So the as he changed the material of the books, he changed the story..."

Sue says, "And the results were intriguing"

Historical_Guest says, "Thanks"

Taos_Guest says, "The art book that made the biggest impact on me was Susan King's *Treading the Maze.* What struck me was that she did not entirely abandon linearity. I am tired of people woo-hooing about hypertext as the end of linearity. Some lines are oppressive, true (I'm a big fan of Grace Paley's wonderful 1973 short story, ' A Conversation with my Father') but some lines are beautiful, too.""

Julianne says, "I guess I 'll have to read Treading the Maze - thanks Taos!"

Deena says, "Taos, what linearity did you see in the hypertext works?"

Michele says, "You know, it would also be interesting to consider how/if at all the MOO interface has shifted our communication strategies."

Deena says, ""Michele, how do you think it has changed our communication strategies?"

Michele says, "I mean instead of webct"

Julianne thinks Michele has a point about the MOO, and wants to read Michele's article about chat become virtual. Is there a URL?

Michele says, "No, but it is available in the journal "Information, Communication, and Society." It also just came out in an Alison Adams edited anthology called "Virtual Gender.""

Michele says, "But I do think MOOing can create new interpatterned forms of group thinking."

Michele says, "But don't we still use terms like "Look" in order to experience characters."

Michele says, "You could also email me and I will send you a copy when I get "Home.""

Deena says, "Yes, Michele, there are lots of graphical avatar based chats...My old computer won't go there, but I 'd like to try..."

Deena says, "Is the death of linearity more prevalent in early ht theory and crit?"

Julianne says, "Oooh not linearity - let's not go there"

Taos_Guest says, "Deena, which hypertext works? They're all different.""

Katherine says, "I agree there is linearity in a lot of electronic hypertext; for example, the opening narrative in Diana Slattery's "Glide" is entirely linear."

Deena says, "Are there any examples of a completely non-linear ht? I can't think of one...What do we mean by linear and nonlinear anymore?"

Jenny [to Michele]: I agree with you, and I wonder how the shift to a graphical interface for the MOO will affect communication and community...

Katherine says, "Well, I would say that "Reagan Library" comes close."

Sue says, "Well years ago I made a revolving text! But that's been done a million times I 'm sure"

Taos_Guest says, "Good question, Deena. Those terms--linear/non or multi-linear--have become puzzling to me, too.""

Sue says, "And revolving things are also linear of course"

Michele says, "Yes Jenny, I have been thinking about that."

C&W_Guest says, "Michael's been putting together a site on Russian poetry that I for one am looking forward to seeing next week. Michael, can you say anything about your incorporation of visual images on the site (we've been talking about the perceived tensions between visual & textual). --Will"

Deena says, "Michael, what is the URL for that site?"

Michael Denner says, "Well, right now honestly I 'm multitasking trying to fix something I screwed in the site." The site's URL is"

Deena says, "Right, even Reagan's Library has a linear "Line of sight to follow---"

Helen says, "A circle is NOT a line in topographical terms"

Katherine says, "I think Aarseth's discussion of this helps to clarify--also Janet Murray's distinction between time of writing, time of reading, and the manifold of all possible readings as all lines or trajectories to be followed."

Taos_Guest says, "I think they're basically ideological terms. When I say I don't think we should abandon linearity in narrative, I feel like I also need to reassure people that I am not nor have I ever been a Nazi.""

Deena hands round buttons that assure everyone that __________ has not been nor ever will be a ____

Katherine says, "But narratives have evolved as they have for a reason; there's a case to be made that narrative has survived and flourished because it performs certain functions crucial in an evolutionary sense. I don't think it is going away anytime soon, just becoming more complicated."

Taos_Guest says, "Right on, Katherine.""

Deena says, "In the syllabus, you talk about first and second generation hypertexts--do you see patterns in the way that narratives are becoming more complicated?"

C&W_Guest says, "Will here. Katherine, what do you mean by in an evolutionary sense?"

Aethers has disconnected. The housekeeper arrives to remove Aethers.

Helen says, "That was the author of Fractured who just left -- a coincidence that he arrived just as I recommended his piece to you!"

Michele says, "I still wonder how theories about reading texts can and can't be applied to the "Visual." How does a viewer read a painting differently than a book. can we talk about linear vs. non-linear readings. What about Barthes' Pleasure of the Text...?"

Historical_Guest says, "Yeah, I believe that evolutionary line...but is linearity crucial to what narrative does for the species? Cause and effect, I 'd say, sure...but does that imply linearity?"

Taos_Guest says, "Historical_Guest, those are big questions. Who could know what narrative does for the species?""

Deena watches people come and go as connections flicker talking of ...

elizabeth hangs onto the furniture in the attempt to stay put ...

Michele nails down elizabeth

elizabeth says, "Thanks Michele (ouch!)"

Michele says, "Oh, a little virtual pain between characters..."

elizabeth smiles at Michele

Katherine says, "I don't think that causality necessarily implies linearity, for sure; in the real world most causality is not strictly linear. So we can say that multicursal narratives are maybe analogous to systems theory and feedback loops in physical theories, trying to account for effects that feed back to affect causes, etc."

Deena says, "How does this evolutionary line work? we have talked a bit about kids becoming more and more sophisticated (and at the same time, reluctant to read text/image as one thing... is this an evolution in the way we read write, think, or...?"

Cleo says, "When I was in [visual art] grad school there was an obsession with text - not necessarily literal, but often implied text, as gesture, signifier, etc"

Historical_Guest says, "Sorry, Katherine, you lost me...wouldn't ALL narrative act as a kind of feedback loop, insofar as narratives of experience are constantly rewritten as necessary?"

Deena passes around hammers and nails to all just to be fair about it and to keep conversations and causality from floating too far.

Michele says, "Pain would be an interesting topic to explore in terms of virtual communication. There is a pretty significant DS community on MOOs. What is the difference between that form of enactment and having your character get ripped apart by the helicopter on Lambda?" ."

Katherine says, "People have speculated what narrative does for the species, as Jerome Bruner does in his little book and also "Representing Narratives."

Deena says, "Historical, how are narratives constantly rewritten"

Katherine says, "But some narratives are not re-written, only re-read in different ways."

Margaret says, "I think art is linearity. Saying a work is not linear because the connecting lines form a complicated web is like saying a piece of tissue paper with two circular faces is not a cylinder because it is too thin"

Deena says, "We've blurred the lines between media and text, but I think we have also blurred lines between reading and rewriting--did the seminar touch on these lines?"

Michele says, "So how do we describe a linear art reading?"

Deena says, "Katherine, seminar students, what are the most important insights you've gained from the course?"

Michael Denner says, "I'd say I 've really seen the future of art"

Historical_Guest says, "I'm talking more about everyday narrative than about recorded impression is that the cog scientists are coming more and more to believe that narrative is a fundamental part of daily experience, the processing of information. But these narratives change all the time."

Deena says, "Historical, what kind of narratives? speech, electronic writing, chat rooms, ?"

Katherine says, "Wes, the narratives change in their detail, but cog sci people also talk about "Canonical stories," the culturally specific ways in which a culture recogies something as counting as a narrative."

mike x arrives.

Deena says, "Hi Mike we are talking with students in the NEH course literature on transition about ways narrative has changed and insights gained frm the class"

Michael Denner says, "And I 've realized how radically different it will be (this is not to me an entirely positive expectation)"

Katherine says, "We certainly did read the arguments of Landow etc. on how reading is also w/reading, that is a form of writing. But there was criticism of this idea, too, because after all in a pre-scripted text it is the author who controls what will be scripted."

Deena says, "Katherine, what is w/reading?"

Katherine says, "Well, w/reading as Landow etc uses it is a term indicating that the reader helps to construct the text through choice of reading paths and hence is in some sense also a writer."

C&W_Guest says, "Michele, do you think that any of the film theory discourse about pain could be applied to electronic environments? (Will)"

Julianne says, "Michele I 've always assumed that what bdsm & cyber|literature have in common is delight in playing with structure...hmmm. You've given me an idea of more readers to reach out to."

Deena passes out more licorice whips

Dene says, "Thank you"

Historical_Guest says, "Example: cut the corpus collusum (sp?) and a person who sees an orange with the left eye and a bird with the right cannot describe the orange, because that requires the left side of the brain...but the story they tell about the bird will incorporate "Orange" elements."

Taos_Guest says, "I've had lots of insights. Perhaps the biggest is that silicon and circuits are not opposed to the natural world, but part of it.""

Deena says, "So this is akin to Espen Aarseth's ergodic text from ergo to work where we work at reading by choosing paths?"

Historical_Guest says, "Katherine, are you talking about schema, more or less?"

Cleo says, " but that's an old idea - we [as readers] create [write] the text via interpretation, meaning."

Katherine says, "It's a big thing with me to realize that technology is "Natural" in the sense that humans from the earliest days have always been into technology."

Deena hands Taos back to Sand and Soot to celebrate the understanding

Taos_Guest says, "I cut my teeth on Birkerts--I think he still has much to say that is useful. But I don't think books and computers need be part of an either/or."

Deena says, "Wait, where did the idea that technology and electronic writing were unnatural come from?"

Taos_Guest says, "You know, Deena, I 've asked myself where I got that idea. Of course, I knew that writing didn't appear by itself, that it didn't fall from the sky like rain, but I 've had this idea that book culture is more organic than computer culture. It's embarrassing, but true.""

Helen says, "Reiner Strasser, Dane, geniwate, the ANAT people.... Michael Atavar, several Norwegians...."

Editor's Note: I think ANAT is Australian Network for Art and Technology

Katherine says, "We heard a fascinating presentation from Jay Douglas at the Institute for Creative Technology, a creation that brings together Hollywood and the army, about how they are using autonomous agent software to create narrative. This goes beyond the schema as envisioned by Roger Shank and also by Mark Turner etc. and uses more flexible algorithms to create narratives."

Deena says, "What distinctions did you see between books and computers as media? We started with early theorists basing crit on a print media, but now we seem to be circling back to that..."

Dene says, "Who is Taos?"

Alice arrives from Courtyard

Deena says, "Hi Alice, we are talking with Katherine Hayles and the NEH students in Literature in transition, discussing the apparent dichotomy between books and computers as media"

Deena says, "The ELO/trAce chat on July 15, 2001 was with Andrew Stern and a.c. chapman, who are experimenting with algorithms for user-driven narratives..."

Katherine says, "One of the big distinctions for me between books and computers is that the cognition in books is passive, while the cognizing that goes on in computers is active. Right now we are using only a tiny fraction of the computer's power to generate narratives, but I expect this to change."

Deena says, "What do you see in the future for electronic media and criticism? "

Katherine says, "I would not say the dichotomy between books and computers is "Apparent." It is profound and extensive."

Katherine says, "I think that in the near future we will see much more of multimedia criticism, which is even more nascent than electronic literature."

Historical_Guest says, "I can't believe that cognition of books is passive...wouldn't the understanding of any text, no matter how linear, require a reconstruction of a schema? That's the whole premise of active learning."

Cleo says, "I agree historical - I don't feel reading [books] is passive at all."

Deena says, "What are the differences? and if books/computers are not an either/.or, what are they? How dothey relate to each other?"

Katherine says, "I expect to see more use made of the computer's cognizing abilities in generating narratives, and more experimentation in effectively combining text with other electronic components, sound, visuals, etc."

Deena says, "So we are looking to make the computer a collaborative author?"

Julianne says, "As a computer geek I appreciate the theorists making space for us as the computers' power and capabilities increase, we'll need to give ourselves 'permission' to do art not just commerce"

Katherine says, "It's one thing to say that the book is passive cognition, and another to say that the reader is actively cognizing. Of course she is. But not the book as such."

Michael_Shumate says, "Katherine, I 'm interested that you think multimedia criticism is even more nascent than eliterature. It seems a number of critics have claimed just the opposite, i.e., that there is more hypertext criticism than hypertext literature."

Katherine says, "Michael, how much truly multimedia criticism do you know? That is, criticism not about multimedia, but criticism which itself uses multimedia in an integral way?"

Deena says, "The only one I can think of is the early writing space or the Labyrinth..."

Michael_Shumate says, "Ah, I see the distinction you were making--I'd agree with that case."

Alice says, "Hi All, I am writing my thesis on the impact of computer mediated literature on the teaching of English Literature in British universities and wondered if anyone had any first hand experience concerning the inclusion of hypertexts in literature courses?"

Sue says, "Ah hello Alice!"

Deena says, "Alice, hi, we are talking with students in Katherine Hayles course which is studying hypertexts in literature..."

Deena says, "But this is a good question. Where do you see courses like literature in transition going? Will there be more NEH seminars like this? More including electronic media into curriculums?"

Historical_Guest says, "Alice, what kinds of things are you wondering about specifically? I think lots of us teach hyperlit."

Alice says, "Are the hypertexts studied part of a literature course or a medai oriented course?"

Deena says, "Is it better to have a course devoted to electronic media or to integrate into a print course?"

Sue says, "Historical, are you in the UK?"

Historical_Guest says, "No, Sue"

Sue says, "I think the problem lies in the UK"

Historical_Guest says, "How so?"

Sue says, "There are plenty of people teaching new media writing in the US but in the UK very few"

Katherine says, "I would like to see both kinds of courses--on elit and also integrated into print courses."

Sue says, "That is what Alice is investigating"

Alice says, "I want to know how many Literature courses in Britain include the computerised forms of literature....why is Britain so far behind? ...etc"

Michael Denner arrives. Michael Denner grinds teeth at having been kicked off again.

Michele says, "Ouch Michael"

Deena hands Michael a solid connection.

Taos_Guest says, "I don't think there's anything passive about books. Their makers present you with fictions that you interpret--both writer and reader contribute something. But there is something different in the computer's power to think, and that was very apparent the day that Jay Douglas was here.""

Vika says, "Sue, do you mean new media writing as in creative writing using new media, or works already created?"

Deena says, "If elit is integrated into a lit course, how do you handle distinctions between the media?"

Historical_Guest says, "What distinctions?"

Alice says, "It's not really the writing I am so concerned with as the teaching of analysis in the ways that print forms of literature are taught on Literature courses in Britain."

Sue says, "Vika - both"

Deena says, "Taos, how will elit use the computer's power to think in the future?"

Katherine says, "I would very much like to make distinctions between media part of the theoretical discussions in such a course. The strategy would be to encourage students to realize that PRINT is also a medium!"

Alice says, "Why shouldn't we be able to compare and contrast books across media? Why are Literati so concerned with the medium and not the writing itself?"

Deena says, "And that print is a medium that can also be manipulated? ala art books"

Cleo says, "But the programmer designs the software [and someone the hardware] that makes the computer 'think" - it's 'cognizing' is in his/her image."

Helen says, "Print is many media..."

Sue says, "The point I always make is that in art, we teach Art and History of Art, but in English - in the UK at any rate - we only teach History of English"

Katherine says, "I think that the computer's cognizing power will be tapped to create narrative itself, or at least components of the narrative, through intelligent agent software, so that the narrative is emergent."

Sue says, "And since hypertext ain't history yet - it has not been blessed by time and recognition - we don't teach it"

Cleo says, "Hail Alice?"

Cleo says, "Sorry, I meant: !"

Julianne says, "Taos, yes I waffle between Katherine's own 'cyber|literature' with a pipe between the two - did you use that term this summer - and 'networked and programmable media' not sure whose term that is but I heard Cayley use it first - BOTH of them emphasize the computer's power to think."

Deena says, "Actually, Helen, that may be where I am tripping up. Computers are many media, too--it is hard to get an aggregate class and say these are the properties of computer media or of print media."

Historical_Guest says, "Galatea's ALIVE!"

Deena says, "Historical, what is Galatea ?"

Katherine says, "Alice, I wonder what you mean when you say compare books "across media." As far as I am concerned, the book is one kind of technology, one kind of medium, with properties that can be extensively explored, played with, etc. But it is entirely different from computers, even when the screen is arranged so as to suppress this recognition."

Historical_Guest says, "A novel by Richard Powers...about an artificial intelligence who fails one kind of Turing test but passes a more basic one."

Alice says, "Is it because there isn't enough existing criticism available. The teaching of literature has become so reliant on all the criticisms and works surrounding the actual object of study that we can't teach without this peripheral stuff?"

Deena says, "Katherine, how is the screen arranged to suppress recognizing that we can play with the media?"

Katherine says, "We are starting a new media center here at UCLA with the acronym SINAPS--Simulations, Interfaces and Networks in Advanced Programmable Systems. That is more accurate, I think, than talking only about the digital computer with a GUI interface."

Michele says, "Interesting Katherine."

Vika says, "Galatea is also a piece of interactive fiction with a strong 'non-playing-character' - another kind of 'intelligence' exploration."

Deena says, "Vika, do you have that URL handy?"

Vika waves a URL

Michele says, "I liked the waving of URLs"

Historical_Guest says, "Thanks, Vika...interesting...any connections with the Powers novel?"

Vika says, "Historical - don't know for sure, but doubt it. It's an original piece, as far as I know"

Katherine says, "Well, take a look at the William Blake Archive. Its rhetoric and mode of presentation are all intended to make us think we are reading Blake in print. "

Deena says, "Katherine, what roles will media centers play in introducing electronic lit to universities?"

Deena says, "Alice and Sue, are there plans to have media centers in British Universities?"

Helen says, "Well, it's bedtime here, and I wish I could stay awake longer -- but I 'll have to read the log. Night, folks..."

Cleo says, "Goodnight Helen -" Helen has disconnected.

Sue says, "Can you define media centre?"

Deena says, "Yes, could you describe the media center Katherine?"

Katherine says, "I think the main way that electronic literature is going to be introduced to universities is through courses."

Deena says, "Has this seminar helped show ways that elit can be taught?"

Katherine says, "SINAPS will function somewhat like a humanities center--space and fellowships and such--but it will also be a meta-center with the mandate to connect events at the all the other centers on campus that want to partner with us."

ALICE quietly enters. ALICE says, "Sorry I got disconnected"

Katherine says, "And not just events but other kinds of digital resources streamed from the SINAPS server."

Deena says, "Hi again Alice, we are still discussing ways to teach elit in courses..."

Sue says, "Ah ok, I doubt if most UK unis can afford that"

Sue says, "But maybe it will happen eventually"

Michael_Shumate says, "I think readings could also help intro universities to e-lit. I don't know if the ELO could help in this way--reading tours?"

Deena says, "Reading tours and conferences are really important-- maybe ELO and trAce can organize some?"

Taos_Guest says, "When does SINAPS get going?""

Historical_Guest says, "Or most unis anywhere! "

Sue says, "The problem in the UK is that the faculty are not media literate"

ALICE says, "Why are the faculty so resistant to change?"

Deena says, "Katherine, what were the goals in the NEH course?"

Vika says, "Sue - I 've found a large humanities computing contingent in the UK - well, alright, in London..."

Cleo says, "Age/change - you hate what you don't understand"

Historical_Guest says, "And let's face it--becoming even semi-literate WRT computers is a LOT of work."

mike_x says, "Bye all... " The housekeeper arrives to remove mike_x.

Sue says, "Vika which uni? Westminister? UCL?"

Vika says, "Sue - King's College London, UCL, at least two or three others, can't remember names off the top of my head... the latest ACH/ALLC joint conference (will get url in a moment) had a strong British contingent.,, and also The 2001 Joint International Conference of the Association for Computers and the Humanities and the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing"

Sue says, "Yes Vika - but which depts are they in? I doubt if they were in English depts."

Michael_Shumate says, "The readings at HT 2000 were really eye-opening for me, esp. for The Unknown and Rob Kendall's 'Penetration'"

Katherine says, "The goals of the NEH seminar are to let folks discuss theoretical readings, some elit creative texts, and pedagogy. "

C&W_Guest says, "Will here. Katherine, do you know to what extent libraries were purchasing hypertexts such as the Westgate products?"

C&W_Guest says, "Will-- I meant Eastgate. . . East/West, Left/Right, so confusing. . ."

Deena says, "Some of Eastgate's works are required reading in Australia. . .Patchwork Girl and Samplers"

ALICE says, "Michael do you have a URL for the talks or are they not online?"

ALICE says, "I meant readings"

Vika says, "Not sure, Sue. Many of them certainly have strong English-language lit background."

Michael_Shumate says, "Talks? I 'm not sure what you mean."

elizabeth says, "I have to go too. Goodbye and thanks for interesting discussion" elizabeth has disconnected.

Michele pulls out the nails

Sue says, "Vika, sounds good."

Vika says, "But they work across sub-disciplines in the humanities."

Sue says, "Cultural studies perhaps?"

Sue says, "I know a lot of people who write about digital media."

Deena says, "Would this seminar work with universities and other settings where people are not as familiar with hypertexts already?"

Sue says, "But fewer in the UK who do it in a literary sense and understand it as literature."

Alice says, "So will Eng Lit have to compete with Cultural Studies or will it be integrated in some way? Literature courses in Britain are so far behind the times"

Deena says, "Hi Zeit Guest, we are talking with Katherine Hayles and her students in Literature in transition"

Michael_Shumate says, "Oh. well, I think The Unknown incorporates a few readings in Real Audio, though it doesn't really capture what it was like live. at"

Katherine says, "Well, this program is funded by the NEH and so it has particular characteristics. In general, however, I think that a seminar designed as an introduction to electronic literature would be a great thing. I have some colleagues here who would take such a seminar."

Zeit_Guest_ says, "Hi... "

Deena says, "I am developing a course on women and electronic lit for the University of Denver, so that would be interesting to compare..."

Michele says, "Katherine, how would you do this differently if the funding wasn't from the NEH?"

Historical_Guest says, "I wonder, Sue. Everyone I know who works on e-lit here in the US has to struggle with the "You work on what?" response. I 'm not sure it's so different."

Michael_Shumate says, "Duke bought several Eastgate works, over 6 years ago now. There has been no followup ..."

Deena says, "WHAT issues came up in the class that were unexpected?

What new things did you discover?"

Sue says, "Good point historical"

Zeit_Guest_ says, "What is 'literature in transition'?"

Dene says, "We are still buying Eastgate lit"

Katherine says, "Well, if the funding wasn't from NEH, I think I would try to target an audience that was more focused, for example, just beginning, more advanced, etc."

Deena says, "Yes, libraries don't have the materials to develop or maintain archives. We had a chat about this last year and will probably have another in the winter about how to get libraries to archive and keep these ephemeral works.."

Zeit_Guest_ says, "Enlighten me ""

Dene says, "For graduate students and fyc comp courses"

Deena says, "Good point. How did you define literature in transition and why was that the focus of the course?"

Katherine says, "There is going to be a real problem with this archival issues. I have most of the early Eastgate titles and now they won't play on the computers we have."

Deena says, "Dene, who is we? and how are people checking it out, etc?"

Dene says, "Deena, in significant ways. As I mentioned earlier. . . character."

Michele says, "Sorry, how would it be more focused?"

Katherine says, "By "Literature in Transition, " I meant the way that 21st century literature, and older or "Heritage" literatures, are going to be affected by electronic technologies."

Deena says, "Dene, C&W, other seminar students, what does literature in transition mean to you? How are we transforming lit?"

Historical_Guest says, "Good point, Katherine. And it's no picnic porting something from, say, HyperCard to something more current."

Deena says, "Yes, I have refused to translate my Marble Springs from HyperCard...I now go around showing it on old Mac Classics in museums.."

Historical_Guest says, "Deena, really refused? Not just not wanting to put in the huge effort? Why?"

Deena says, "Yes. It would be a 4 year effort to port the thing, and I don't want to spend the time..."

Deena ends her rantings and passes around more Guinness for all

Historical_Guest hands Deena a consoling aspirin

Deena thanks Historical and knocks it all back.

The housekeeper arrives to cart elizabeth off to bed.

Michele says, "I think my question is more about the shifts in writing and the identity of the crafter..."

Dene says, "All components of what we used to call elements of fiction are shifting"

Cleo says, "'Rich lit" as Talan would say."

Editor's Note: Talan Memmott

Michele says, "But one of my main interests is the ways that

spectatorship is shaped in different online settings."

Dene says, "This holds great significance for the way we read and teach it"

Deena says, "Michele, could you repeat your question?"

Michele says, "Which one?"

Historical_Guest says, "Gotcha"

Michele says, "Which way did it go?"

Deena says, "Also, the work would be completely different and would need to be rewritten--the problem with manipulating computers as media is that you are then stuck with that particular computer, program, and software--even when it becomes obsolete..."

C&W_Guest says, "Literature has always been in transition. What's interesting to me is that in which literature shifts as new forms appear in the medial ecology. Surely computers and electronic technologies would change our view of literature even if no one was writing hyper/cybertexts per se. --Country Western"

Deena says, "Michele, which way did the shifts go? How are characters changing? how are plots changing?"

Cleo says, "I think that, eventually, there will be software programs that perform the task of updating/transcribing"

Sue says, "I have to go now folks"

Katherine says, "That's true, but with elit, the penetration goes beyond thematics into how the text is actually produced by the codes."

Sue says, "Thanks for an interesting discussion"

Katherine says, "Thanks to you , Sue. Thanks for dropping in."

Historical_Guest says, "Ciao Sue"

Sue says, "Bye Katherine, Deena and everyone else"

Sue goes home.

Michele says, "Well, I am more interested in describing how I am interested for instance in how the gaze might be shifted in certain settings."

Deena says, "That reminds me of the speech at DAC--that painted a picture of writing on the computer without the elit doyou think computers would change our perspective if no one were playing with what computers can do in text/image/motion/media?"

Michele says, "Bye Sue"

Cleo says, "Hmmm..."

Deena says, "Yes, we normally wrap up in about an hour, but this has been so fascinating I 've lost track of time..."

Michele says, "Um, but don't those actions happen in most online "Communities?""

Katherine says, "Well, I think there would be much less speculation on how computers are actually a medium affecting human subjectivity and not just a tool."

Deena says, "Are there any other insights from the course, thoughts we should cover?"

Historical_Guest says, "Patterns of reading would be quite different, for one thing...people expect to browse on a computer, not consume the whole, and that carries over to print."

Deena says, "Hmmm...Katherine, has elit helped shape our perceptions of the computer as a medium that affects our subjectivity?"

Michele says, "I wonder if browsing is too easy a word to use for online communication"

Katherine says, "I think another important point is how the underlying assumptions have changed between first and second generation hypertexts."

Historical_Guest says, "Amen to that, Katherine!"

Deena hands out surf boards and fast browsers to all

Michele says, "I propose "Blundering" in a recent article. To once again badly quote myself."

Deena says, "Blundering to mean what?"

Michael_Shumate says, "Thanks for an interesting afternoon, folks. And thanks for arranging/hosting, Deena. I 'll see you seminarians on Wednesday night."

Michael_Shumate leaves to go for a walk with his wife.

The housekeeper arrives to remove Michael_Shumate.

Cleo says, "Indeed - for instance, I have an utterly different sense of [the passage of] time now"

Katherine says, "Well, take for example "Lexia to Perplexia." It's all about how humans are becoming hybrid creatures, inconceivable apart from the technology that forms them."

Michele says, "The experience of how we encounter online materials."

Deena says, "So the works themselves are exploring these notions of computer as media merging with our subjectivity?"

Historical_Guest says, "That would be true of all generations of e-lit, wouldn't it? So what assumptions specifically have changed?"

Cleo says, " I think that really depends on the spec. work"

Katherine says, "Look at "Afternoon" compared to "Lexia to Perplexia."

What's different? Almost everything, I would say. "Afternoon" has more in common with a traditional print novel than it does with "Lexia," even though both are electronic texts."

Deena says, "I think we are only seeing the beginning--as we learn to

think about ways to use the computer as a thinking media, we will see

mor and more of these hybrids, more and more of these shifts..."

Historical_Guest says, "I haven't read "Lexia to Perplexia." How is it different?"

Rita_Raley arrives from Courtyard

Deena says, "Which really points out the differences in generations--even though the works are only 10 years apart!"

Katherine says, "For example, in ""Lexia to Perplexia", screen action and screen design carry part of the meaning. In "Afternoon," screen design looks like a page of print, and there is no distinction visually between one screen and another."

Deena says, "Hi Rita, we are talking with Katherine Hayles and her students in Literature in Transition and looking at ways we look at computers" Katherine says, "Also in "Lexia," the animations, rollovers and mouse overs create an occluded text, suggesting that the human reader is only one possible reader, reminding us constantly that the computer is also a reader."

Rita_Raley says, "Hi, all - better late than never?"

C&W_Guest says, "Will, aka C&W guest says hi to Rita"

C&W_Guest says, "Deena, it's amusing in this seminar to hear people talk about 1996 as if it were eons ago"

Katherine says, ""Afternoon" is primarily narrative, "Lexia" is at least as much visual as it is narrative."

Deena says, "Yeah, my Marble Springs is ancient and yet...!"

Michele says, "You were alive in 96"

Deena hands round time unbenders so we can see real time

Michele says, "I was just a virtual shadow"

Cleo says, "That's what I mean about this so shifting our time sensibility"

Historical_Guest says, "OK, I see what you mean. Do the guard fields count as "Screen actions," though? If so, aren't the ASSUMPTIONS similar, even if the later text is more graphical? And how about Uncle Buddy?"

Deena says, "I still have the notes from my 96 works on my wall!"

ALICE has disconnected.

Deena says, "So in Lexia, we see computers as readers, in interactive fiction we see computers as writers... are we shifting to this hybrid outside of Lexia?"

Historical_Guest says, "Hey, my 1996 work just came out..."

Deena says, "Ahh--which work?"

Michele says, "Oh, well mine probably still hasn't!"

Deena says, "We are still trying to get Dickey's 1988 work published!!!"

Historical_Guest says, "Turning In. Feels like someone else wrote it."

Katherine says, "No, the assumptions of "Afternoon" are basically that you move from one screen of text to another, as if turning a page. OK, some two or three pages are like uncut pages; you can't get to them without fulfilling a condition. But in "Lexia," the underlying metaphor is no longer turning a page to get to another page. The whole metaphor has changed to a radically topographic one, of exploring surface and depth in dynamic and constantly changing proportions."

Deena says, "Do you have a URL or pub data"

Jenny leaves.

Historical_Guest says, "Eastgate"

Deena says, "This goes back to the early lit crit on theory as based on print..."

Historical_Guest says, "OK, how about Intergrams? is that an early or a late work?"

Deena says, "It seems as though the shift is away from page and into the new media--somewhat like the shift in cinema away from stage and into

the film scenes..."

Deena says, "Yes, Jim's basic formula remains the same--which generating would this be?"

Historical_Guest says, "Are we back to print/graphics again? Is the basic difference one of the density of graphic centrality?"

Julianne says, "Wes/Historical, this is great news, can't wait to read it..."

Deena says, "I know my work has changed from a page based system where I equated a page with a part of a structure to an entire structure based system--e:electrons is based only on the periodic table of elements rather than a page-base system"

Historical_Guest says, "Well, it sure looks forewarned...:-)"

Deena says, "SO our underlying metaphors are changing rapidly.."

Michele says, "I wonder how the conventions of the theory/academic material have changed."

Historical_Guest says, "I want to say that our literacies are changing..."

Deena throws congratulatory balloons into the air for Wes Chapman's Turning In

Historical_Guest says, "Aw shucks"

Julianne reassures Historical that they won't hold the 96ishness against it

Deena says, "How have these changes in underlying metaphor affected changes in literacy?"

Julianne says, "And I 've just ordered Michele's essay in Virtual Gender, so Taos, do you have a URL?"

Katherine says, "Hey Wes, congratulations from me too. Great news."

Deena says, "Are there other URLs or works to share?"

Cleo says, "I think the underlying metaphor [form] has changed

immensely - I know I 'm very aware of 'pretending' when I work towards a [trad.] book form in hypertext now, whereas when I began it was really all I knew and thus a matter of course."

Michele says, "Wow, thanks...I would have mailed you a copy."

Rita_Raley says, "I see at least one change in theoretical convention, visible to an extent in our recent conversations about "Medium-specific analysis": I think there has been a reaction against the perceived immateriality of high theory."

Historical_Guest says, "Re literacies...if narrative is fundamental to cognition, and so is a visual aesthetic, then the combination leads to...what? Some basic restructuring of our cognitive processing of experience. What Prensky talks about in Digital Game Based Learning"

Deena thinks again about the immateriality material of the computer screen

Rita_Raley says, "2 -and a turning away from the early links set up between PS theory and hypertext"

Deena says, "What is PS theory?"

Katherine says, "Narrative re-creates in a cognitive realm the experience of moving in a complex, changing, three-dimensional environment--when that combines with visual simulation of the same, it packs a double whammy."

Rita_Raley says, "Poststructuralist theory - high theory is probably the more accurate term"

Historical_Guest says, "It has to be more than just a doubling, though, doesn't it? Aren't there interference patterns between the two kinds of processing?"

Deena says, "Then when you shift the underlying metaphor of narrative away from paper and books, you create a triple whammy--as the structure itself ads a simulation of metaphor and meaning..."

Deena gets lost again in the shifting sands of literature

Katherine says, "I think that visual and cognitive processing happen in different parts of the brain. So there would be all kinds of complications in connecting them. . ."

Deena now gets the brain and the computer thoughts intertwingled

Historical_Guest says, "Yes, good point--is structure a third term, or a part of the other two?"

Deena says, "Structure is definitely more than underlying meaning---"

Katherine says, "Seems like structure cuts across, and as Deena says, also strongly interacts with narrative and visuals"

Deena says, "Underlying meaning"

Cleo says, "And these areas touching off different parts/processes of the brain."

Deena says, "Yes, I think it is literally stimulating a different part of the brain."

Historical_Guest says, "But is structure a different mode of cognition than visual or narrative? Literally working in a different part of the brain?"

Katherine says, "Right, because in the case of hypertext, structure is often linked with kinesthetic/cognitive actions on the part of the reader."

Deena says, "Yeah, it defines in a way the narrative and visual.. the structure in computer works is akin to the linear notions in print works."

Historical_Guest says, "Ah--kinesthesia. I 'm starting to think that's not just a metaphor. "

Katherine says, "Well, not ONLY a metaphor, anyway."

Deena says, "I would love to do a user test of some hypertexts under and MRI to see which part is stimulated where"

Julianne says, "Yes let's!"

Katherine says, "Wish we had Diana Slattery online now to talk about her concept of visual language."

Deena says, "Kinesthesia is a part of symbiociation--the integrating of meaning frm movement, images, narrative, etc."

Historical_Guest says, "Haven't heard the word "Symbiociation" before..what's that?"

Deena says, "Its my neologism to explain the metaphor/meaning infused in these triple whammies of text narrative, imagery, animation, motion, and structure."

Cleo says, "They cost too much!"

Historical_Guest says, "Me too--but there would definitely be interference on account of the noise! :-)"

Julianne says, "Katherine may we quote you on the double whammy - or which of your works should we read for more on this?"

Deena Makes a note to get Diana to a chat on visual language...

Katherine says, "Maybe noise is just information too complex for us to understand. . ."

Deena hands out coupons for free MRIs and Cat scans..until her cat objects...

Cleo says, "But hasn't that been tapped via movies before? The interactive element is, IMHO, the really interesting and unique thing about this form"

Katherine says, "Julianne, Gosh, double whammy doesn't sound very intellectual, does it? Check out "Media Specific Analysis for more on this. Forthcoming this fall from "Poetics Today" but I can send you a copy. . ."

Julianne says, "Katherine that would be very kind:

Cleo says, "Katherine, will you be doing a seminar like this again/in the future?"

Deena hands round enough whammies for everyone for a lifetime

Deena nods and says Oh, yes, please.

Julianne says, "Katherine then I won't quote the double whammy sentence, but will read the article!"

Katherine says, "Hard to say, Cleo. They are competitive and the NEH makes the decision."

Deena says, "I hope the students will advocate for more of these courses!"

Katherine says, "They aren't really students. They are participants, along with me. We are all in this together!"

Julianne says, "Well thank you to Katherine, Deena, Helen, everyone for the things they do 'for the field' - and the rest of you whose work I am not yet familiar with - "

Cleo says, "I very much like the idea of learning/thinking/interacting virtually, so please let me know if you do."

Deena says, "The ELO site does list where online courses are offered for hypertext and elit"

Michele says, "Um, thanks Katherine!"

Deena says, ""We really should wrap up--I keep getting caught up in the conversation! Thanks Katherine and students for making this chat and revelations possible."

Vika says, "Yes, thanks all for great conversation."

Cleo says, "Indeed."

Michele says, "I have been meaning to attend these events...this was great motivation!"

Julianne says, "So long everyone!" The housekeeper arrives to remove Julianne.

Michele says, "If only I could remember my character name..."

Katherine has disconnected.

Historical_Guest says, "Thanks to all, and see ya..."

Deena says, "You guys covered a lot of ground in the course, and it was great hearing and exploring these insights on theory, , the future of elit, and the universe and 42 and all..."

The housekeeper arrives to remove Vika, Katherine, Historical_Guest.

Michele says, "Yes, thanks Deena for spending time with us."

Rita_Raley says, "Hmm, anyone want to tell me what I missed, in a few lines?"

Deena says, "We will have a chat Aug 19 3 pm central time on the state of elit world wide...please join us..."

Michele says, "Stuff"

Cleo says, "Ask Deena about how to access the log Rita."

Deena says, "Hmmm...Rita, I 'll have the archive up this week... at"

Michele says, "Might be later for me. I move to Ohio in mid-August."

Deena says, "We keep pretty good logs for these..."

C&W_Guest says, "Thanks to all (croons country ballad)"

Michele says, "Hey I still want to know what C&W stands for..."

Deena says, "Thanks C&W, all students, and all participants"

Deena throws roses and insights to all

Deena passes around Geniuses for the road

Everdeen says, "Thanks all...see you down the hi-way...bye!"

Cleo says, "Lol! geniuses!"

The housekeeper arrives to remove C&W_Guest.

Michele says, "Bye"

Everdeen has disconnected.

Deena says, "Bye and thanks for coming!"

Michele has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove Michele,Taos_Guest,Cleo.

Dene says, "Thanks, Deena. I may be on the road back to Dallas next Sunday, but if not, I will try to make it"

Deena says, "Terrific, I hope to see you then"

Rita_Raley says, "Thanks, Deena - sorry to be so late. Traffic on the 405 was _awful_ (beach goers)"

Dene nods

Dene waves goodbye

Deena says, "Rita, I know how traffic goes.. glad you could make it."

Dene bows politely

Rita_Raley says, "Me, too - I look forward to seeing the archives."

-- End log: Monday, August 6, 2001 9:44:02 am CDT


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