Electronic Literature & the Nonhuman
Saturday, September 29th, 5-7pm
201C of the Frontier Airlines Center
Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts 2012 Conference
This Saturday, at the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts conference in Milwaukee, ELO is sponsoring a reading entitled, “Electronic Literature & the Nonhuman,” featuring performances from an exciting mix of artists and works, from ARGs to single-line programs.
The presenters for the electronic literature reading at the SLSA conference include:
Mark C. Marino
The jury for this reading were Sandy Baldwin, Davin Heckman, and Jessica Pressman.Â The evening will be hosted by Mark C. Marino and Stuart Moulthrop.
Please join us for this event in room 201C of the Frontier Airlines Center.
Detailed works and Bios:
“in cells so even” by Jeremy Douglass
Jeremy Douglass is a researcher in games and playable media, electronic literature, and the art and science of data mining and information visualization. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at UC Santa Barbara.Â He is active in the Software Studies and Critical Code Studies research communities, which study software society and the cultural meaning of computer source code. Douglass is a founding member of Playpower, a MacArthur/HASTAC funded digital media and learning initiative to use ultra-affordable 8-bit game systems as a global education platform, and a participant in an NSF grant exploring creative user behavior in virtual worlds. His recording room for gameplay research includes systems spanning over three decades.
Speculation: An Alternate Reality Game by Katherine Hayles, Patrick Jagoda, and Patrick LeMieux
Speculation is a science fiction gameÂ that explores the greed-driven culture of Wall Street investment banks and the 2008 global economic collapse. Speculation belongs to the genre of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs).
ARGs are not bound by any single medium or hardware system. Instead, these games use the real world as their primary platform. ARGs incorporate a range of media, including text, video, audio, phone calls, email, social networks, original software, and even live performance. Their stories tend to be broken into discrete pieces that players actively rediscover, reconfigure, and influence through their actions. Player networks created around ARGs are inherently social and tend to include collective problem-solving and participatory storytelling.
The Speculation ARG was launched on April 1, 2012 and only recently concluded after accumulating over 2,500 site visits and nearly 800 player posts. This transmedia game featured 8 narrative sci-fi episodes and 64 ludic challenges. These mini-games included stock trading simulations; live â€œbrain trainingâ€ sessions based on EEG interfaces; interactive meditations on microtemporal trading algorithms; matchmaking games about the naturalization of credit; textbased adventure games set in investment bank offices; an interactive mini-narrative distributed across craigslist posts; swarms of cryptographic puzzles from Caesar shifts to VigenÃ¨re ciphers; double-encoded slow-scan television transmissions; a GPS hunt for dead-dropped USB drives in three different cities; a co-written epic poem fragment; a Facebook image challenge; an extended brainstorm about alternatives to Wall Street â€œbrain drainâ€; collaborative speculations about the future of finance; encoded narrative documents; a two hour climactic chat with the gameâ€™s protagonist; and more.
Our SLSA performance would include narrative prose, audio, and video from the Speculation game as well as live interaction. Instead of merely summarizing the game, however, this presentation will itself serve as a â€œrabbit holeâ€ for a second execution of the game that will run online for approximately a month beginning on October 11, 2012 (10/11/12).
Katherine Hayles is professor of Literature at Duke University. Her book How We Became Posthuman won the Rene Wellek Prize for the Best Book in Literary Theory 1998-99, and Writing Machines won the Suzanne Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Her most recent book is How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis.
Patrick Jagoda is assistant professor of English at the University of Chicago. His publications appear in such journals as Critical Inquiry, Social Text, Post45, and Neo-Victorian Studies. He is also a co-editor of Critical Inquiry. Jagodaâ€™s creative practice focuses on transmedia games, including Speculation (vimeo.com/39947942), Stork (vimeo.com/44155896), and Oscillation (vimeo.com/26438531).
Patrick LeMieux is an artist, game designer, and Ph.D. student in the Department of Art, Art
History, and Visual Studies at Duke University. Two recent projects include Open House (noplace.
org), a telematic artwork for virtually squatting the US housing collapse, and Speculation
(speculat1on.net), an alternative reality game based on finance capital and the culture of greed on
Quantum Genesis by Clarissa Lee
Quantum Genesis, a multimodal novel-in-progress that enables multiple timelines, narratives and worlds to operate in the overlaps of the micro and the macro. This performance will feature a stream of data, through the spoken-word and visual movements.
Clarissa Lee is a PhD Candidate with the Program in Literature who works in the intersection of science, literature, and new media. She is writing a dissertation that is tentatively titled Speculative Physics. Her research blog isÂ modularcriticism.blogspot.comÂ and her more miscellaneous writings can be found onÂ scandalousthoughts.wordpress.
“Life in Pink (The Singing Ape)” by Amy Letter with Mark Franz and Brad Paul Lewter
“Life in Pink (The Singing Ape)” is an audiovisual performance of digital poetry/narrative. This experimental performance uses animation and figurative imagery to help illustrate the chaotic psyche of a character who is equal parts woman, machine, and beast. Text and imagery are performed by making choices regarding rhythm and context, in real-time, in order to depict the non-linear and abstract nature of the character’s thought process.Â The performance includes making decisions about content that is cued using a custom program written in the Processing language.Â Live sound, composed specifically for the piece, accompanies and supports the performance. Text written by Amy Letter, program written & designed by Mark Franz, animations by Brad Paul Lewter; performed by Amy Letter.
In the remote Tarim basin, near the Peacock River, 4000 years ago, lived a woman who has come to be named The Beauty of Loulan.Â Â When she was buried, she wore a middy skirt, fur boots, a woven cloak, and a felt and wool hood topped with a decorative feather.Â Â Since she can no longer tell her whole story, we must imagine one for her.Â Â This piece is inspired by the complex weaving strategies of the ancient people of the Taklamakan Desert â€“ the elaborate long-hop twills, the weft looping, the tablet tapestries.Â Â The reader, using a touch screen, can follow the weft through the warp of centuries to recover the fabric of the life of The Beauty of Loulan.
Living Will by Mark C. Marino
Living WillÂ is an interactive narrative in the form of the legal document governing the bequests of ER Millhouse, a contemporary British imperialist in the Congo, who made his fortune primarily through mining Coltan, a conflict ore at the core of modern-day devices from mobile phones to laptops.
Taking the role of one of his four beneficiaries, readers can explore the document and through it, the life of Millhouse.Â However, that exploration comes at a price, as each click leads to more legal and medical fees.Â Â Readers can choose to accept their lot or take the inheritance of their fellow heirs, amassing fortunes that will ultimately decide the fate of Millhouse himself.Â Â An exploration of modern-day colonialism and meditation on the complicity of our clicks in international exploitation,Â Living WillÂ reflects on the legacy of a first-world technological inheritance.
My performance would be a dramatic reading of the will. which seems only fitting, allowing the audience to choose the character and other choices after the fashion of “The Unknown,” albeit without the bell and a little tamer.Â Actually, the piece reads much like a dramatic monologue, so this should suit the format well. In ten minutes, I can set up the piece and offer a few alternative paths through.
Mark C. Marino’s works include Stravinsky’s Muse, a show of hands, and Marginalia in the Library of Babel.Â He currently teaches at the University of Southern California where he directs the Humanities and Critical Code Studies (HaCCS) Lab.Â His portfolio can be found here:Â http://markcmarino.com
“The Obsolete Book in a Post-Obsolete World, as Represented by a Post-Obsolete Book About Dance: An Archival Rhizome Ecology in Ten Parts, and A Reflection on the Obsolescence of Obsolescence, Documented on the Cloud, and Open-Sourced as a Defense Against Post-Post-Obsolescence.” by Eric Meyer
Nick Montfort is associate professor of digital media at MIT and president of the Electronic Literature Organization. He develops text generators and interactive fiction and has participated in dozens of literary and academic collaborations. Montfort co-edited The New Media Reader and The Electronic Literature Collection Volume 1 and wrote Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction, Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (with Ian Bogost), and Riddle & Bind. His next book, 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, is a collaboration with nine other authors about a one-line Commodore 64 BASIC program.