New Elit in Hyperrhiz 04

The newest edition of Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures is now online. This issue, which focuses on electronic literature, features work from

Thom Swiss
Mark Marino
Braxton Soderman
Stephanie Strickland and Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo
Jaka Zeleznikar
Michael Peters
Jeanne Hamming

Also starting this month, the journal introduces { Literal1.Text }, the online forum for teachers of electronic literature, convened by Davin Heckman.  Please consider joining up and sharing your expertise as teachers.

Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures is an online, peer-reviewed publication specializing in new media and net art. We welcome submission of net-ready art projects, electronic literature works and review essays; contact submissions [at]

Grand Text Auto — Exhibition, Symposium, and Performance

October 4th and 5th, at UC Irvine, an exhibition opening, symposium, and performance features the work of ELO Vice-Presidents Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort and ELO Co-Founder Scott Rettberg.

EXHIBITION: Grand Text Auto

LOCATION: The Beall Center for Art and Technology, UC Irvine

OPENING RECEPTION: October 4th, 6:30pm-9:00pm, Beall Center

SYMPOSIUM: October 5th, 1:00-5:00pm, Studio Art Bldg. 712, Room 160, UC Irvine

PERFORMANCE: October 5th, 6:00-8:00pm, Winifred Smith Hall, UC Irvine

GENERAL CONTACT: (949) 824-4339 or


Many blogs have become books – from The Baghdad Blog to Belle de Jour. But Grand Text Auto is the first blog ever to become a gallery exhibition. It opens October 4th and runs through December 15th at UC Irvine’s Beall Center for Art and Technology. The exhibition features the work of Grand Text Auto members Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Mary Flanagan, Michael Mateas, Andrew Stern, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg, and their collaborators.

Grand Text Auto is a blog about the potential of digital media, from literary websites to experimental computer games. At the exhibition, the blog members will put these ideas into practice, showing a variety of cutting edge works. Some use the latest in artificial intelligence technology, such as Mateas and Stern’s interactive drama Facade” of which The New York Times says, “This is the future of video games.” The Beall exhibition will feature the first public showing of a life-sized “augmented reality” version of Facade, created in collaboration with Georgia Tech’s GVU Center. Virtual reality is also on display, as with Wardrip-Fruin’s collaborative work Screen, a literary game played with 3D text” never seen before outside of a research lab and presented with support from UC San Diego’s Center for Research in Computing and the Arts. On the other hand, some works in the exhibition use decidedly do-it-yourself techniques, such as Montfort and Rettberg’s Implementation, an experimental novel distributed around the world on mailing labels. Others are quirky, such as Flanagan’s [giantJoystick], a replica Atari 2600 joystick so large that two people must work together to play (this has its North American debut at the Beall show).

In addition to the gallery show, the members of Grand Text Auto are working together with the Beall Center to present a live symposium and performance evening, both on October 5th. The afternoon symposium (1-5 p.m.) will discuss the power of collaborative blogging, new directions for computer games, and the place of language in digital media. The evening performance (6-8 p.m.) will feature the disturbing and humorous interactive cinema experience Terminal Time (which automatically creates outrageously biased documentaries of the past millennium) and a live performance of the award-winning hypertext novel The Unknown (which tells the tale of a rollicking cross-country book tour). Parking for these events is available in the Student Parking structure at the corner of Campus Drive and West Peltason.

Online, Grand Text Auto ( is a blog with more than 200,000 visitors a month, collectively authored by six artists and scholars. Offline, Grand Text Auto members have been shown in major art museums, been written about in leading national periodicals, and shipped games that have met wide acclaim and sold millions of copies. The Grand Text Auto exhibition is the first time that these artists will show their work together. Delve into Grand Text Auto’s digital depths October 4 – December 15, 2007 (closed November 22-26) and witness the live debut of blog-meets-reality.

Logozoa – the birth of textual organisms

ELO board member, Robert Kendall, is currently working on an exciting new project that seeks “to disrupt the conventional role of words in their day-to-day life.” Keep your eyes open for Logozoa living near you, and to learn how you can participate in this project, read the full description below.

Logozoa is a collaborative Web site intended to disrupt the conventional role of words in day-to-day life. It disseminates aphoristic texts as downloadable stickers and showcases photos of these stickers in unusual contexts from all over the world.

We put labels and signs on things to tame them — identify, categorize, explain, instruct, proclaim ownership. What if instead the labels could liberate the everyday world from the literal, proclaim rather than cover up the mysteries? What if they could become Logozoa — textual organisms that infest the literal with metaphor and give impetuous life and breath to meaning?

Logozoa (textual organisms, or word animals) take the form of aphorisms, anti-aphorisms, maxims, minims, neokoans, sayings, left-unsaids, proverbialisms, poemlets, microtales, instant fables, and other varieties of conceptual riffs. More than 375 of these creatures reside at where visitors can download them in PDF format for printing onto standard label sheets.

The Logozoo at provides a natural-habitat preserve and showcase for photographs of Logozoa stickers. Currently the Zoo holds over 475 photos contributed by numerous photographers from around the world.

And there’s more. An E-Dopt-a-Zoa feature allows you to paste an ever-changing virtual sticker onto your own Web site, and a pair of oracles provide Logozoa in response to your questions.

1001 Nights Cast: A Durational Performance

ELO member Barbara Campbell recently passed the one year benchmark in her performance/writing project 1001 nights cast. Campbell’s first webcast was performed from Paris on June 21st, 2005 and continues for 1001 nights.

“In 1001 nights cast, Barbara Campbell performs a short text-based work for 1001 consecutive nights. The performance is relayed as a live webcast to anyone, anywhere, who is logged onto to at the appointed time, that is, sunset at the artist’s location.”

Reinterpreting and expanding the story of Scheherazade, the daily process of 1001 nights cast begins each morning when Campbell reads news coming out of the Middle East; she selects a phrase from her reading that “generates potential.” Campbell then renders the selected phrase in watercolor and posts the painted image of the phrase on the website. Visitors who choose to participate in the project are “invited to write a story using that day’s prompt in a submission of up to 1001 words. The writing deadline expires three hours before that night’s performance.”

To explore and/or participate in the project, visit

A New Interactive Fiction Trio, in Inform 7

As announced on Usenet, three pieces of interactive fiction have just been released. All are written in Inform 7, the soon-to-be-released IF development system from the creator of the original, widely-used Inform.

Leading IF author Emily Short has released two new Inform 7 games, and Graham Nelson, the author who is behind Inform and Inform 7, has provided a new work of interactive fiction, too. Graham Nelson’s piece is entitled The Reliques of Tolti-Aph. Emily Short’s are Damnatio Memoriae (set in the Savoir-Faire universe) and Bronze (a “fractured fairy tale” based on the legend of beauty and the beast). They come with lavish virtual “feelies” – supplementary items – such as illustrated PDF manuals, a map, and a even a walkthrough in one case. Among these materials can be found Emily Short’s very useful introductory text IF Instruction Manual; there are similar instructions in the Bronze manual, too.

A new container format, zblorb, encapsulates the zcode file along with cover art and metadata. Because of this, Mac users who use Zoom as their interpreter will need the very latest version, Zoom 1.0.5 alpha 1.

Shifting Stories in “23,040 Bridges”

Adam Cadre’s “23,040 Bridges” provides a combinatoric explosion of different stories, asking the reader to rank how culpable each of five characters is in the death of the main character. Read and rank the characters; Cadre is collecting statistics now on how people assign guilt in the many different versions of the story. The statistics from readers’ judgments will be made available soon.

Interactive Fiction Competition Wraps Up, Covered in The Wall Street Journal

This year’s Interactive Fiction Competition, the 11th annual “comp,” was won by Jason Devlin’s Vespers. There was a tie for second place between Beyond, a game by Italian authors Roberto Grassi, Paolo Lucchesi and Alessandro Peretti, and A New Life by Alexandre Owen Muñiz. Voting in the competition was open to the public; more than 100 people downloaded the competition entries, interacted with at least five, and voted. The full results have been posted; all the pieces entered remain available for free download.

The IF Comp was covered in The Wall Street Journal this year in an article by Vauhini Vara.