Ad Verbum is a piece of text-based interactive fiction for which wordplay is the primary game mechanic. Inspired particularly by the Oulipo’s explorations of writing under constraint, Ad Verbum adds another layer — readers must respond with examples of constrained writing in order to move forward, and also determine the nature of each scene’s constraint via careful reading and experimentation. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.
Ghost City is a labyrinthine environment through which viewers can navigate. They can either follow the linear narrative that unfolds by moving from page to page, or they can delve into the non-linear chaos of random links. Each space is made up of appropriated images and texts.
The rich, extensive world of the interactive fiction Anchorhead is inspired by H. P. Lovecraft. Gentry’s work offers hours of challenges, a detailed setting, textual fragments of evidence, and disturbing characters as it unfolds the horrifying secrets of a small New England town.
Rest/Less is interactive dance which foregrounds poetry as both environment and method. Spatially representing Field’s graphic poems with lighted grids across the floor, Jewett has developed an interactive video-tracking system which allows the dancers total lyrical freedom as they perform both choreographed and improvisational movement. The dancers trigger lines of poetry as they cross lines of light (poetry which is heard as well as projected) and the text alternates with the sound of wind and a score of windchimes electronically generated based on samplings of the text.
“Clues” is an adaptive hypertext that presents poems and asks the reader to uncover clues, figuring out what to investigate and who to trust. This metaphysical whodunit, couched in the language of the mystery novel and questioning the concepts of detection and communication, was developed in the Connection Muse. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.
253: A Novel for the Internet about London Underground in Seven Cars and a Crash is a constrained composition depicting how all 253 people on a Tube train appear, what they they really like, and what they are doing or thinking. This early Web novel was published in a print remix in 1998. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.
The Minotaur Project is a cluster of four poems fused with image, movement and sound. It is part of a hypermedia novel in verse that explores contemporary issues of identity using the framework of classical myth. Minotaur appears as a fragmented persona confined in the computer’s labyrinth. It attempts to understand self and others (specifically Kore, the main character in this verse novel) without that primary means of connection to the sensate world, the body. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.
Powers’s compelling short story meditates on spam and connects our computer-mediated commuications and experiences with the contents of our memory. This Flash presentation provides the story in a series of email messages, delivered to a simulated inbox. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.
Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles, 1920-1986 is a co-production between USC’s Labyrinth Project, Germany’s ZKM (Center for Art And Media), and cultural historian Norman Klein. It poetically explores the history of a small area near downtown Los Angeles — a city often thought to have no history or downtown. Images of the city past and present are superimposed upon each other, archival documents are presented for exploration, and Klein appears in a small video window to tell the story of Molly — a fictional neighbor based on a real person, who may have murdered her husband.
Weizenbaum devised a startling invention in the mid-1960s: the first computer character. When Eliza system that he built ran his script, Doctor, it could simulate a Rogerian psychotherapist in a way that was, if nothing else, highly amusing and enjoyable. Eliza/Doctor is the first “chatterbot,” and has remained available through the decades, since Weizenbaum documented the system well enough for it to be re-implemented.