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A writing teacher once told me: writing is like breathing. It has two parts. The writing part is like an exhale. The other half is reading, like an inhale, a taking in. The two require each other.

Here's a bit of what I'm reading lately. As you can see, many of my interests lie in the intersection of culture and technology. There's more on my pinboard page.


Scott Bukatman on Hypertext - Artforum International

Descriptions of VR deemphasize language to evoke a kinetic, phenomenologically heightened field of bodily movement and metamorphosis. This depreciation of the linguistic is easily aligned with an all-too-prevalent discourse (I call it cyberdrool) that imagines cyberspace as a site of Dionysian antirationalist liberation. (For a brief but memorable period, cyberdrool was most easily locatable in the magazine Mondo 2000.) In this version of the future, VR actually poses itself against language, and ultimately, in its solipsistic focus on a solitary disembodied subject adrift in the cyberdelic fields, against culture and history as well. As VR-developer Jaron Lanier writes, “In virtual reality, there’s no question that your reality is created by you”—a remark that is typical of the rhetoric of subjective empowerment surrounding VR. This rhetoric inevitably yields to an almost parodic evocation of sublime transcendence: “Virtual reality is the first medium to come along that doesn’t narrow the human spirit.”7 At the same time, however, many writers have stressed the potentially revelatory power of a medium that permits absolute control over the objective conditions of subject formation. Allucquére Stone and others have convincingly argued that VR encourages a new interrogation of Being, as once unalterable conditions,


Virtual Reality and the Future opertext

One could convincingly argue there is no real direct competition: VR and hypertext can evolve side by side for different purposes. VR is useful for simulation and training, for medical imaging, for telepresence, and so on. Hypertext serves for databases of text materials, pedagogy, and interactive fiction and nonfiction. But even if VR and hypertext continue to evolve side by side, it remains interesting to consider how the two might merge.


Thoughts toward and tutorial on corpus-driven narrative generation

By Allison Parrish This notebook is intended to show a few ways that you can go about creating new narratives from an existing corpus of narrative text using Python and a few readily-available Python libraries. It was created as tutorial for Computational Approaches to Narrative, a class I teach at ITP.


GPT-3 Helps Me Write Short Stories — Here's How

This article talks about a lighter side of AI, where it is used to help write fiction. It discusses how AI can be incorporated into the creative process and how AI tools can be leveraged by artists. AI can be a great creative partner, filling in gaps when writers get stuck or suggesting paths that would never have been considered.

On the same page/screen: Making books, making collectives.

The following notes on the making of books and collectives are reflections on the workshop Verlage Selber Machen that are informed by my work with COPIM’s Experimental Publishing and Reuse Working Group. The publishing initiative cache.ch ran the event to share experiences with making, running and sustaining independent publishers.

Experimental Publishing Compendium

The Experimental Publishing Compendium will provide an online resource for academic experimental publishing. It will offer publishers, authors, platform and tool providers information about book typologies, practices, sensitivities, tools and workflows. We aim to provide inspiration and guidance for experimental publications by linking these building blocks demonstrating how they might fit together. While tools feature prominently in the compendium, we are keen to showcase non-technical ingredients to raise awareness that tools alone don’t make a publication. We are currently starting development and are planning to release a prototype of this compendium by the end of 2022.

Renaissance of the Weird: Experimental Fiction as the New American Normal

A magnificent piece of work, “The Ghost Birds” depends—for its impact—on stretching, not to say manhandling, the fictional form. It bears little resemblance to what’s generally considered “a New Yorker story,” the strained domesticity of contributors from John O’Hara to Ann Beattie. At the same time, despite its future tech and apocalyptic apparatus, Russell’s piece doesn’t feel right for, say, Fantasy & Science Fiction. It achieves both emotional sting and political savvy (a harsh critique of capitalism) beyond what’s generally considered SF turf, the materials of Asimov and Bradbury. But then again, who cares what’s “generally considered?”


The Butterfly Effect of Reading

When discussing books with friends, I try hard to avoid saying, “You should read…” unless I am explicitly asked for a recommendation. When I write about the books I read, I try to cast my writing as books that I enjoyed. There is absolutely no way I can tell if you would enjoy them. I do this because I am sensitive to the hypocrisy of recommending books when I don’t take well to such recommendations myself. I am not always successful, but I always bear it in mind.


A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures

This interactive, open-access edition allows readers to enter Islam through a diverse set of doorways, each leading to different time periods across different parts of the world. Bashir discusses Islam as phenomenon and as discourse—observed in the built environment, material objects, paintings, linguistic traces, narratives, and social situations. He draws on literary genres, including epics, devotional poetry and prayers, and modern novels; art and architecture in varied forms; material culture, from luxury objects to cheap trinkets; and such forms of media as photographs, graffiti, and films. The book's layered digital interface allows for an exploration of and engagement with this rich visual material and multimedia evidence not possible in a printed volume.


9 design principles for a musical metaverse

Building off of Matthew Ball’s Metaverse Primer and our interviews with dozens of artists and industry professionals, we fleshed out a set of nine artist- and fan-centric design principles for building next-gen musical metaverse experiences, ranging from individual and social modes of expression and collaboration on the frontend, to interoperable and decentralized data infrastructure on the backend.


The Next Frontier in Storytelling Universes and the Never Ending Desire for More

Modern technology began a century-plus process that continually enriched storytelling across four dimensions: (1) immersiveness/believability; (2) persistence and frequency; (3) continuity across different media and mediums; and (4) audience control/influence. Understanding this trend allows us to better understand the next storytelling innovation, which stories will thrive and decline, how many we’ll support and love, and where they come from. And the best way to do this is to consider the key “inflection points” that fundamentally altered modern storytelling.


Covid Electronic Literature Exhibition

Starting the preparatory phase of our research project almost one year ago, we were primarily interested in capturing the cultural moment of the then-nascent COVID pandemic through the lens of digital culture in general and electronic literature and digital art in particular. In the course of barely a couple of months in 2020, we witnessed the massive shift of transferring almost every aspect of our everyday life online. This quickly resulted both in an explosion of new forms of creativity and the acute syndrome of much-touted “Zoom fatigue”.



2D & 3D, Algorithmic, Animated, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Codework, Combinatory, Generative, Glitch, Hypermedia, Immersive, Interactive, Kinetic, Locative, Mobile, Multimedia, Networked, Virtual Reality (VR), Virtual World, Web-Based/Net—these are some of the qualities found among the 34 collections of digital art and writing at the Electronic Literature Organization's The NEXT.



dra.ft is a movement, a festival, a community, a long-term research project that explores emergent ideas of text and its future. dra.ft draws from the idea of poetic computation where the machine and author are collaborators.


Littérature comparée

This research notebook aims to allow the pooling and deepening of the issues explored within the framework of the comparative workshop on digital literature at the University of Rennes 2, in the humanities department. Digital literature represents a privileged field of exploration for a comparative approach: it confronts the literature researcher with an evolution, even a revolution, of the text and its methods of expression and incarnation. It is then necessary to put to the test of a new textual device the classic tools of literary analysis.


Lexia to Perplexia

Talan Memmott's Lexia to Perplexia is a rich and complex exploration of the relationship between human consciousness and network phenomenology. Alluding to traditions ranging from ancient Greek and Egyptian myth to postmodern literary theory, using a creole of human language and code, Lexia is a work in which the functioning and malfunctioning of the interface itself carries as much meaning as the words and images that compose the text. Lexia to Perplexia is a deconstructive/grammatological examination of the "delivery machine." The text of the work falls into the gaps between theory and fiction. The work makes wide use of DHTML and JavaScript. At times its interactive features override the source text, leading to a fragmentary reading experience.