August 15, 2004

ACM Hypertext 2004: the reading

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 2:25 am

While I plan to do a bit more updating of the notes from day 1 and day 2 (using material I wrote up at the conference), I’ll be making separate posts about the sessions in which I spoke. (As you might imagine, I didn’t take too many notes during these.) I’m writing this from Helsinki, where I’ve found an open wireless connection that will let me web surf, but not email (unfortunately). I’m here for ISEA 2004 — as are Michael, Andrew, and Scott. Hopefully we’ll continue to find access and do some posting about this conference as well.

Back to Hypertext, on Wednesday I was part of the hypertext readings. These kicked off with Rob Kendall, who did a reading/divination with a new (or maybe still in-process) piece called Soothcircuits. His two questions from the audience were “Which of the next sessions should I attend?” and “Is there a path to peace?” — both of which he handled with aplomb. Soothcircuits is on the web somewhere, for those who want to do their own “readings,” but I haven’t been able to find the URL. (If someone has it, could they post it in the comments?)

Next up was Judy Malloy, who read from her new Streaming Media Trail. She read from the seventh section, which describes an on-stage technologically-enhanced performance — which created a kind of doubling with her own performance. She read, “How Nazi rocket scientists, the men who built the robotic V-2 rockets to attack British civilians in their cities and homes, the men who worked slaves to their death in the concentration camps where the V-2 rockets were built, were brought — by the Central Intelligence Agency and US Military Intelligence — to the United States to direct our Space Program.”

Bob Arellano was scheduled for the next slot, but couldn’t make it to the conference. Reading organizer Jim Rosenberg stepped into the breach, to the vocal appreciation of the audience. I thought Jim said he was reading from Diagrams Series Seven, but I can’t find evidence on the web of that series. In any case, Jim’s work is now in Squeak, and we later talked about some of the advantages of that environment when it comes to things like the issues in Acid-Free Bits. Jim said he’d try to write something up for Nick and me to post to the AFB website and use when doing the next version.

I talked about, and then showed the video version of, Screen. The reaction made me feel great. During the remainder of Wednesday, and throughout the day Thursday, people stopped me between sessions to say how much they’d enjoyed it. One conference attendee told me it was the first piece of electronic art that he’d found moving. I think the Hypertext community is really receptive to the kinds of work we discuss here at GTxA, and I hope that in the future it’ll find its way into the papers program to a greater degree.