August 23, 2005
Laurence Sterne (1713-68) wrote The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy in Shandy Hall, Coxwold, York, in the 18th Century. The innovative nonlinear novel is often cited by contemporary new media writers as an influence on their creative practice. It was recently announced that Shandy Hall will now house Asterisk*, a center for the study and development of narrative. Rather than simply developing the site as a museum dedicated to Sterne’s life and works, the center will be dedicated to innovation in both old and particularly new work. Asterisk* will support residencies for artists, “we envisage that these residencies will take forward current practice in a variety of narrative engagements: with diverse media, non linearity, digression, interactivity and audience participation, particularly (though not exclusively) where these intersect with technology.” The center will also commission new works, host exhibitions and performances, lectures and events, and a web forum. Last year hypertext author Deena Larsen completed a short hypertext, Shandean Ambles, during a three-day residency at the site. Asterisk* is now accepting applications for two three-week residencies this fall, one intended for a new media artist and the second for a writer with minimal technical background interested in integrating new media into his or her practice. Asterisk* also intends to gather an extensive library of innovative interactive literature at Shandy Hall.