April 28, 2007

Saturday at MiT5

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 7:30 pm

There were many more great presentations today at Media in Transition 5. The conference actually includes more than 250 presentations over three days. Fortunately, this abundance is matched with good documentation – all the abstracts and many full papers are online, with more coming. Here is a brief mention of a few of today’s sessions:

“Disruptive Practices.” James Cypher showed several of his video mash-ups, which he shows on public access TV; these included one that conflated music from The Pixes (“Where is My Mind?”) and Dylan (“Blowing in the Wind”). Jay Critchley spoke about his prolific and hilarious art projects, one of which was founding and running the Old Glory Condom Company. Benjamin Mako Hill and Elizabeth Stark told us about the copyright perspectives of an often neglected group – pirates, who are concerned with the rights of media users and consumers.

Share Global

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 2:53 pm

I’m at a panel about an interesting group — Share Global is a a network of groups with an open source/fluxus ethic to new media performance, who get together on a weekly basis and have audio and video mixing jam sessions, along with featured sets. Share started in New York, and has modes in Montreal, Weisbaden, San Diego, Los Angeles, Melbourne, St. Petersburg, and Geneva. Anyone who wants to can participate. The Share groups build their own infrastructure, mixing boxes, etc. and collaborate in these face to face meetings and also network with other nodes on the network. Pretty cool — if you live in one of the node cities, you might drop in and plugin your laptop if you choose.

Obscure Cities

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 10:14 am

obscurecities Yesterday I attended a talk on authorship including a presentation by net artist and theorist Alok Nandi, who was one of the developers of the web version of the French-language graphic novel Les Cites Obsures, developed in the 1990s, which looks like a very beautiful and compelling hypertext narrative/art project. A community developed around the project, with many readers contributing original artwork, drawings and animations.

April 27, 2007

Friday at MiT5

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 6:35 pm

Here are a few brief snippets from Media in Transition 5 today. My fellow panelist Jill Walker blogged about the introduction, so, on to the first session…

In “Folk Cultures and Digital Cultures,” Thomas Pettitt, Lewis Hyde, and S. Craig Watkins took us from the appropriative practices of Shakespeare, through the (potential) piracy and refusal to patent of Benjamin Franklin, and the plundering and reworking of musical history done by DJ Kool Herc and others.

Gamer Theory 2.0

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:33 am

McKenzie Wark, author of A Hacker Manifesto, Dispositions and web version 1.1 of GAM3R 7H30RY (1 2) online at the Institute for the Future of the Book, has revised a version of the latter called Gamer Theory 2.0, published from Harvard University Press.

…McKenzie Wark contends, digital computer games are the emergent cultural form of the times. Where others argue obsessively over violence in games, Wark approaches them as a utopian version of the world in which we actually live. Playing against the machine on a game console, we enjoy the only truly level playing field–where we get ahead on our strengths or not at all.

April 26, 2007

Virtual Cultures covered

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:56 am

Here’s a promising blog launched last month: http://virtualcultures.typepad.com

Ron Meiners & Celia Pearce present Virtual Cultures, a blog and online discussion on the design, management and study of community and culture in online games and virtual worlds. Please join us and our guest authors for a lively and in-depth in “applied cybersociology,” exploring philosophical, sociological and practical issues of social dynamics and emergent behavior in online virtual spaces. Our initial posts talk about our intentions and perspectives regarding the blog, which will focus on the emerging understanding of online social behavior. We also report on the recent IMGDC 2007 Indie MMO conference, which we both attended.

April 25, 2007

Emerging Terrain in Games and Simulation

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:06 am

Recently, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) hosted the “Emerging Terrain in Games and Simulation” symposium, 13-14 April 2007, to inaugerate Rensselaer’s new Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Major, a new B.S. degree with enrollment beginning in Fall 2007. The program is among a growing number of such programs in the country and is designed to educate students for the game industry. After a tour, which included Katherine Isbister’s cool game lab, attendees played games at an open house style game night on Friday the 13th. Katie Salen began the symposium Saturday (pic by Jason Della Rocca)

April 23, 2007

ELC v1 in the Inky

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 1:02 pm

The Electronic Literature Collection, volume one is the topic of Katie Haegele’s column in the Philadelphia Inquirer this week. She writes

But wouldn’t it be nice to get our arms around this thing, to get a sense of the full breadth and scope of what’s called digital literature?

The 60 works in the first volume of the Electronic Literature Collection (ELC) (http://collection.eliterature.org) – edited by N. Katherine Hayles, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg and Stephanie Strickland – show the wide range of forms that exist within the genre.

and describes the keyword index and four of the pieces included in volume one of the Collection in detail.

April 21, 2007

Boston Cyberarts Festival Now Underway

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 1:00 pm

The Boston Cyberarts Festival has just kicked off, and will run until May 6. Suggestions of what to see each day are posted at Big RED & Shiny, and you can check the full Event Selector. This festival is put on every two years and is the major series of new media events in the Boston area, “encompassing visual arts, dance, music, electronic literature, web art, and public art.” Many artists and organizations participate; Turbulence, for instance, has commisioned two works for the festival (“Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments” and “Pulse Pool”) and is sponsoring two events (OurFloatingPoints: The Art of Living a Second Life and an Upgrade! Boston event). MIT’s participation includes the first Cambridge Science Festival, a one-day festival with the MIT Museum as its main sponsor; usual artistic suspects CAVS and the List Visual Arts Center are venues for Cyberarts events, too. If you’re in the area for some of the festival and catch an interesting event, or a show that others should know about, drop us a comment.

April 20, 2007

UK Launch of the Electronic Literature Collection

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 5:22 am

On Thursday, May 17th, at the Institute for Creative Technologies at De Montfort University, in Leicester, a UK Launch of the Electronic Literature Collection will be held. I’ll be introducing the ELC at the at the event, and John Cayley, Jon Ingold, Chris Joseph, and Kate Pullinger will be reading from their work. The first 50 attendees will receive a free copy of the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1 on CD-ROM.

The ELC was also recently reviewed briefly in El Pais by Stefano Caldano and at greater length by Tim Wright in Realtime Arts.

Knowledge Representation For Dummies

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 3:39 am

I mean that in the best way. Conrad Barski, M.D., has a site called Lisperati with all kinds of fun illustrated tutorials on topics such as Building, Programming and Hosting Your Own Debian Linux Server; Emacs Tagging; Lisp; and my favorite, How to Tell Stuff to a Computer: The Enigmatic Art of Knowledge Representation.

April 19, 2007

Visiting Prof. Positions at UArts

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 3:13 pm

Two visitng positions related to Grand Text Auto-y things, here in Philadelphia:

The University of the Arts Multimedia Department seeks candidates to fill a visiting designer position as an assistant or associate professor. The successful candidate should have a strong background in any of the following areas: interface design, interaction design, usability engineering, human-computer interaction or digital installation. Rank and salary will depend upon qualifications and experience.

The University of the Arts Multimedia Department seeks candidates to fill a visiting position as an assistant or associate professor. Rank and salary will depend upon qualifications and experience. A focus in any of the following is of particular interest to the department: information theory, human computer interaction, game theory and contemporary art and design history.

April 18, 2007

enter_unknown territories in Cambridge, UK

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:34 am

An international festival for new technology art is taking place in Cambridge, England from April 25-29. It seems that this includes an LED workshop – good thing it’s not taking place in Cambride, MA. There’s a blog for the festival, too.

April 17, 2007

Juul and Faifman on Wednesday

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:56 am

Jesper Juul and Judith Faifman will be speaking at UCSD on Wednesday from noon to 2pm. All welcome! Official information follows…

What is Game Literacy? Two presentations on playing and reading games

Noon- 2pm, Wednesday, April 18th
San Diego Supercomputer Center Auditorium

On Wednesday, April 18, 2007, two international authorities will examine video gaming and literacy, from the perspective of the game maker and the player. Both talks will be delivered from 12 noon to 2pm in the auditorium of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, based at UC San Diego.

April 15, 2007

Procedural Arts and GTxA in CGW GWF

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 11:45 pm

Evan Shamoon, a writer at the recent successor to Computer Gaming World magazine, now called Games for Windows, solicited us with a nice set of questions, resulting in a substantial article published in this month’s issue. The article is called “Type What You Feel”.

I’ll continue my somewhat dubious practice of scanning in and posting such articles online (hopefully no one at GFW will complain, especially since we just plugged Microsoft’s hardware and conference cruises).

This blog gets a mention in the article too — perhaps the first time it’s made it into print? I can’t remember.

April 11, 2007

Prepare for Glory

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 5:29 pm

Three Based on an original design by Toshihiro Nishikado, this is a ferocious simulation of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which three Spartans fight to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing insurmountable odds, their valor and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy, drawing a line in the sand for democracy. The original graphics come to life when iconic, geometric images are combined with processing power. Find one in your local theater today, or try the online version now…

TimeCube + Puppetland = (year – 1990)^LOG10(C#)

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 4:25 pm

Looks like there is some unusual RPG territory left to be discussed in Third Person, or, if you believe person is four-sided, maybe Fourth Person. Quick, roll saving cube against HYBRID!

Archives & Social Sciences, Number 0

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 1:44 pm

Archives and Social Sciences

Archival & Social Studies, a digital, free, and peer-reviewed journal on archival science, has launched. The journal covers digital issues and draws from other disciplines to solve current problems in archival science. Volume 1 number 0 of A&SS is now out. (Perhaps the bibliographically inclined can explain why the volumes seem to be numbered by an analyst and the issues by a set theorist? A search for “vol 1 no 0” shows this has been done elsewhere.) The Intersections section includes “Archives in the Digital Age: New Uses for an Old Science,” “Searching for meaning in the Library of Babel: field semantics and problems of digital archiving,” and my article “Toward a Theory of Interactive Fiction.” Those interested in submitting should see the manuscript submission guidelines.

April 10, 2007

Emily Short Interviewed in Gamasutra

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 10:53 pm

Emily Short is interviewed in the main featured article in the current Gamastutra. Jim Munroe (an IF author himself; he wrote Punk Points) talks with her, and their discussion deals a good bit with one of my favorite of Emily’s games, Savoir-Faire.

The Party 360?

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 4:47 pm

This just in: Microsoft is releasing a controller with a keyboard for the XBox 360. (Further, I didn’t know this — you can also just simply plug in a regular USB keyboard into the 360.)

Till now, we have been assuming that market for language-based interactive drama would necessarily be limited to PC and Mac users, because of the keyboard requirement.

So, we hadn’t seriously considered developing interactive drama for consoles, because of the keyboard issue. But now… hmm.

(~90% of all game purchases these days are for console, ~10% for PC, from my understanding.)

April 8, 2007

Speed and Missiles, Two Great Tastes

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:14 am


If you’re in the mood for futuristic, jet-powered automotive descruction, Jetspeed is a slick side-scrolling vehicular combat game you might like. It was done in Flash by Damien Clarke for Albino Blacksheep. The music and graphics work well with the gameplay and are quite polished – closer to the Alien Hominid end of the spectrum than the Animutations end.

If your tastes are more abstract, check out Kenta Cho’s L.A.2, which repurposes the Game of Life as a shooter – you shoot “gliders” into the self-generating and attacking grid around you.

April 7, 2007

International Prize for Digital Literature

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 5:13 am

Submissions are open for the 3rd Ciutat de Vinaros International Prize of Digital Literature. There are three prizes in Digital Narrative (2500 Euros), Digital Poetry (2500 Euros) and a special “Vincent Ferrer Romero” Prize for the best work of Digital Literature written in Catalan (1000 Euros). This is currently the only annual prize competition with a substantial purse that I’m aware of in electronic literature, and all digital authors are encouraged to submit. The judging criteria specify:

  • Works that explore and use the possibilities of the computer as a space for creation.

April 5, 2007

Insert Quarterly

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 1:23 pm

The first issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly has arrived! Congratulations to editor-in-chief Julia Flanders and the people of DHQ.

Selections: In “Interpretative Quests in Theory and Pedagogy,” Jeff Howard explains and develops some of his work in teaching postmodern novels via quests, as described before here on GTxA. In “Reading Potential: The Oulipo and the Meaning of Algorithms,” Mark Wolff describes how the Oulipian view of “potential” does not immediately lend itself to the analysis, rather than the production, of texts. And there’s a review, by Johanna Drucker, of Willard McCarty’s Humanities Computing.

April 4, 2007

Tale-of-Tales Blog

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 11:57 am

Speaking of developer blogs, the team at Tale-of-Tales has multiple blogs, not just the Drama Princess one we’ve linked to. Check out their main blog, which has lots of activity lately. (I replaced Drama Princess with it on our blogroll.)

On their main blog they have a nice series of screenshots of some of the works in exhibition at Laboral in Spain (1 2).

April 3, 2007

Dancing Baby Formula

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 2:16 pm

stretch your browser window wide… apologies in advance…

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