February 1, 2009

Networked Authors and Two Commissions from Turbulence

by Nick Montfort · , 9:25 am

Turbulence has just made two announcements. First, based on a bevy of quality proposals, authors have been selected for Networked: a (networked_book) about (networked_art). They are Anne Helmond, Patrick Lichty, Anna Munster, Marisa Olson, and Kazys Varnelis. Second, two new pieces commissioned by Turbulence have been unfurled: ABSML, a language for writing text-generation templates, and “Without a Trace,” a comic generated from tracings and traces of several sources, including The New York Times.

We are pleased to announce the winners of our international juried competition, “Networked: a (networked_book) about (networked_art)”. They are, ANNE HELMOND, PATRICK LICHTY, ANNA MUNSTER, MARISA OLSON, and KAZYS VARNELIS.

Each will receive a commission of $3,000 to develop a chapter that will be open for revision, commentary, and translation. “Networked” will launch on July 1, 2009.

The runners-up are Ele Carpenter, Christine Nadir, Mark Shepard, and Jason Freeman.

NETWORKED COMMITTEE: Steve Dietz (Northern Lights, MN) :: Martha CC Gabriel (net artist, Brazil) :: Geert Lovink (Institute for Network Cultures, The Netherlands) :: Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute for Technology, MA) :: Anne Bray (LA Freewaves, LA) :: Sean Dockray (Telic Arts Exchange, LA) :: Jo-Anne Green (NRPA, MA) :: Eduardo Navas (newmediaFIX) :: Helen Thorington (NRPA, NY)

NETWORKED PARTNERS: New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (NRPA) :: newmediaFIX :: LA Freewaves :: Telic Arts Exchange.

LAUNCH EVENTS: Digicult :: Freewaves :: Re:live 09 :: Telic Arts Exchange :: Upgrade! Boston :: your name here (contact jo@turbulence.org).

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Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

“A networked book is an open book designed to be written, edited and read in a networked environment.” – Institute for the Future of the Book

And the two new Turbulence Commissions…

1. “ABSML” by Jeff Crouse, Andrew Mahon, and Steve Lambert
2. “Without A Trace” by Jody Zellen

1. “ABSML” by Jeff Crouse, Andrew Mahon, and Steve Lambert

ABSML is a new markup language that enables the creation of complex sentence formulas for 21st century automatic writing. ABSML tags replace parts of speech and sentence components using sophisticated semantic analysis, regular expressions, and web-based resources. In the right combination, the tags create prose that — while based on formulas and code — do not appear formulaic. ABSML is free and open for others to use, both through an online editor and an API (application programming interface).

“ABSML” is a 2008 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.

2. “Without A Trace” by Jody Zellen

In July 2007, Jody Zellen began saving the daily online version of the comic strip “Real Life Adventures”, removing the text so that all that was left were the empty thought bubbles. She has also been tracing the print version of the New York Times every day, often combining the front and back of a single page (by holding it up to a window). “Without A Trace” takes the idea of this daily ritual as its point of departure.

Each day for a year, a comic image, a trace drawing, and three words from the original comic strip will be randomly selected from an archive. These will be juxtaposed with live text and image feeds from the New York Times online.

A trace is an action. A trace is what remains when almost everything else disappears. “Without A Trace” draws from an archive of traces, presenting them with ephemeral data to provide a fleeting memory, challenging the title and the notion, without a trace.

“Without A Trace” is a 2008 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.