April 30, 2014

Slice of Trope

from Post Position
by @ 11:15 am

Slice of MIT, an MIT alumni publication, has an article on my work with poetry and computation. It’s by Kate Hoagland, was written for National Poetry Month, and is an excellent short discussion of several recent projects and some themes in my work and that of my lab, The Trope Tank.

April 29, 2014

Happy 50th to BASIC

from Post Position
by @ 1:42 pm

Dartmouth is celebrating the 50th anniversary of BASIC tomorrow with several events, including the premiere of a documentary on BASIC that I hope to see soon. I teach two classes tomorrow; those and my other meetings will make it impossible for me to stop by, even though Dartmouth is not very far away.

There’s also a celebratory Time article about BASIC, one that is packed with nice photos, scans, and GIFs showing how programs were listed and how they ran. The GIFs include a sped-up one of 10 PRINT running in an emulator, and there’s a link to 10 PRINT CHR$ (205.5 + RND (1)); : GOTO 10, our book (by Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter).

Gender? I Hardly Know ‘er

from Post Position
by @ 9:19 am

The AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) offers you eleven options on their Web form for indicating your gender. But these are listed in a drop-down box, so you can’t choose more than one.

AWP's gender options

To give a specific example, you can’t choose “male” and “cisgender.”


April 25, 2014

Scott Rettberg in Purple Blurb this Monday

from Post Position
by @ 1:57 pm

Purple Blurb

MIT, room 14E-310

Monday 4/28, 5:30pm

Free and open to the public, no reservation required

Scott Rettberg

Scott RettbergThis Monday (2014-04-28) Purple Blurb is proud to host a screening and discussion of narrative video art work done in collaboration with Roderick Coover, including The Last Volcano, Cats and Rats, Three Rails Live, and Toxicity. (The last two are combinatory pieces; Three Rails Live is a collaboration between Coover, Rettberg, and Nick Montfort.) These pieces deal with personal and global catastrophes and are written across languages, with one of the voices in Cats and Rats in (subtitled) Norwegian. They continue Rettberg’s work on novel-length electronic literature projects and his frequent collaboration with others.

Metadata Games Tag Event: May Day! May Day!

from tiltfactor
by @ 9:30 am

For Immediate Release

Tiltfactor is proud to announce a new collaboration with the British Library! To celebrate, Tiltfactor’s Metadata Games project will launch the new tagging game Ships Tag as part of a tag event called May Day! May Day! starting midnight on May 1st.

April 24, 2014

ELO Awards: Call for Nominations

from Post Position
by @ 4:29 pm

The Electronic Literature Organization is delighted to announce two awards to be given this summer; nominations are open now.

The ELO is proud to announce the ”The N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of
Electronic Literature” and “The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic
Literature.” Below is information including guidelines for submissions for each.


“The N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature”

Bitcoin for your Warhol!

from Post Position
by @ 9:59 am

Thanks to Golan Levin’s “atypical, anti-disciplinary and inter-institutional” FRSCI lab, the CMU Computer Club, and ROM hacking bit-boy Cory Archangel, several instances of previously unknown visual artwork, done by Andy Warhol on the Amiga 1000 in 1985, have been recovered.

CA$H for your WARHOL sign

April 22, 2014

A Superreboot

from Post Position
by @ 6:52 pm

There’s a remake (or maybe a reboot?) of superbad.com, the classic, off-kilter, uncanny art website that was employed back in 2008 in a Grand Text Auto April Fool’s joke.

It’s www.orworse.net.

I guess they made it worse by adding a “www.”

Psychological Theories

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:19 am

Tiltfactor works to create games that promote fun and social change in equal measure. The Tilt team employs leading psychological theories and game research to produce powerful gaming experiences, which we hope will further the research upon which our products are based. Below, we’ve shared some of the literature that forms our approach.

Theories and Research:

I. Transformative Potential of Fictional Narratives

A. Exploring Potential Relationships between Individuals and Characters

1. Characters as Friends:
Horton, D., & Wohl, R. R. (1956). Mass communication and para-social interaction: Observations on intimacy at a distance. Psychiatry, 19(3), 215-229.
–Classic work that established the phenomenon of “parasocial interaction” – the illusion of intimacy experienced toward fictional characters, celebrities, and media figures

April 14, 2014

Console Yourself In Flight

from Post Position
by @ 1:43 pm

If you, like Ian Bogost, manage to attain Titanium Medallion status on Delta, you too can influence the content of the company’s safety videos.

April 11, 2014


from Post Position
by @ 12:18 pm

The premiere of the film Transcendance, directed by Wally Pfister and starring Johnny Depp as AI researcher Dr. Will Caster, was last night in Westwood. I got to go since my spouse produced and co-wrote the iOS and Android game that accompanies this movie. Johnny Depp and other cast members were there, but, alas, I did not get to hang with them; there were many interesting conversations nevertheless and I was glad to get to see the film for the first time. (Those involved with it had often seen very many cuts already, of course.) The general theatrical release of the film is April 18.

April 9, 2014

Microcodes and more Non-Object Art

from Post Position
by @ 5:40 am

In NOO ART, The Journal of Objectless Art, there’s a conversation between Páll Thayer and Daniel Temkin that was just posted. (Thayer recently collaborated with me to put up “Programs at an Exhibition,” the first software art show at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery.) The conversation covers Thayer’s code art, including his Perl Microcodes and antecedents, but also touches on free software, Windows, various esoteric languages by Temkin and others, painting and drawing, Christiane Paul’s CodeDOC project at the Whitney, “expert cultures,” and the future of code-based art.

It’s great reading, and objectless art might be just the thing to go with your object-oriented ontology.

April 7, 2014

Those Persistent Mainframes

from Post Position
by @ 9:11 am

Mickey Rooney is no longer with us, but the mainframe computer is. The Register writes up the 50th anniversary of IBM’s System 360, finishing by describing the current zEnterprise line of IBM mainframes. The line was updated just last year.

If this anniversary encourages you to hit the books about the System 360, I suggest IBM’s 360 and Early 370 Systems by Emerson W. Pugh, Lyle R. Johnson and John H. Palmer.

April 6, 2014

Lance Olsen in Purple Blurb, Mon 5:30pm

from Post Position
by @ 9:36 am

“Lance Olsen is at the center of every discussion I have about the contemporary landscape of innovative and experimental writing.”


Lance Olsen

Lance Olsen

April 7, 5:30pm

MIT’s Room 14E-310

Experimental writing & video

Including a reading from his recent book [[ there. ]] and video from his Theories of Forgetting project.

April 3, 2014

Kevin Brooks

from Post Position
by @ 8:54 pm

Kevin Brooks, a storyteller who worked with technology in many contexts, died last Friday of cancer. Kevin was finishing his PhD at the MIT Media Lab when I was there as a masters student. Although he was farther along in his studies and working on a different floor with Glorianna Davenport’s research group, he helped me with my thinking and became a real friend, discussing his work (from Tired of Giving In to his Agent Stories project for his dissertation, “Metalinear Cinematic Narrative: Theory, Process, and Tool”) and how to develop other sorts of interactive narratives. Kevin also introduced me to the storytelling of Brother Blue and the rest of the Cambridge storytelling community. Kevin was at Apple before coming to MIT and went on to work at Motorola and, later, Hallmark. When I came to MIT, I was interested in inquiring about narrative and poetics in the system-building work that I did, and I was lucky to encounter Kevin, who had been looking at the forms and structures of storytelling as well as its ability to treat themes, to change people, and to change the world.

Advanced Bitcoin Simulator

from Post Position
by @ 12:51 pm

If you felt like you missed your chance to … profit! … from the ascendance of Bitcoin, try the new, shiny Advanced Bitcoin Simulator, an interactive fiction by a sekrit author. It’s built with yui3, Inform 7, and parchment, but also builds on the simulation of online forums found in Judith Pintar’s CosmoServe, incorporates some of the audacity of several recent Twine games, and offers a bit (no pun intended) of the Ayn Rand pillory found in Bioshock.

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