World Clock (book, code) has now been published in Polish. The translation is by Piotr Marecki, who translated the underlying novel-generating program and generated a new novel in Polish. ha!art is the publisher, and the book appears in the Liberatura series, which also includes some very distinguished titles: The Polish translations of Finnegans Wake and of Perec’s Life A User’s Manual, for instance.
September 25, 2014
My most unconventional lab is documented in a new zine by Sherri Wasserman, one available for download and screen-viewing now; it will be available in DIY print-and-bind-your-own format soon.
The publication is Restore [Return] Shift, and it’s the second in a series of zines documenting spaces that preserve and offer access to creative computing.
A rare color photo can be seen on the Instragram announcement.
Here are some photos from the opening of the show More Human at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery on September 12.
My piece in the show is From the Tables of My Memorie. I read a bit from the piece last night, when I spoke at Boston Cyberarts with several other artists about our work and the theme of the show.
I’ll be speaking at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery again on November 19, this time about ports and translations in computational art – the topic of my Renderings project. That event is at 7:30pm. The gallery is in the Green St T Station on the Orange Line.
September 22, 2014
I read from #! and two other books at the Harvard Book Store last Thursday.
This Wednesday (September 24), I’ll be one of ten artists speaking about work in the COLLISIONcollective show “More Human.” The Art Technology New England event is in the gallery where the show is up.
That’s the Boston Cyberarts gallery, 141 Green St, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 02130 – connected to the Green Street T Station on the Orange Line.
The event starts at 7:30pm and will probably go to about 10pm.
ITP (the Interactive Telecommunications Program) at NYU is having a Code Poetry Slam on November 14. And they are seeking entries now! Send them along no later than November 7.
September 18, 2014
Call for Participation
THE END(S) OF ELECTRONIC LITERATURE
The 2015 Electronic Literature Organization conference and festival will take place August 5-7th 2015. The conference will be hosted by the Bergen Electronic Literature research group at the University of Bergen, Norway with sessions at venues including the University of Bergen, Det Akademiske Kvarteret, the Bergen Public Library, the University of Bergen Arts library, and local arts venues. Bergen is Norway’s second-largest city, known as the gateway to the fjords, a festival city and cultural center with a lively and innovative arts scene.
September 17, 2014
Hey, lookit here. Not only is 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (by Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter, MIT Press, 2013) available for free online as a Creative Commons PDF, and available in the original harback edition that MIT Press published, it’s also now in paperback.
The paperback looks beautiful, by the way, thanks to the design work and attention of our co-author Casey Reas.
September 16, 2014
I’m delighted that Flash: Building the Interactive Web by Anastasia Salter and John Murray has just been published by the MIT Press.
This is an excellent study of an influential software platform – our first such study in the Platform Studies series – and it both traces the history of the platform, its development and the contexts in which it arose, as it also covers many famous and representative Flash productions.
Mark Sample writes of it, “Combining historical research, software studies, and a deep appreciate for digital creativity, Salter and Murray dramatically explore Flash—whose very ubiquity has heretofore made it transparent to media scholars—as the defining technology for a generation of artists, storytellers, game designers, and Web 2.0 companies.”
September 15, 2014
I will be reading from and discussing three recent books this Thursday at 7pm the Harvard Book Store here in sunny Cambridge, Massachusetts. These are:
Counterpath Press, Denver
a book of programs & poems (pronounced “shebang”)
Bad Quarto, Cambridge
a computer-generated novel
10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
MIT Press, Cambridge
a collaboration with nine others that I organized, now out in paperback
These all express how programming can be used for poetic purposes, and how
new aesthetic possibilities can arise with the help of computing. Also,
some portions of these (which I’ll read from) are quite pleasing to read
aloud and to hear.
Sam Lavigne has an excellent text-generating, or at least -transforming, system that produces patent applications based on source texts. See, for instance, the one generated using Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist.” A full explanation of the code is provided on the page.
September 12, 2014
Yes, the first event is today, the date of this post…
September 12, Friday, 6pm-8pm
Boston Cyberarts Gallery, 141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
“Collision21: More Human” exhibit opens – it’s up through October 26.
“From the Tables of My Memorie” by Montfort, an interactive video installation, is included.
September 18, Thursday, 7pm-8pm
Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA
Montfort reads from #!, World Clock, and the new paperback 10 PRINT
September 24, Wednesday, 7:30pm
Boston Cyberarts Gallery, 141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
Montfort joins a panel of artists in “Collision21: More Human” for this Art Technology New England discussion.
September 11, 2014
I’m reading at the Harvard Book Store on September 18 – a week from now, on Thursday. The reading is at 7pm.
I’ll be presenting and reading from my latest book, #! (pronounced “shebang”), which is a book of programs and poems, published by Counterpath Press in Denver.
I’ll also discuss my previous two books, one of which is World Clock. I developed this for National Novel Generation Month last November; it’s a computer-generated novel. Cleverly enough, it’s been translated into Polish via translation of the underlying program.
September 8, 2014
Lance Olsen and Tim Guthrie have updated their classic and palindromically-titled electronic literature work, 10:01.
This piece was included in the first Electronic Literature Collection and the first edition can still be seen there. Since it offers links out to the Web, and some of these became stale since the piece was first published in 2005, the prolific and edgy experimental writer Olsen and developer Guthrie have revised the piece for the Web for 2014, also reworking a few other elements. One is still able to select among movie patrons to read their perspectives. The piece is a companion to the print-novel version of 10:01, published by Chiasmus in 2005.
An upcoming exhibit, a group show here in town, features a work of mine…
Collision21: More Human
The exhibition Collision21: More Human will be at the Boston Cyberarts
Gallery September 13-October 26, 2014, with an opening on Friday, September
12th from 6 to 9pm. This is a group show dealing with two closely-related
concepts: human self-modification and the human modification of our
environment. Formed by artists and technologists, the COLLISIONcollective is
premised on the sometimes abrupt intersection between art and technology.
September 5, 2014
Two professors page through, scroll through, search through the history and contemporary existence of the book to disrupt the opposition between computing and print-based, codexical practice.
GOTO80 tipped me off that the NYPL is experimenting with using PETSCII (the character set used on the Commodore 64 and other Commodore computers) to generate covers for e-books that don’t have them. There is also a cover generator under development that uses illustrations.
The PETSCII generator is specificaly inspired by 10 PRINT, and of course, it leads leads me to ask … will they use this system to generate a cover for the e-book version of 10 PRINT?
September 4, 2014
The disciple went to Minsky.
The disciple told him of his project, to develop a story generator with different components, a collaborative system that collaborated.
Minsky asked if a specific author was to be imitated.
No, the disciple said, the project seeks to do what only computers can do, to use computational power in new ways. And yet, the disciple admitted, the system models human creativity, techniques and processes that people use. Hesitantly, the disciple said, “it does seem contradictory…”
“You can do both,” said Minsky.
At that moment, the disciple was enlightened.
I was asked to pass along word of the full/associate professor position in HCI and interactive media design at NUS. Checking the link, I found that there are also openings for full/associate professors in media studies and in new media studies and development. So: the details on these faculty positions in Singapore.
September 3, 2014
Here’s a conference coming up in April, with a January 1 deadline:
April 18, 2015
The University of Georgia
Janet MURRAY, Professor at the School of Literature, Media and Communication
at the Georgia Institute of Technology and interaction designer.
Serge BOUCHARDON, Professor at the University of Technology of Compiegne and
author of interactive fictions.
Themes and topics
Doug Orleans pointed me to “Lost Lessons from 8-Bit BASIC,” a blog post that makes the case that there were real, practical advantages to the much-maligned BASIC programming langauge, at least in the context of the home computer era.
A correspondent in Brazil sends news of a new call for papers in the journal Texto Digital. The recent issues have been almost entirely in Portuguese, but the journal is reaching out and seeking submissions in several languages. I think you can tell from the title (even if your Portuguese is a bit rusty) that this publication focuses on some very Post Position (and Grand Texto Auto) sorts of topics. Here’s the call:
August 28, 2014
So, I’m not saying they’re a bad idea, but why do these things get called “driverless” or “self-driving”? They are being driven by an immense corporation with the most massive store of data on Earth. They can’t function without this corporation or this store of data. They can’t drive themselves.
I dunno, maybe we should at least notice this sort of — hey! These cars are programmed to go up to 10 mph above the speed limit! Shiny!
I’ve revisited two games about depression which seem interesting to compare. One has been discussed more recently, particularly thanks to its recent release on Steam: the Twine game Depression Quest. (It’s also available on the Web.) The other, which is in Flash and on the Web, is the platformer Elude. The latter was developed at MIT, in the GAMBIT Game Lab.
Both of these games have seen plenty of discussion, but I wanted to mention an aspect that make them interesting to compare. Of course, Elude is graphical and played in real time, while Depression Quest is text-based and allows the user to select CYOA-style options. But that’s quite obvious.
August 21, 2014
USgamer features a new interview with Zork co-author and all-around Infocom implementor Dave Lebling. Very nice!
The opening flourish of the article, though, implies that in the days of Adventure, people used either green-on-black or amber-on-black video terminals to access computers, and players would see glowing letters and the “darkness of an empty command line.”
This is actually fantasy, not history. As I’ve written about in “Continuous Paper: Print interfaces and early computer writing,” as others have experienced and noted, and an amazing binder of print terminal output from an MIT student testified to me, a great deal of very early interactive fiction interaction was done on print terminals, including but not limited to the famous name-brand “Teletype.” A few people (including Lebling!) had access to top-notch video terminals, but lots of interaction was done on paper.