June 17, 2014

Thoughts from INT7, Day One

from Post Position
by @ 2:22 pm

(These pertain to Intelligent Narrative Technologies 7, and specifically today’s presentations. Perhaps, if you’re here, you will laugh. If you aren’t here, my regrets.)

Why do I get a dialog wheel ... but not a combat wheel?

Can a computer program ... get people running?

When is a dragon ... not a dragon?

Why can one be selfish ... but not otherish?

Isn't Blender dangerous enough ... without Curveship attached to it?

June 14, 2014

Waves 3 Ways at @Party

from Post Position
by @ 11:23 pm

codewiz and I (nom de nom) showed a wild demo at @party yesterday (June 14) at MIT.

It was “Waves 3 Ways (Topsy’s Revenge).” Indeed, there’s video.

Tesla coilThe concept is based on one-line C programs to generate music, the earliest of which were by viznut. I (nom de nom) wrote a C expression in this style to generate a waveform that could be output as sound but
also consisted of all printable ASCII characters. The source is about 1kb, without much effort at compression. And the sound, in addition to driving speakers, can be (and was) connected to a Tesla coil.

June 6, 2014

Values at Play in Digital Games shipping 25th July

from tiltfactor
by @ 6:59 pm

Lab director Mary Flanagan and her collaborator, philosopher Helen Nissenbaum, are pleased to discover that their book Values at Play in Digital Games is coming to bookstores and Amazon (where you can pre-order it) in late July!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 22.12.33

The book is a result of their work on Values at Play, a project with the National Science Foundation to investigate values in technologies and games. The book has all kinds of info on their theory about values in games, and goes on to get useful information to designers in a practical turn for makers of games. They talk about using Grow-a-Game cards too!

June 5, 2014

Trope Tank Annual Report 2013-2014

from Post Position
by @ 1:38 pm

I direct a lab at MIT called The Trope Tank. This is a lab for research, teaching, and creative production, located in building 14 (where the Hayden Library is also housed), in room 14N-233. Its mission is to develop new poetic practices and new understandings of digital media by focusing on the material, formal, and historical aspects of computation and language.

Trope Tank computers at work

The lab’s website has just been updated with some new information about our two major creative/research projects, Slant and Renderings. Earlier this academic year, a hardware and software catalog of Trope Tank resources was developed by Erik Stayton with contributions from Sylvia Tomayko-Peters.

May 30, 2014

Stupid Robot Arrives!

from tiltfactor
by @ 9:26 am

This past week marked the launch of our brand new game in the Metadata Games project: Stupid Robot. In this quick and easy arcade game, players score points by teaching the adorable robot words about the image they are presented with. Players strive to teach it one word of each length, 4-letters long to 10-letters long – but there’s a catch! Stupid Robot doesn’t know every word; it only knows words that other players have already taught it.

stupid_robot_pic
“Stupid Robot looks at everything but understands nothing. Can you help? Teach it as much as you can about the image it sees. If you do well, soon Stupid Robot will become Smarty Robot!”

May 28, 2014

Battlefield Torture, Climate Change, and Immersive Narrative—EVL presents two provocative new artworks

from Scott Rettberg
by @ 9:30 am

Tuesday, June 17th, 3-5PM and
Monday, July 7th, 4-6 PM

The Electronic Visualization Lab (EVL) is pleased to present two new artworks made for the CAVE2 and Cybercommons Tile Wall display. The projects were produced through a unique collaboration between EVL faculty and staff and visiting artists from Philadelphia and Norway.

May 23, 2014

There’s a party — Perverbs.

from Post Position
by @ 1:34 pm

I persist in my quest to develop extremely simple, easily modifiable programs that produce compelling textual output.

My latest project is Modern Perverbs. In a world where nothing is as it seems … two phrases … combine … to make a perverb. That’s about all there is to it. If phrase N is picked from the first list, some phrase that isn’t number N will be picked from the second, to ensure maximum perverbiality. The first phrase also carries the punctuation mark that will be used at the very end. This one is a good bit simpler than even my very simple “exploded sentence” project, Lede.

May 12, 2014

Sounds, User-Input Phrases, and Monkeys in “Taroko Gorge”

from Post Position
by @ 3:25 pm

Check out “Wandering through Taroko Gorge,” a participatory, audio-enabled remix.

As James T. Burling stated on the “projects” page of MAD THEORY:

In this combination of presentation and poetry reading, I’ll present a remix of Nick Monfort’s javascript poetry generator, “Taroko Gorge.” My remix added a musical component using a computers oscilloscope function, and more importantly allows participant-observers to type in answers to prompts which are then added to the poem in real-time. The poem will be available throughout the day, gradually adding all inputs to its total sum. I’ll discuss the process of decoding html and javascript as a non-coder, describe some of my theories on participatory performance using computer interfaces, and raise questions about agency in performance and how a digital artifact can function as a poetic event.

May 8, 2014

Inform Re-ups

from Post Position
by @ 7:37 pm

There’s a major new release of Inform 7, build 6L02, the first new release of the interactive fiction system in three years.

May 3, 2014

Jill Walker Rettberg, this Monday’s Purple Blurb

from Post Position
by @ 11:04 am

Purple Blurb

MIT, room 14E-310

Monday 5/5, 5:30pm

Free and open to the public, no reservation required

Jill Walker Rettberg

“Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to Understand Ourselves”

Jill Walker RettbergThis Monday (2014-05-05) the Purple Blurb series of Spring 2014 presentations will conclude with a talk by Jill Walker Rettberg on a pervasive but still not well-understood phenomenon, the types of digital writing, tracking, photography, and media production of other sorts that people do about themselves. Her examples will be drawn from her own work as well as from photobooths, older self-portraits, and entries from others’ diaries.

Jill Walker Rettberg, this Monday’s Purple Blurb

from Post Position
by @ 11:04 am

Purple Blurb

MIT, room 14E-310

Monday 5/5, 5:30pm

Free and open to the public, no reservation required

Jill Walker Rettberg

“Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to Understand Ourselves”

Jill Walker RettbergThis Monday (2014-05-05) the Purple Blurb series of Spring 2014 presentations will conclude with a talk by Jill Walker Rettberg on a pervasive but still not well-understood phenomenon, the types of digital writing, tracking, photography, and media production of other sorts that people do about themselves. Her examples will be drawn from her own work as well as from photobooths, older self-portraits, and entries from others’ diaries.

Jill Walker Rettberg, this Monday’s Purple Blurb

from Post Position
by @ 11:04 am

Purple Blurb

MIT, room 14E-310

Monday 5/5, 5:30pm

Free and open to the public, no reservation required

Jill Walker Rettberg

“Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to Understand Ourselves”

Jill Walker RettbergThis Monday (2014-05-05) the Purple Blurb series of Spring 2014 presentations will conclude with a talk by Jill Walker Rettberg on a pervasive but still not well-understood phenomenon, the types of digital writing, tracking, photography, and media production of other sorts that people do about themselves. Her examples will be drawn from her own work as well as from photobooths, older self-portraits, and entries from others’ diaries.

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.”

OPPRESSION!

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.

http://eliterature.org/2014/04/announcing-elo-prizes-for-best-literary-and-critical-works/

“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

Transcendance

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.

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