Today we follow some forerunners of Electronic Literature up to the present day – and think about some key words and key concepts for producers of EL.
- Immersive Simulations
- The Veldt short story by Ray Bradbury in 1950/51
- Star Trek’s “Holodeck” – 1980s
- Immersion – support for all senses?
1990s CAVE VR
- Immersive, 3D display, 1st person perspective
- Interaction ->input (what kinds, how processed?)
- Question of affordance (what the environment provides for you to do)
- Other VR using systems from 90s PLACEHOLDER
Dream/Debate synthesis of games and film
- problem identified and debated for years, Games and Narrative don’t mix
- apart from aesthetic issues, issue of intelligence/responsiveness of system
- Mission Rehearsal Exercise (immersive VR plus AI), Institute for Creative Technologies
- Firewatch as current state of the art?
- Games & Race to Cinematic levels of realism -> lighting, physics simulations (real time)
- Resistance to, different choices
- Eliza natural language processing computer program created, 1964 to 1966, Joseph Weizenbaum.
- Spatial awareness (great strides)
- Language use (this seems vital for Electronic Literature but still a problem) – intense and ongoing investigation into intelligent agents, conversational characters, story engines, drama engines etc.
- Facade, made in 2005, Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern
- ICIDS computer science flavored conference, for current debates
- Woebot – state of art of conversational agents
The Holodeck and work proceeding in this direction: experimental technology but quite a traditional idea of story telling.
Hypertext – an alternative dream
Thinking of hypertext as a forerunner of EL, brings us much closer to experiments interested in interrogating, expanding and breaking what literature is or could be – and what the computer brings to that picture.
- playing with form/making it (and the meaning it contains) visible
- what is the reading/interactive subject?
- death of the author – barthes
Tristram Shandy, Laurence Stern (1759)
- “focus on the problems of language”
Limits of Realism (early 20C)
- to “represent,” mirror, capture complexity and uncertainty
- Freud, Theory of Relativity – war – atomic bomb
- cubism in art, in literature? – e.g. stream of consciousness (James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner)
- art and literature that focuses on association, metaphor, sliding signification
- also on dangers of propaganda – how does it work?
- Brecht – anti Aristotelian drama and catharsis
50s and 60s and 70s
- Dissatisfaction with linear arguments, closure
- Voice of authority/God
- Death of Author
- Focus on problems of the subject: Lacan etc. Subject/self acquired through language which encodes power relations (father, mother, child)
- “Always already”
- Rise of Random Work: e.g. (indeterminacy, chance operations)
80s and 90s – the LINK (answer to all prayers)
- EastGate Systems – hypertext writing – later the WWW was used
- Add images – end of dominance of word
- Read by association not logic – choose your own path
- Alternative reading methods
- Patchwork Girl by Shelley Jackson (1995)
Conventions/Affordances of Book v Computer (and interactive moment)
Post Euphoria of Link
- clicking on link – limited way of acting/choosing
- How does Janet Murray define it?
- Who has it?
- How is it formed/constrained?
- Agency and diff media (book, film, poem, game, e-lit?)
- What (as maker) should you be thinking of?