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Electronic Literature
ENGL 146EL - Winter 2006,  Rita Raley

Mon, 1/9
Introduction: Electronic Literature

- Peter Howard, "A Poppy" [plain text] [animated version]
- Peter Howard, "Xylo"
- Stephanie Strickland, "The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot"
- Deena Larsen, Disappearing Rain
- Chris Green, "Walking Together What Remains"
- Tal Halpern, Le Nouveau Western
- Dan Waber, Strings
- Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries

Wed, 1/11
Early computer-mediated fiction

Readings Due: Judy Malloy, l0ve 0ne

Recommended Readings: Judy Malloy, Works

Mon, 1/16
No class: university holiday

Wed, 1/18
Storyspace and Eastgate

Readings Due:
- J. Yellowlees Douglas, I Have Said Nothing (Eastgate) and "Nota Bene" on navigation
- Katherine Hayles, Writing Machines (pp. 36-37)
- Espen Aarseth, Cybertext (pp. 90-92)

CDs are not always available, so if you do not have a floppy drive, then you will want to read I Have Said Nothing in the Transcriptions studio during TA office hours. Floppy disks are also on reserve in Davidson Library.

Recommended Readings: Background on Storyspace | Commentary on Douglas in the Transcriptions "Guide to Readings" Archive

Mon, 1/23

Readings Due:
- Jorge Luis Borges, "The Garden of Forking Paths," Ficciones
- Borges, "An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain," Ficciones
- Ted Nelson, excerpts from Computer Lib/Dream Machines (open pdf and read pp. 314-5) | Xanadu
- Espen Aarseth, Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (pp. 76-79)

To print the Borges stories, set margins to about .25" and change orientation from "portrait" to "landscape."

Recommended Readings: Wikipedia entry on Nelson | Garden of Forking Paths and Internetaleph (Martin Hadis)

Wed, 1/25

Readings Due:
- Espen Aarseth, "Introduction: Ergodic Literature,” Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature
- Raymond Queneau, "A Fairytale As You Like It" and "100,000,000,000,000 Poems"
- Tristan Tzara, “Dadaist Poem” (1920); Brion Gysin, Cut-Ups Self-Explained; The Cut-up Technique (Burroughs)
- Browse Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Informatique Potentiel)
- Jim Andrews, Seattle Drift

Recommended Readings: Stéphane Susana, "A Roundup of Constrained Writing on the Web" | Permutations
- Further examples from Aarseth: Apollinaire, Calligrammes; Eliza; Adventure; I Ching | IC (for DOS) | Cent milles milliards de poèmes (comparison between print and electronic forms)

Mon, 1/30
Automated poetics & text generators

Readings Due:
- Espen Aarseth, “The Cyborg Author,” Cybertext
- Text generators: Pedro Barbosa and Abílio Cavalheiro, Syntext | Mario Hergueta, “Stop Making Sense”; The Assoziations Blaster (intro and FAQ); Two Textual Instruments: News Reader

Recommended Readings: RACTER FAQ | Racter (ubuweb) | Computer-generated writing | Robert Kendall, Smoothcircuit | Nick Montfort, "The Coding and Execution of the Author" | Jim Carpenter, Electronic Text Composition (Slought Foundation)

Wed, 2/1
Interactive fiction & text adventure games

Readings Due:
- Andrew Plotkin, Shade (download free or play Java version online)
- Espen Aarseth, "Intrigue and Discourse in the Adventure Game," Cybertext
- Mike Tolar, Clink (description)

Recommended Readings: Adventure game (wikipedia) | Brass Lantern | Natalie Bookchin, The Intruder | Being Andrew Plotkin | Index of IF by Andrew Plotkin | Zork I: The Great Underground Empire | Baf's Guide to IF | Interview with Andrew Plotkin | Gaming Links: Game Studies; Open Directory: InteractiveFiction | Jeremy Douglass (UCSB), "Lecture: Interactive Fiction | Nick Montfot, “Interactive Fiction” | Infocom teenage zombie ad

Mon, 2/6
Maps & navigational structures

Readings Due:
- Matthew Miller, “Trip
- Lisa Bloomfield, “Zone of Fog

Recommended Readings: Raine Koskimaa, “Visual Structuring of Hypertext Narratives

Wed, 2/8

Readings Due:
- Olia Lialina, "My Boyfriend Came Back From the War"
- Caitlin Fisher, "These Waves of Girls"

Recommended Readings: Remediations of "Boyfriend" (multiple artists)

Mon, 2/13
Visual Poetry (vispo)

Readings Due:
- Aram Saroyan poems, especially 15-30
- Emmett Williams, "Like Attracts Like"; "meditation no.1"; "typewriter"
- e.e. cummings, "r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r" [and page proof]
- Browse UbuWeb, especially Guillaume Apollinaire
- bp Nichol, "Attempted Diagnoses," "untitled," and "eyes"
- Ana Maria Uribe, Anipoema / Anipoem
- Brian Kim Stephans, “The Dreamlife of Letters

Recommended Readings: Aram Saroyan, "Flower Power" | Bob Grumman, "MNMLST POETRY: Unacclaimed but Flourishing" | Brazilian Digital Poetry | Vispo ~ Langu(im)age: experimental visual poetry (Jim Andrews) | Neil Hennessey, "Puddle" | Eugen Gomringer, "Silencio" | Aram Saroyan, Pages (Random House, 1969) | links for class discussion

Wed, 2/15
Listening at the screen

Readings Due:
- Sound poetry at UbuWeb, especially Hugo Ball, "Karawane"; Tristan Tzara, “L'amiral Cherche”; Kurt Schwitters (Ursonate score); Jaap Blonk, "der minister" and "galsslass"
- Komninos Zervos, "Sound Poem"
- Thom Swiss and Skye Giordano, Genius
- Young Hae-Chang Heavy Industries, especially "Dakota," "Beckett's Bounce," "Lotus Blossom," and "Rain on the Sea"

Recommended Readings: Intercultural medium literature digital: Interview with YHC HI (Hyun-Joo Yoo) | Hearing Art in the 21st Century" (MASS MoCA); Steven Poole on sound art (Guardian)

Critical Essays on sound poetry: Dick Higgins, "A Taxonomy of Sound Poetry"; Kevin Concannon, "Cut and Paste: Collage and the Art of Sound"; Steve McCaffery, "Sound Poetry - A Survey"

Mon, 2/20
No class: university holiday

Wed, 2/22
Flash, Shockwave, and Java poetics: loops, kineticism, durational structures

Readings Due:
- Dan Waber, Strings
- Barry Smylie and Alan Sondheim, "Sailing"
- Claire Dinsmore, "The Dazzle as Question"
- Komninos Zervos, Invention (CyberPoetry)
- Erwin Redl, “Truth is a Moving Target
- geniwate, exercises in shockwave generative art

Recommended Readings: Peter Howard, "Flash Poetry" | Poems That Go | Revisit Young Hae-Chang Heavy Industries; also "The Art of Sleep" (Tate online)

Mon, 2/27
3D texts

Readings Due:
- Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al, Screen (watch Quicktime videos)
- John Cayley, "Lens"
- David Knoebel, Click Poetry: Words in Space
- Jason Nelson, "cube"
- Aya Karpinska and Daniel C. Howe, open.ended

Recommended Readings: Jeffrey Shaw, The Legible City (with QT video) | Dan Waber and Jason Pimble, I, You, We | Camille Utterback & Romy Achituv, Text Rain | Eduardo Kac, Holopoetry | Ben Fry, valence | Magic Book | Ted Warnell, “Code Poetry” | Jason Nelson, The Poetry Cube | Gothamberg

Wed, 3/1

Readings Due:
- Giselle Beiguelman, the book after the book / o livro depois do livro
- N. Katherine Hayles, “Media and Materiality” and “Material Metaphors, Technotexts, and Media-Specific Analysis,” Writing Machines

Recommended Readings: Reading Eye Dog | WebTake on Writing Machines (Erik Loyer) | Stephanie Strickland, V: Vniverse | Giselle Beiguelman (review by Shashi Rao Thandra)

Mon, 3/6
Code, Code Poetry, and Net.wurked Language

Readings Due:
- Mez, _the data][h!][bleeding texts_ and _The Art of M[ez]
- Florian Cramer, "Program Code Poetry" and "and" (Perl poem)

Recommended Readings: Ted Warnell interview on the poetics of programming (trAce) | "" (transcribes Blake's "London" into Perl); Perl poetry | "The Pleasures of the Text" (NY Times Book Review, January 2006) | Code aesthetics: experimental poetry ( | Leet (wikipedia) | _[net]blog to log][ah!rhythm][_ (Mez blog)

Wed, 3/8

Readings Due:
- Talan Memmott, Lexia to Perplexia (tip: don't use Safari)
- N. Katherine Hayles, “Electronic Literature as Technotext,” Writing Machines

Recommended Readings: Mapping the Acephale | active/onBlur: an interview with Talan Memmott (Mark Amerika)

Mon, 3/13

Readings Due:
- John Cayley, Translation (first download and install fixed-width font and sounds in archive from here)
- Ted Warnell, "Lascaux.Symbol.ic" and "VIRU2"
- Genco Gulan, "interactive poem / etkilesimli siir" [description] [text]

Recommended Readings: Visual explanation of programming languages (Webopedia) | YHCHI, "Nippon" | Harold Cohen, "The Further Exploits of Aaron, Painter" | Virtual Lascaux (c. 15,000 bce)

Wed, 3/15
The poetics of computational text

Readings Due:
- John Cayley, with Giles Perring, Overboard (follow instructions to install sound fonts)

Recommended Readings: Cayley, “Overboard: An Example of Ambient Time-Based Poetics in digital art

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