Current Project: Automatic Narrative Evolution: Jew's Loom
"Jew's Loom" is an experimental hypertext novel that will "write itself" on a single, transforming virtual page.
This is the second phase in an evolving experiment in interactive narrative now titled "The Jew's Daughter." The work in its current incarnation, which has received substantial press, is a narrative that unfolds through subtle textual transformations in a fluid rectangular text-space. The reading experience is unlike any other in that the page appears to be constantly weaving itself together in response to the decisions of the user.
"The Jew's Daughter" in its behavior suggests metaphors of linguistic autonomy or even organic activity. However, the unusual reading-effect is actually the result of carefully-crafted transitions on the part of the author. This incarnation has been limited by tools and methods, and this has impeded a full realization of the work. The ambition of the next phase of this project is to automate the metamorphic activity of the text, and to create a literary work that is a hybrid of experimental narrative and machine-writing.
This will be achieved through close collaboration of the writer, Judd Morrissey, artistic director, Lori Talley and Dr. Lutz Hamel, a computer scientist with expertise in the area of machine-learning. Our goal will be the creation of a software engine that will enable the text to evolve dynamically, in response to user interaction, and in accordance with a set of semantic and syntactic restraints. The product of our collaboration will be both a literary work and an evolved tool for architecting and composing narrative in a new form.
Our system will be a radical departure from others that have been developed for digital literature in several important ways. The most obvious of these is that there will be no outbound links, no windows launched, and the reading experience will be continuous and fluid. Less obviously, the changes that occur on the page will not be the result of rigidly determined links. The text that appears will be selected dynamically from an internal database, out of a pool of semantically appropriate options. Once selected, the new text will be úsyntactically assimilatedî by the page, and this will sustain the intelligibility of the reading. These are the basic goals of our system, but more advanced compositional rules and algorithms will be developed during our period of research and development.
|Judd Morrissey is a writer and developer of digital literature. He received his MFA from Brown University. His work has been widely and internationally exhibited and it has been reviewed in The New York Times and The New Republic.|
Talley holds a BA in experimental music from Bard College,
where she worked with composer and theorist Benjamin Boretz. She
earned her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Talley's
work in electronic literature and composition is widely recognized
and has been included in several international exhibitions including
ISEA97, P0es1s: International Exhibition of Digital Poetry, and
DAC2001. Talley teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
| Recent Publications
My Name is Captain, Captain. (Eastgate Systems, 2002)
Now Culture.com: NC1 Magazine
New York Times: Arts@Large: "Pushing Hypertext in New Directions" | Pravda (Russia) | Hypertext Kitchen: "Hypertext Europe" | Asci.org (Art and Science Collaborations): "Digital2000: Juror's Statement" Eliterature.org: "Showcase: Recent Work: Fiction" | The New Republic: "Whither E-Literature: Automatic Writing" | Feed Magazine: "Literary Hypertext: The Passing of The Golden Age"