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ACM Hypertext is No Longer a Wild Teenager at WRT: Writer Response Theory




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A few years ago, I began to post about the renaissance in literary hypertext. Next week, I will participate in that renaissance in a presentation with Juan B. Gutiérrez as part of Steve Ersinghaus’ workshop Creating out of the Machine: Hypertext, Hypermedia, and Web Artists Explore the Craft at the ACM Hypertext 2008 conference in Pittsburgh.

This year, the conference turns 21, which offers a useful opportunity to reflect on how visions of hypertext have changed over the past two decades (or longer, if one is tracing back to the origins of hypertextual systems). For some educators, this evolution has meant the shift from explaining to lay folk what a link is to explaining to information system developers what a link should be. I am reminded of Noah Wardrip-Fruin’s account of reading mid-90s hypertext theory and responding — but this isn’t what hypertext is supposed to be — recalling his early encounter with Ted Nelson’s writing.

In the era of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, the conference has no intention of taking a backseat to zeitgeist of social networking, stating on the conference homepage:

The web, the semantic web and Web 2.0 are all manifestations of the success of the link.

(No word as to whether or not there will be Twittering at the conference.)

Electronic writers are also returning to these hypertextual roots (and will no doubt continue to). Consider some of these recent developments:

Of course, this list is only the beginning.

For our part, Gutiérrez and I will be discussing the use of the Literatronica (Literatronic) adaptive hypertext system to produce new works. Previous posts on WRT about Literatronica can be found here (1, 2, 3). The second of those posts features an interview with Gutiérrez about the system.
To further fuel the renaissance, Gutiérrez recently announced the prospects of commissioning new works using Literatronica, offering one killer app that has eluded most literary electronic writing since the Internet went public, remuneration.



5 Responses to “ACM Hypertext is No Longer a Wild Teenager”

  1. 1 dene

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    Mark,

    If you want to publish the list of classic elit works in the Visionary Landscapes exhibit, I can send you a pdf or doc of the exhibit catalog. Folks may be interested in seeing what was featured.

    –Dene

  2. 2 dene

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    Mark,

    If you want to publish the list of classic elit works in the Visionary Landscapes exhibit, I can send you a pdf or doc of the exhibit catalog. Folks may be interested in seeing what was featured.

    –Dene

  3. 3 Richard Rivera

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    I have just visited Literatronic and I have to say that this is pretty cool. A custom designed fiction book…wow. I would have to assume that this is the next evolution of Web 2.0

  4. 4 Mariusz Pisarski

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    I would be thankful for the whole list of Visionary Landscapes exhibit. Thank You!

  5. 5 Mariusz Pisarski

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    I would apreciate if I could see the whole list of Visionary Landscapes exhibit. Thank You!

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