CubesMy latest articles in SLATE Magazine explore the notion of the art space in virtual worlds. In part one I analyse how some spaces are remediations of the real world and then in part two I pose ideas about what would be the ‘white cube’ equivalent (the ideal environment to experience art) in a virtual world. I’ve opened up a forum thread at the end so anyone can add their own thoughts. In this 2nd issue of SLATE are reviews of art festivals and galleries in SL, an interesting article about a theatre production in SL by Anya Ixchel (Angela Thomas in RL) the editor of SLATE, and the second installment of the backbacker’s guide to SL: Sim Trekker. I love the idea of the last one: getting around SL on a budget! Anyway, there is plenty more: talk about the notion of identity in SL, relationships, science fiction and so on. Enjoy!

reblogged at CME

Getting Started in TADS 3 by Eric Eve

TADS 3, a “robust, modern programming environment specially designed for creating Interactive Fiction,” is officially out in General Release 3.0.12. The freeware release comes in author and player kits for Windows, Unix, and Mac OS X, and is complemented by an admirably packaged bookshelf of documentation, including Getting Started, a Tour Guide, and system, technical, and reference manuals. For those not familiar with TADS, acclaimed interactive fiction works implemented in it include:

Earlier this summer all the big news was about Inform 7 - two major interactive fiction development updates in a single year is very good news. Looking at the two together, I’m reminded of Liz Daly’s articles in ONLamp. Continue reading ‘TADS3 interactive fiction kit released’

Recently, Mark discussed the 2003 ELDRAS hoax in which a chatbot / author committed suicide in anticipation of imminent reincarnation. Tracing the explosion of discussion on the message board, he notes some lessons for hoaxing and viral marketing - in particular, citing a lacuna, some original news source that doesn’t exist.

When I first read about the fictional death of the ELDRAS chatbot I set out to write on the spectacle of machine deaths in fiction - HAL, et al. Now, stuck in a recursive loop, I’m beginning again, again, to rewrite, for the third time, my reaction. What is this strange recognition I feel?  I’ve had to think through three deaths to get here.

Revision one: Chris McKinstry

I read the ELDRAS story two weeks ago, and then again last week, but only now do I reread the 2003 suicide hoax and recognize in it my memories of the real Chris McKinstry / Mindpixel suicide of January 2006.

Continue reading ‘Artificial Life and Death’

Texting and Netspeak, or its phreaky (ph5e@k) kin leet (l33t), have been sneaking into schools and various narrative forms for quite some time. Here’s a Slashdot post from 2002 about its entry without a hall pass. Since instant messaging and texting is such a dominant part of youth culture, where else would it go? (According to Mobile Youth, 3.2 billion text messages were sent in the UK in March 2006.)  Of course, it was just a matter of time before it showed up in fiction, though not always how you’d expect.

TTFN.gifTTYL (2004), TTFN (2006)
By Lauren Myracle

This is a pair of best-selling print-based, teen-oriented epistolary novelsl written entirely in texting.  They are, to my knowledge, the only novels written entiely in this format.  Author Myracle, of course, has  a MySpace page for all her fans to post their messages of luv, sending their own netspeak messages back.  Her next outing: l8r, g8r

Continue reading ‘IM Netspeak L33t Fiction’

Split Screen Banquet

Thomas Crown AffairI was shown this site about a year ago and have been enamoured with it ever since. It is a repository of split-screen imagery from film, TV and installation art. Here is the way James Seo described his blog when he started it in July 2005:



Split Screen is a weblog dedicated to the art of the split screen and other types of multi-layered visuals.

I’m a big fan of the typical split screen: the frame is divided into two or more areas, and each area shows a different scene or a different view of the same scene, so that multiple images are shown at the same time. More generally, I’m interested in the simultaneous use of multiple layers of imagery - side by side, superimposed, and otherwise visually orchestrated - to add depth and richness in narration, meaning, emotion and representation of time and space.

I’m going to use this weblog to compile a list of split-screen and other many-as-one visuals. I’ll be focusing on media based on moving images: movies, TV shows, music videos, commercials, video art, live performance visuals, computational art, video games. Links to video clips will be provided when possible. I might occasionally post about related artforms such as comics, collage and photomontage. I’ll also present some of my own experiments in split-screen filmmaking.

What I love about this site is the aggregation of split-screen works (something I find interesting as a researcher into polymorphism) and the fact that he uploads or provides links to the footage for all to view and download. It really is a great resource. Check out Split Screen now.