[-empyre-] textual developments at DAC: Wardrip-Fruin

Thought I should add to my report from DAC that I missed a REALLY
interesting paper by Noah Wardrip -Fruin which I read in the text version
last night.  In the paper entitled "From Instrumental texts to Textual
Instruments"  Wardrip Fruin discusses a number of fascinating and
innovative projects in which he is engaged at Brown University.  They
include a virtual reality project called "Screen": this begins with
projected text about a person in a room of screens.  Words peel off from
this projected text and whirl round the reader who can also hit the words
so that they bounce back to the walls, sometimes taking up different
spaces. Once a certain number of words has peeled off the world the words
swirl round the reader and then collapse in the centre  of the VR chamber.

Another collaboration "Talking Cure" engages with the story of Anna O , a
patient of both Freud and Joseph Breuer. In this piece the reader sits in a
chair opposite a projection screen : in front of the chair is a video
camera and microphone. The image of the person in the chair is transformed
into a  "text mirror"  consisting of several layers of text : Anna's words,
Breuer and Freud's words and Wardrip Fruin's words.  Talking  into the
microphone also displaces Anna's layer of text,  and  words spoken into the
microphone become part of the soundscape which also  includes recordings of
Breuer's words, Anna's words and the author's words.

Wardrip Fruin  is also developing a project which involves a textual
instrument for textual performance, which acts algorithmically on text and
can be tuned in different ways. There is a lot of detail about this, and
about the other projects I've mentioned, in the paper which you need to
read! (You can buy a CD Rom of all the papers at the conference if you were
not there)

Sounds great stuff


Dr. Hazel Smith
Senior Research Fellow
School of Creative Communication
Deputy Director
University of Canberra Centre for Writing
Editor of Inflect http://www.ce.canberra.edu.au/inflect
University of Canberra
ACT 2601
phone 6201 5940
More about my creative work at

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