[-empyre-] Nova Media Storia: Histories and Characters

Dear -empyreans-,

Is new media a field? Does it have a history? What history? And, how does it

Please welcome  three lively minds from the interdisciplinary worlds of new
media science,  art and humanities.

 Noah Wardrip-Fruin (US) and Nick Montfort (US) will explore the genesis and
critical issues that have lead to the publication of The New Media Reader
(MIT Press 2003), a compendium of intertextually annotated readings from the
last century. To the double helix of art and computation in new media, Nick
and Noah hope to interweave empyrean comments in the coming month.

 With Noah and Nick, we are honored to share time and thoughts with a
distinguished new media artist, Jill Scott, whose new book,  "Coded
Characters" (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2003),  explores the mediation and role of
the audience, as well as the mythical representation of the human body on
both stage and screen, are constantly questioned.  Jill's nomadic hegira,
from the Bay Area to Australia and to Europe, bears witness to a consistent
development of new media art as a series of cyberphysical metaphors--analog
figures, digital beings, and mediated nomads.

I have the pleasure to introduce these guests with  biographical notes.
Each of them will bring some questions and focus to the table in the next
few days as the basis for the discussion. Watch for their opening posts.

Happy new year!


---------------------------------------->Noah Wardrip-Fruin is a new media
scholar and artist.

He has recently edited two books, both from MIT Press - The New Media Reader
(with Nick Montfort, 2003) and First Person: New Media as Story,
Performance, and Game (with Pat Harrigan, forthcoming). As an artist
his work focuses on new media text, including The Impermanence Agent
(a storytelling web agent that "customizes" based on reader browsing
habits) and Screen (an immersive VR text that interacts with the
reader's body). His work has been presented by the Whitney and
Guggenheim museums, as well as discussed in reference books such as
Information Arts (MIT Press) and Digital Art (Thames and Hudson). He
has presented his scholarly and artistic work in journals (Leonardo,
PAJ), at scientific gatherings (ACM SIGGRAPH, ACM Hypertext), at art
conferences (ISEA, Digital Arts and Culture), and in regional new
media exhibitions (Boston Cyberarts, New York Digital Salon). He is a
director of the Electronic Literature Organization.

--------------------------------------->Jill Scott was born in 1952, in
Melbourne, Australia. She has exhibited many video artworks, conceptual
performances and interactive environments in USA, Australia, Europe and
Japan. In 1973, she completed a Degree in Film, Art and Design from Prahran
Institute of Technology,  Melbourne. From 1975-1982 she  lived in San
Francisco, where she finished a Masters Degree in Communications from San
Francisco State University, and became the Director of Site, Cite, Sight, an
alternative Gallery for Sculptural Installation.

 In 1982 she returned to Australia to lecture in Media at the
University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts, Sydney and start the
Australian Video Festival. Since then she has worked with computers leading
to 3d Animation and Interactive Art. In 1992 she was invited to be a Guest
Professor for Computer Animation, in the Hochschule fur Kunst,
Saarbrucken, Germany, and in 1993 won an Award of distinction at Ars
Electronica for Interactive Art.

 From 1994-97, Jill  was an Artist in Residence and project co-ordinator for
the Medienmuseum at the Zentrum fur Kunst und Medien Technology in Karlsruhe
(ZKM) as well as a Research Fellow at The Center for Advanced Inquiry into
the Interactive Arts, University of Wales, Great Britain, where she was
awarded a Doctorate in Media Philosophy. From 1998-2003 she was Professor
for Installation design in the Media Faculty at The Bauhaus University in
Weimar, Germany and currently she is a research professor at the Academy of
Art and Design (HGKZ) in Switzerland.

-------------------------------------->Nick Montfort, an electronic
literature author, critic, and theorist, is now studying for a Ph.D. in
computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania. His
theoretical and critical work on new  media work has dealt with interactive
fiction, the literary uses of artificial intelligence and machine learning,
game studies, and ways of understanding new media by analogy to narrative
and poetic forms. In computer science, Nick's research is on the
computational aspects of behavioral game theory.

Montfort is author of Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive
Fiction (MIT Press, 2003), which for the first time seriously considers
"text adventures," exemplified by Adventure and Zork, from literary and
computational perspectives. He is coeditor, with Noah Wardrip-Fruin, of
The New Media Reader (MIT Press, 2003). He holds masters degrees from
Boston University (where he was cowinner of the American Academy of
Poets Prize) and the MIT Media Lab. He wrote and programmed the interactive
fiction works Ad Verbum (winner of the Best Puzzles XYZZY Award) and
Winchester's Nightmare, and was coauthor, with William Gillespie, of
The Ed Report (honorable mention, trAce/Alt-X New Media Writing
Competition) and 2002: A Palindrome Story (Spineless Books, 2002).

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