[-empyre-] Grigar's response to Bastos
I was not sure if it was kosher to post URLs relating to one?s own site.
It may have been viewed as shameless self-promotion:) But Steve and I do
have a site up that contains video documentation of When Ghosts Will Die.
It is http://www.telebody.ws/Ghosts
You asked me about my interest in what I called ?rhapsodic, ephemeral,
multimedia environments? and pointed out that it may differ from your
notion of ?liquid narrative? in that liquid narratives allow for a
different notion of ?user agency.? I see what you mean and apologize for
my lack of understanding of the term. It is a new idea for me. You are
right, therefore, about the difference.
But in a sense what I envision for my own work still requires user agency
in order for the work to exist. In fact, there is no story without
intervention on the part of the performer of the piece. Without Steve
stepping outside the ?green light,? for example, no story begins. Without
him jumping into the video of warship en route to Japan, the story would
not shift to the section on ?destruction.?
It seems that it is not the degree of kinesthesia needed that differs but
the process of generating the data. But I wonder if anyone can create a
truly open system. Practically speaking, at some level isn?t there a
parameter of information provided? Philosophically speaking, can humans
produce infinite information when we cannot even know what the
possibilities of infinity really are?
I do not know. I am just provoking.
I admire Bill Seaman?s work, as you know. I had the opportunity to see
?The World Generator? when he was still at UCLA. His work in recombinant
narrative continues to fascinate me. And Giselle Beiguelman?s work, of
course, I know from the Electronic Literature Organization Directory,
where she is well represented. Thank you for these two citations to both
of these artist?s work.
You said: ?I am trying to think in terms of difference here: what makes the
contemporary narratives that we have in mind different from their
predecesors? Do you think that user agency would be one of the things
that differ them??
My response: It seems to me that the difference may be that in liquid
narratives movement is a result, while in WGWD the movement is a purpose.
So, maybe it is not ?condition? but ?manner.? I know Espen Aarseth has
long repudiated his idea of ergodic literature, but it comes in handy in
this discussion, for I see my own idea of kinesthesia as being driven by
this third type of narrative time. User agency introduces what he calls
?ergodic time? or the ?reader?s time? (37), a kind of control over the
narrative that involves the manner in which the story unfolds.
The notion of archiving takes us into a discussion about ephemera that
many of us may struggle. I know as a Greek scholar that on the one hand I
embrace the performative nature of oral narrative, but on the other lament
the fact that I do not have a record of the Homeric poet(s) performing the
Odyssey. I am grateful for the Ed Sullivan Show, for example, for taping
the Beatles? back in the 60s because generations to come have access to a
version of their live concert. So, yeah, it is a struggle for me to
remain pure about ephemera. I lean on the side of preservation if only to
have a record for future evidence. As a woman, I can honestly say that I
have learned a long time ago that without written record, female voices
(at least) get lost in time?s dark passage. But then that takes us to a
whole other topic of feminist cyberculture, doesn?t it?
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