Two Textual Instruments: Regime Change and News Reader

"Noah Wardrip-Fruin is an Associate Professor of Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he co-directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, one of the world's largest technical research groups focused on games. David Durand is Director of Electronic Publishing Services at Ingenta plc and Adjunct Associate Professor at Brown's Department of Computer Science. Brion Moss, being an engineer by training and vocation, first entered the art world through his participation in the conceptualization and creation of The Impermanence Agent. Elaine Froehlich is principle of Active Surface Design and Director of the Computer Based Design Program for Continuing Education at the Rhode Island School of Design.

If you were using a textual instrument to read a story about war in the Middle East from The New York Times Online, you could select a part of the text involving Donald Rumsfeld, and then be offered alternative completions of that text generated from rather different news sources. You might be offered text drawn across the network from The Nation's current reporting on Rumsfeld, or that of Albawaba Middle East News.

As you read, you might keep making selections, and choosing alterations - until what remained retained the original article's structure, but almost all the text on your screen was from sources and points of view beyond what is normally considered 'fit to print' in the paper of record of the United States. The two textual instruments enable a new type of reading in which new texts rise up to fill reader-selected spaces within an initial document - a process driven by hidden documents whose contents create a textual probability space. In a sense, text is 'playable' in a way that has never been possible with link-node hypertext or batch-mode natural language generation. The possibilities for interaction and production are wider, without a descent into simple randomness." -- from Turbulence



An unpublished copy.

This copy was given to the Electronic Literature Lab by Jo-Anne Green and Helen Thorington in Spring of 2016.