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Ambrogio Lorenzetti, “The Annunciation”

"The Annunciation"
Tempera on wood, 127×120 cm
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena 1344

Image from the Web Gallery of Art

Kybernekyia: Ezra Pound’s Canto LXXXI as “Hypervortext”

Teaching tool created by Ned Bates and Gail McDonald that presents the canto as a hypertext.

“Why hypertext Pound? This question can be read two ways, Why hypertext Pound?, or of what benefit is computer technology to the understanding of the Cantos? or, Why hypertext Pound?, of what value is the work of Ezra Pound to the postmodern technologies and the postmodern mind?

The Cantos are littered with obscure and didactic references which require the curious reader to consult a variety of texts which span time, space, and culture. In Canto IV Greek, Latin, Provencal, Japanese, Chinese and American poetry and lore are cited. So to be able to leap from the poem to the cited reference and back again certainly saves the reader several hours at the library and a lot of juggling and flipping of books. And yet there is more to this application than just the employment of a postmodern convenience to a modernist text. ” (from the Kybernekyia web site.)

Starter Links: Kybernekyia

Bob Brown, Readies machineTransliteracies Research Report

Avant-garde project described and planned in the early 1930s to create a reading machine that would use cinematic technology to make words move across a reading surface.

Note: The article describing the “Readies” was published in transition (1930) and in the stand-alone publication The Readies (Bad Ems: Roving Eye Press, 1930). It also inspired a collection of short works created for the machine, Readies for Bob Brown’s Machine (1931), which included poems by Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Filippo Marinetti.

“The written word hasn’t kept up with the age. The movies have outmanoeuvered it. We have the talkies, but as yet no Readies. I’m for new methods of reading and writing and I believe the up-to-date reader deserves an eye-ful when he buys something to read. I think the optical end of the written word has been hidden over a bushel too long. I’m out for a bloody revolution of the word” (1). (from Bob Brown’s The Readies (Bad Ems: Roving Eye Press, 1930, UCLA Special Collections.)

“Writing must become more optical, more eye-teasing, more eye-tasty, to give the word its due and tune-in on the age. Books are antiquated word containers…. modern word=conveyors are needed now, reading will have to be done by machine; microscopic type on a moveable tape running beneath a slot equipped with a magnifying glass and brought up to life size before the reader’s birdlike eye, saving white space, making words more moving, out=distancing the flatulent winded ones and bringing the moment brightly to us” (13). (from Bob Brown’s The Readies (Bad Ems: Roving Eye Press, 1930, UCLA Special Collections.)

Starter Links or References: The Readies (Bad Ems: Roving Eye Press, 1930) | Readies for Bob Brown’s Machine (1931)

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Jessica Pressman

electronic book review (EBR)Transliteracies Research Report

Online journal for critical discussion about new media and electronic literature.

“Electronic Book Review (ebr) is an online scholarly journal promoting print/screen translations and new modes of critical writing on the Internet… Over the past two years, the ebr site has hosted a prominent and largely spontaneous series of debates on electronic textuality, cyberculture, and the value of digital design literacy for scholarship and critical writing on the Web.â€? (from Electronic Literature on the Web.)

Starter Links: electronic book review

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Jessica Pressman

Poems that GoTransliteracies Research Report

Online literary journal for new media poetry.

”...Poems that Go explores the intersections between motion, sound, image, text, and code. The work we feature explores how language is shaped in new media spaces, how interactivity can change the meaning of a sign, how an image can conflict with a sound, and how code exerts machine-order on a text.” (from Poems that Go.)

Starter Links: Poems that Go | PTG discussion forum

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Jessica Pressman

Peter Lunenfeld (Ed.), Mediawork Pamphlet SeriesTransliteracies Research Report

Project from the MIT press that couples traditional (print) book technologies with new media innovations.

“Mediawork Pamphlets pair leading writers and contemporary designers to explore art, literature, design, music, and architecture in the context of emergent technolgies and rapid economic and social change.” (from the Media Pamphlets web site)

Starter Links: Media Pamphlets | Katherine Hayles’ Writing Machines

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Jessica Pressman

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, MGK blog

Blog exploring the intersections between literature, literary practice, and new media technology.

“The science fiction writer Harlen Ellison once described a stunt in which he sat in the window of a bookshop all day writing a story. He was curious about what would happen if writing became a public spectacle rather than the mysterious, solitary endeavor it usually is. That scene piqued my imagination and stuck with me, enough so that when I explored the idea of writing an electronic dissertation in the mid-1990s (at the same time the Web was emerging as a popular medium) I immediately decided do it it “live,â€? in “real timeâ€? on the network. That is, I would simply publish drafts of my work, and revise them, and the whole would take shape as a massive, interlaced hypertext.” (from the author’s blog.)

Starter Links: MGK blog


Group blogging community designed to help foster scholarly dialogue in a digital mileau.

“ElectraPress is a collaborative, open-access scholarly project intended to facilitate the reimagining of academic discourse in digital environments. What’s here at the moment is little more than a few electronic hammers and some virtual nails, but I hope that this site might enable the kinds of free experimentation what will produce a highly integrated collection of resources for the online publication of new scholarly projects. These resources might include – but would hardly be limited to – RSS feeds for scholarly blogs, repositories for digital articles, and an electronic imprint for the publication of monograph-length work of both traditional textual and newer “born digitalâ€? forms.” (from the Electrapress web site.)

Starter Links: ElectraPress | ElectraPess Forum | wiki

Institute for the Future of the Book

Group devoted to studying, understanding, and enabling the evolution of the book in new and multi-media formats.

“Over the next several decades, electronic, screen-based technologies will emerge which preserve all that is good and wonderful about printed books but which add profoundly powerful new capabilities. For example, future books will: – allow authors to express ideas using audio, video and simulations in addition to text and graphics. – contain significant and direct links to materials stored elsewhere on the internet. – create a community of readers and authors by enabling people reading the same document or exploring the same subject area to connect to each other directly over the internet.

While it may be argued that the form of printed books (pages bound together by a spine) was inevitable, screen-based books have no inevitable, physically-imposed form. The challenge confronting us is to develop new forms that empower both authors and readers and enhance intellectual and social discourse throughout society.” (from the Institute of the Future of the Book web site.)

Starter Links: Institute of the Future of the Book Home Page

Grand Text Auto

Online conversation hub devoted to the discussion of a variety new media literature and art works.

“A group blog about computer mediated and computer generated works of many forms: interactive fiction, net.art, electronic poetry, interactive drama, hypertext fiction, computer games of all sorts, shared virtual environments, and more. Andrew, Mary, Michael, Nick, Noah, and Scott all work as both theorists and developers, and are interested in authorship, design, and technology, as well as issues of interaction and reception. about computer narrative, games, poetry, and art. ” (from the Grand Text Auto Web Site.)

Starter Links: Grand Text Auto | ifwiki.org

Reading Code (Instructor: Rita Raley, UCSB) (Winter 2006) (graduate seminar)

[Course site]
[Transliteracies-related assignment]

This seminar will address code as an object and medium of contemporary critical inquiry, political engagement, and artistic and literary production. Issues and genres that we will study throughout include the poetics, aesthetics, and politics of code; Saussurean semiotics; codework; operational text; electronic English and global language politics; machine translation; software cultures (including the Free Software and Open Source movements); the control society; and hacktivism and tactical media. Text+ (more…)

Google Book Search / The Google Print Library Project

Research Report by Lisa Swanstrom
(created 1/19/06; version 1.1, 1/21/06)

Related Categories: New Reading Interfaces, Online Text Archives, Search and Data Mining Innovations

Original Object for Study description

Google Book Search is a controversial initiative by the California-based search engine company Google to dramatically increase the amount of print literature available for on-line consumption. Google’s strategy is double-pronged, involving negotiations with both publishers and libraries to scan print works and convert them into searchable digital formats. While Google claims the project provides a benefit to the public good because it offers increased access to print texts, opposition has been fierce, resulting by early 2006 in at least two separate lawsuits arguing that the nature of Google Book Search constitutes an infringement of copyright law. Despite continuing litigation, the project is currently in beta-testing, is operational, and is growing steadily, boasting over one hundred thousand searchable texts.

This evolving project, as well as the controversy surrounding it, raises questions regarding intellectual property rights, authorship, access to information, and the shifting material nature of the book in the face of digital culture.


The Book and the Computer

On-line journal focused on the future of the book in the Internet age. Inaugural issue features a roundtable discussion about the “Future of the Printed Word.”

“We experience a world of ever-expanding websites, CD-ROMs and other digital electronic media led by the developed industrial nations today. What will become of the paper-printed media of books in relation to the rapid evolution of this new media?

“Much has been discussed about digital media in the context of multimedia and its interactive features, but not in relationship to carrying printed words and characters. If they were discussed at all, a negative outlook has been very pervasive. Is there any way we can expect a positive effect of the new media on books?

“Can books only exist in the paper-printed media? Can the text be separated from paper to be reused as a book through digital media? Is such a discussion relevant to the subject of books?” (from the Book and the Computer web site.)

Starter Links: Book and the Computer Journal |
Roundtable Discussion
| First issue’s table of contents

Memories for Life Grand Challenge Proposal

Project devoted to considering strategies for information storage and retrieval.

“People are capturing and storing an ever-increasing amount of information about themselves, including emails, web browsing histories, digital images, and audio recordings. This tsunami of data presents numerous challenges to computer science, including: how to physically store such “digital memoriesâ€? over decades; how to protect privacy, especially when data such as photos may involve more than one person; how to extract useful knowledge from this rich library of information; how to use this knowledge effectively, for example in knowledge-based systems; and how to effectively present memories and knowledge to different kinds of users. The unifying grand challenge I to manage this data, these digital memories, for the benefit of human life and for a lifetime.â€? (from the Memories for Life project proposal.)

Starter Links: Memories for Life (.pdf file)


Interactive typing tool that allows the user to type letters into a field and create text art with them.

“I feel a great interest in application or software to communicate and represent one’s mind and thougth through internet. Board(bbs) is very easy and useful thing for communicating and board is evolving day by day such as blog. but why we have to type words in the same way such as typing from left to right. that is typical and easy to recognize but not interesting, sometimes boring. This is one of the easy and exquisite way of showing one’s word. You can say anything with your letters by drawing them.” from the typedrawing web site.)

Starter Links: typedrawing | storyabout.net

Josh Nimoy, Textension

Interactive writing/art project that makes use of the user’s keyboard input.

“Textension is a series of ten interactive typing expressions. Its goal is to explore metaphors and aesthetics used for designing automated typesetting process on the personal computer beyond the traditional convention of typewriting. Each of the ten pieces is a typing experience, a text entry context into which the viewer types characters.” (from the Textension web site.)

Starter Links: Textension | Artist’s Home Page


Interactive text tool that allows the user to choose a font family and then select letters to create text art.

“Paco Bascuñán asked us to col.laborate with him in the creation and development of an interactive piece amongst Die Scheuche. Märchen. a kid’s story published in 1925 in the MERZ 14/15 magazine. The story was created by Kurt Schwitters, col.laborating with Käte Steinitz & Theo van Doesburg.

“That’s Robotype, a type comoposer, that allows playing with letters as graphic elements, exploring each one of the forms, something so extended as typography, draw, design, compose, create..” (from the Robotype web site).

Starter Links: Robotype.net | gallery

Peter Cho, letterscapes

Interactive online art exhibit that allows the user to select a letter from an alphabetic “constellation” and then manipulate the letter with mouse movements in a three-dimensional field.

“Letterscapes is a collection of twenty-six interactive typographic landscapes, encompassed within a dynamic, dimensional environment. Received the 2002 Tokyo Type Directors Club Interactive Award and a silver award in 2002 from the Art Directors Club of NYC. ” (from the artist’s web site.)

Starter Links: letterscapes | typeractive | Home Page

Paul Prudence, Calliscopes

Interactive, Flash-animated art object that responds to the user’s mouse movements.

“Calliscopes – calliscope is a made up word. Calli as in calligram, the beautiful calligraphic pictograms of mystical Islam. Scope as in Kaleidoscope. An aside: the etymological origin of calli is in the greek kallos meaning beauty and the origin of scope is in the Greek skopeo meaning to look at. These form part of a set of components produced for Flash MX Components : Most Wanted. ” (from the transphormetic.com web site.)

Starter Links: Calliscopes | transphormetic.com | Data Is Nature | Friends of Ed

Benjamin Fischer, Wordnews

Interactive online art exhibit that arranges the words of news headlines according to calculations related to frequency of occurrence.

Wordnews focuses on systematics for the interpretation and visual display of textual information. As a first example the current news headlines of several leading international news sources are being analysed and displayed. The output tries to visualise meaning according to calculations on the quantitative occurrence of words. Like a seismograph the application registers amplitudes and eruptions in current world-news headlines.” (from the Wordnews web site)

Starter Links: Wordnews | Benjamin Fischer’s Home Page


Application that attempts to visualize reading practices through an analysis of reader data.

txtkit is an Open Source visual text mining tool for exploring large amounts of multilingual texts. It’s a multiuser-application which mainly focuses on the process of reading and reasoning as a series of decisions and events. To expand this single perspective activity txtkit collects all of the users’ mining data and uses them to create content recommendations through collaborative filtering. The software requires Mac OS X 10.3 and Internet access.

”...The txtkit interface is divided into two parts: txtshell (shell interface) and txtvbot (visual bot). txtshell provides several commands to browse, to read and to select text, whilst txtvbot displays the user activity in real-time. The visualization is based on the users actions, statistical information about the data as well as collaborative filtering schemes. That is the reason why the complexity of its visual output is according to the increasing number of users! You can use txtvbot and txtshell individually, but through an alternating perception you will merge visual and textual cognition processes in order to empower abductive reasoning in digital contexts. ” (from the txtkit website).

Starter Links: txtkit | Do-It-Yourself Parsing

W. Bradford Paley, TextArcTransliteracies Research Report

Text-visualization and -analysis tool that processes texts (e.g., a novel) to give an overview of networks of repeated words and where repetitions occur; also retains the original text in readable form:

“A TextArc is a visual represention of a text–the entire text (twice!) on a single page. A funny combination of an index, concordance, and summary; it uses the viewer’s eye to help uncover meaning. Here are more detailed overviews of the interactive work and the prints.” (from the TextArc web site.)

Starter Links: TextArc | W. Bradford Paley’s Home Page

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Katrina Kimport

Marumushi.com, Newsmap

A visual representation of the Google News aggregator’s shifting status.

Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap’s objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe.

“Newsmap does not pretend to replace the googlenews aggregator. It’s objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media. It is not thought to display an unbiased view of the news, on the contrary it is thought to ironically accentuate the bias of it. ” (from the Newsmap web site.)

Starter Links: newsmap | Marumushi.com | Google News

News Reader

Interactive project that allows the reader to review a news item from a “top” news source and play with the piece such that the article changes to include portions of text from alternative sources.

News Reader is software for reading and playing the network news environment. News Reader initially offers the current “top stories” from Yahoo! News – which are always drawn from mainstream sources. Playing these stories brings forth texts generated from alternative press stories, portions of which are (through interaction) introduced into the starting texts, gradually altering them. News Reader is an artwork designed for daily use, providing an at times humorous, at times disturbing experience of our news and the chains of language that run through it. ” (from the News Reader web site.)

Starter Links: News Reader | Turbulence


Interactive educational game offers different levels engagement in order to focus on the processes of textual analysis and exegesis.

“Ivanhoe is suited to any discipline in the humanities concerned with textual and visual hermeneutics. The game promotes self-conscious awareness about interpretation and seeks to encourage collaborative activity in fields such as literature, religious studies, history, and other humanities disciplines. Ivanhoe facilitates the imaginative use of electronic archives and online resources in combination with traditional text-based and visual research materials. The game’s rules and conditions are adjustable to different player levels and interests, from secondary school classes to advanced projects undertaken by established scholars. ” (from the SpecLab web site)

“IVANHOE has been in development at the University of Virginia – first as a theoretical approach to humanities interpretation and later as a multi-user digital environment – since early 2000. It was initially conceived by Jerome McGann and Johanna Drucker as an exercise in revealing, through deformance, the multivalent narratives embedded in literary works like Walter Scott’s famous romance novel Ivanhoe.” (from the Applied Research in Patacriticism (ARP) web site.)

Starter Links: Ivanhoe | SpecLab | ARP

Zachary Lieberman, Intersection: a Study in Typographic Space

Interactive online site that allows the user to visualize representations of letter conglomerations in three dimensional space.

“This project is an exploration in how type forms intersect when projected along the x, y, and z axis in 3D space. The intersections of those projections are used to define new 3D shapes and hybrid letterforms.â€? (from the intersection web site.)

Starter Links: intersection | thesystemis

I’Ching Poetry Generator

Interactive on-line art exhibit by Jared Tarbell (programmer) and Lola Brine (design and XML poetry library) that takes its inspiration from the I’Ching’s hexagrammatic structure.

“The I’Ching interface presents the observer with 64 uniquely generated states as based on a 6-bit architecture. Initially, there is no state selected. The first interaction detected by the machine stops a random state selector at one of the 64 nodes in the circle. The value for that node is displayed, and the generative phase of the installation has begun.

“The observer is allowed to make five state changes. State changes are made by selected active nodes in the circles. Active nodes are logically defined by changes in each of the hexagram’s six bits.

”...Words within the poem are generated behind the viewer. Slowly, each word comes into view as it travels a path through three dimensional space, in real time, as controlled by the observer. The words eventually destabilizes after traveling into the distance. Destabilized words behave erratically and fly off into oblivion.” (from the levitated.net web site.)

Starter Links: I’Ching Poetry Generator | Levitated.net |

Ariel Malka, chronotext.org

Site devoted to considering the potentials of typographical and non-typographical text through a series of exploratory software projects.

“Text—far beyond the typographical aspects—has some huge potential yet to be exploited: chronotext is a growing collection of software experiments exploring the relation between text, space and time.” (from chronotext.org.)

Starter Links: chronotext.org | Genesis 11:1 | Helix Typewriter 1

David Link, Poetry Machine 1.0

An interactive installation that generates texts through a combination of user input and autonomous web crawlers (web bots).

“The interactive installation operates with a keyboard as interface, an Internet connection and two video displays. Poetry Machine is a word processor that extracts associations. The sources of information for this self-composing poetry machine are the gigantic pools of information on the Internet. When a word is typed that is as yet unknown to the poetry machine, the program will send out autonomous “bots” to the Internet to collect texts in which the word in question occurs. This action of the bots, searching sites and documents, can be watched on a plasma screen by the side of the installation. In this interaction of machine words and human text, Poetry Machine creates a new écriture automatique, where language is no longer the exclusive domain of human thought but also that of the internal logic of computers.” (from the project description page on the Media Art Net web site).

Starter Links: Poetry Machine 1.0 | Median Kunst Netz / Media Art Net | Poetry Machine 1.5

H. J. Jackson, Romantic Readers: The Evidence of Marginalia (2005)

Book that studies the practices of annotating or writing in the margins of books in Britain, 1790-1830:

“When readers jot down notes in their books, they reveal something of themselves–what they believe, what amuses or annoys them, what they have read before. But a close examination of marginalia also discloses diverse and fascinating details about the time in which they are written. This book explores reading practices in the Romantic Age through an analysis of some 2,000 books annotated by British readers between 1790 and 1830.” (from publisher’s blurb)

Starter Links & References: Yale Univ. Press, 2005 (ISBN 0300107854) | Publisher’s Blurb | Chronicle of Higher Education review (requires Chronicle subscription)

David Small, Illuminated Manuscript

Interactive, motion-sensitive manuscript in which text responds to the movements of the reader’s hand.

“Combining physical interfaces with purely typographical information in a virtual environment, this piece explored new types of reading in tune with human perceptual abilities.

“A handbound book is set in a spartan room. Projected typography is virtually printed into the blank pages with a video projector. Sensors embedded in the pages tell the computer as the pages are turned. In addition, sonar sensors allow visitors to run their hands over and to disrupt, combine and manipulate the text on each page. The book begins with an essay on the four freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want. Each page explores a different text on the topic of freedom. ” (from the Illuminated Manuscript description page on the Small Design Firm web site.)

Starter Links: Illuminated Manuscript| Small Design Firm

Jeffrey Shaw, Legible City Transliteracies Research Report

Art installation in which the viewer/participant rides a stationary bicycle in order to navigate through a “city” made of letters and text.

“In The Legible City the visitor is able to ride a stationary bicycle through a simulated representation of a city that is constituted by computer-generated three-dimensional letters that form words and sentences along the sides of the streets. Using the ground plans of actual cities – Manhattan, Amsterdam and Karlsruhe – the existing architecture of these cities is completely replaced by textual formations written and compiled by Dirk Groeneveld. Travelling through these cities of words is consequently a journey of reading; choosing the path one takes is a choice of texts as well as their spontaneous juxtapositions and conjunctions of meaning.

“The handlebar and pedals of the interface bicycle give the viewer interactive control over direction and speed of travel. The physical effort of cycling in the real world is gratuitously transposed into the virtual environment, affirming a conjunction of the active body in the virtual domain. A video projector is used to project the computer-generated image onto a large screen. Another small monitor screen in front of the bicycle shows a simple ground plan of each city, with an indicator showing the momentary position of the cyclist.” (from the project description on the artist’s web site.)

Starter Links: List of Projects| Jeffrey Shaw’s Web Page

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Lisa Swanstrom

Masaki Fujihata, Beyond Pages

A virtual “book,” enabled by data projection and a light pen, which conjures simulations of its content.

“The data projector loads images of a leather bound tome onto a tablet which a light pen activates, animating the objects named in it – stone, apple, door, light, writing. The soundscore immaculately emulates the motion of each against paper, save for the syllabic glyphs of Japanese script, for which a voice pronounces the selected syllable. Stone and apple roll and drag across the page, light illuminates a paper-shaded desklamp; door opens a video door in front of where you read, a naked infant romping, lifesize and laughing, in.

“In the middle pages, kanji letters scroll breakneck under the nib of your pen. Lifting it selects a word. We ask the Japanese of our random selection, ‘Does it mean anything?’ and they say, ‘Well, it says something, but it doesn’t mean anything’. And it says, oh, I don’t know: fish, walk, watch, and the ideographs sit in disarray where they tumble on the page. Something of the accident of language, its random illumination of the world, shines up from the page. An illuminating illuminated manuscript (like Simon Biggs’ 1991 alchemical book) opens and leafs through with a gesture, more direct than metaphor, more subtle than allegory, of the digital text, book as light source.” (from Beyond Pages.)

Starter Links:Beyond Pages| Interaction ‘97 | Artist’s Bio on Media Art Net

Simon Biggs, Alchemy: An Installation

A digitally illuminated and interactive Book of Hours.

Alchemy: An Installation is a digitally illuminated Book of Hours, twenty-four pages in length. It is designed to be played on two video monitors, turned on their sides and arranged in a book format, each screen becoming a page of the “book.” The playback technology used is Laser Disc with interactive hardware and software, allowing the “reader” to turn the pages back or forth, as they desire, with a simple wave of the hand.

“Unlike a traditional book, but not too dissimilar to an illuminated medieval manuscript, the light by which one reads emanates from the pages, illuminating not only the text and images contained therein but the immediate environment. Also the miniatures that illustrate the text are in constant motion, the detailed images of demons, angels and beasts, interiors and exteriors dancing before the reader’s eyes in mesmeric rhythms. ” (from the Alchemy web site.)

Starter Links: Alchemy: An Installation

Medien Kunst Netz/Media Art Net


Browser designed with integrated social-networking features, including integration with Flickr, del.icio.us, and blogs (still in “developer preview” release as of Jan. 2005):

“We believe that it should be easy for everyone to contribute to and participate on the web. To that end, we’ve started with integrating tools that make it easier to blog, publish your photos and share and discover things that are interesting to you.” (from Flock home page)

“Flock did a good job at sticking to the basic structure of a browser and basically looks like a beautified Firefox, but with extra features. The buttons on the navigation bar has the basic back, forward, refresh, and home button. But you also get a few new buttons such as a button to open the blog editor, the favorites manager, and the star button to star a site…. There are only two topbars as of now. The “Flickr Photosâ€? and ‘Blog Topbar.’” (from detailed review of 18 Oct. 2005 on Solution Watch site)

Starter Links: Flock home page | Solution Watch review, 18 Oct. 2005


One of the current, leading open-source blog-engines and content management systems. (The Transliteracies site is created and managed in WordPress):

“Software that provides a method of managing your website is commonly called a CMS or ‘Content Management System.’ Many blogging software programs are considered a specific type of CMS. They provide the features required to create and maintain a blog, and can make publishing on the Internet as simple as writing an article, giving it a title, and organizing it under (one or more) categories…. WordPress is one such advanced blogging tool and it provides a rich set of features. Through its Administration Panels, you can set options for the behavior and presentation of your weblog. Via these Administration Panels, you can easily compose a blog post, push a button, and be published on the Internet, instantly!” (from “Introduction to Blogging” on WordPress site)

Starter Links: WordPress home page

Nicholas Dames, “Wave-Theories and Affective Physiologies: The Cognitive Strain in Victorian Novel Theories” (2004)

Article that studies a “wave-theory of novelistic affect,” according to which novel-reading is an experience characterized by “continual oscillation between ‘relaxing’ subplots … and the more rigidly hermeneutic drives of suspense and revelation that create a particularly rapt, if necessarily short-lived, form of attentiveness”:

“The picture given us by this body of theory is of reading as an automatic performance; it is less a conscious construal of meaning, as in contemporary reader-response theory, than a submission to the rhythms of the text. Thus E. S. Dallas’s description of reading as similar to musical performance: “Many lines of action which when first attempted require to be carried on by distinct efforts of volition become through practice mechanical, involuntary movements of which we are wholly unaware. In the act of reading we find the mind similarly at work for us, with a mechanical ease that is independent of our care….” Reading is, in short, reflexive: it is an act with ties closer to the autonomic actions of the body and spinal column than to higher cortical activities, since to read well is no longer to pay attention to the act of reading. It is the task of the physiologized critic, therefore, to bring into consciousness what (during the act of reading itself) is less than conscious–to elucidate the rhythms of automatic cognition that different literary forms configure differently.” (from article)

Starter Links & References: Print article, Victorian Studies 46.2 (2004): 206-216 | Online version in Project Muse (requires institutional subscription)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1991)

Book that studies the experience of “concentration and deep experience” as opposed to that of distracted browsing or skimming:

“For more than two decades Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has been studying states of ‘optimal experience’—those times when people report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment. These investigations have revealed that what makes experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow—a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to absolute absorption in an activity. People typically feel strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities. Both the sense of time and emotional problems seem to disappear, and there is an exhilarating feeling of transcendence…. With such goals, we learn to order the information that enters consciousness and thereby improve the quality of our lives.” (from publisher’s blurb on back cover)

Starter Links or References: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (New York: Harper Perennial, 1991) | Amazon.com “inside this book” excerpts

Writing and the Digital Life

Group blog of writers working in digital new media:

”... collaborative transdisciplinary blog about the impact of digital technologies upon writing and lived experience. We talk about writing and reading in the context of ‘new and old’ media, transliteracy, craft, art, process and practice, social networks, cooperation and collaboration, narrative and memory, human computer interaction, imagination, nature, mind, body, and spirit.” (from home page)

Starter Links: Home page

Electronic Literature Organization (ELO)

Non-profit organization that promotes the writing, reading, publishing, teaching, and preservation of creative “born-digital” works of literature:

“What is Electronic Literature?
The term refers to works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer. Within the broad category of electronic literature are several forms and threads of practice, some of which are:

  • Hypertext fiction and poetry, on and off the Web
  • Kinetic poetry presented in Flash and using other platforms
  • Computer art installations which ask viewers to read them or otherwise have literary aspects
  • Conversational characters, also known as chatterbots
  • Interactive fiction
  • Novels that take the form of emails, SMS messages, or blogs
  • Poems and stories that are generated by computers, either interactively or based on parameters given at the beginning
  • Collaborative writing projects that allow readers to contribute to the text of a work