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Remembrance of Media Past (Ayhan Aytes)

Remembrance of Media Past engages with cultural archetypes as motivations for designing interfaces in contemporary media. I chose to take illuminated manuscripts as a central focus of my research because they were perhaps the most significant medium of complex information structures before the introduction of the mechanical reproduction beginning with the Gutenberg era. In its final articulation, the project components attempt to link these antecedent cultural interfaces to more current approaches to complex information structures. (more…)

Transliteracies New Reading Interfaces Group Symposium, May 12, 2007

Saturday, May 12 2635 South Hall, UCSB
Presentations (PowerPoint files and videos) are in most cases restricted to Transliteracies participants (developers login) due to the in-progress nature of materials and to intellectual-property issues.

9 am – Welcome and Opening Remarks

Peter Cho, “Typotopo”

Research Report by Kate Marshall
(created 4/27/07; version 1.0)
[Status: Draft]

Related Categories: Text Visualization | Text and Multimedia

Original Object for Study description

Peter Cho’s body of typographic experiments, collected on Typotopo, visually explore the constituent parts of language and narrative. Cho’s work presents a range of graphic design innovations that use digital technology to access forms of letters or forms of texts. The text visualizations showcased on Typotopo ask not only how technology influences typography, but also what happens to the act of reading when letters, words, and narratives are experienced in interactive, dynamic environments.


Peter Cho, “Typotopo”Transliteracies Research Report

Typotopo is a website that collects the typographical and topographical work of Peter Cho.

This site represents the space where typography and topography overlap: explorations of type in virtual environments, experiments in mapping, and innovations in textual display. TYPOTOPO examines how the act of reading evolves when letters and words, viewed both as text and image, are placed in interactive and dynamic environments. TYPOTOPO explores typographic information spaces and the possibilities for playful, expressive letterforms (Typotopo).

Starter Links: Typotopo | Peter Cho’s home page

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Kate Marshall

Andrew Elfenbein, “The Humanities and the Science of Comprehension”

Paradigms Lecture 2—Thursday, May 3rd, 4:00-5:30, South Hall 2635, UCSB

On May 3, 2007, Andrew Elfenbein presented the second lecture in the Transliteracies Project’s Paradigms’ Lecture Series: “The Humanities and the Science of Comprehension.”

PowerPoint Presentation

Full Video: (.mov) | (.wmv)

Video by Sections:

Section 1: Introductory Remarks by Alan Liu
(.mov) | (.wmv)

Section 2: Overview; Traditional Criticism; Enter Cognitive Psychology; Some Possible Caveats
(.mov) | (.wmv)

Section 3: Source Monitoring; Failures of Monitoring; Correlation to Literature?; Result?; Medium Blindness; How Can Medium Not Matter?; Implications
(.mov) | (.wmv)

Section 4: Reader Memory; Causal Density; Implications?; “Past the Middle Effect”; Online Effects; Example; Event Indexing Model; Effects; Relevance?
(.mov) | (.wmv)

Section 5: Reading and Social Psychology; Implications; Trait vs. Situational Models; Reading and Belief; Disarticulation of Levels of Processing; Overvalorization of the Situation Model; Overvalorization of Textbase; On Improving Online Reading; Transliteracies Framework; What Determines Cognitive Interest; Hypermedia Reading; Search the Reader; Defaulting; On-Line Monitoring of Hypermedia; Off-line Effects;
(.mov) | (.wmv)

Section 6: Discussion
(.mov) | (.wmv)

  • Andrew Elfenbein, Professor of English at the University of Minnesota, has been a leader in introducing the perspectives and methods of recent cognitive science to the study of literary texts. His important article on this topic, “Cognitive Science and the History of Reading,” appeared in PMLA 121.2 (2006) 484-500. (Read the Transliteracies Research Report about this article.) Elfenbein is an affiliate member of the U. Minnesota Center for Cognitive Sciences

WordsEye: An Automatic Text-to-Scene Conversion System

Research Report by Nicole Starosielski
(created 3/13/07; version 1.0)
[Status: Draft]

Related Categories: Text and Multimedia | Alternative Interfaces | Text visualization


WordsEye is a text-to-scene conversion tool that allows users to construct a computer modeled scene through the use of simple text. Users describe an environment, objects, actions and images, and WordsEye parses and conducts a syntactic and semantic analysis of these written statements. The program assigns depictors for each semantic element and its characteristics and then assembles a three-dimensional scene that approximates the user’s written description. This scene can then be modified and rendered as a static two-dimensional image. (more…)