Are You Sure You Want to Do That?

I was lucky enough to be commissioned to write for a new website produced by ABC Arts Online called Strange Attractors that will showcase Australian animators to the rest of the world. My task was to write a critical essay on new media artist Simon Norton’s work Testimony: A Story Machine. Simon did a great job with the work, has scored lots of teaching work and awards from his creations. Testimony was created a few years ago though and in his interview with me he mentioned that he learnt that people want to be TOLD a story. His goal to produce a work that does rely on the reader’s work in producing a story is admirable. And I’m sure that he will find the tenuous balance between Barthes’ ‘writerly’ text and ‘readerly’ text. More about this in my article.

Check out fellow writer and researcher Adam Ford’s review of the entertaining animation by Dan Hartney: BucketHead. A must see animation in the series (there are many) is Adam Duncan’s ‘Robot Republic: The Uncertainty Principle’. What do robots do when faced with Schrodinger’s cat? The results is hilarious and makes complete sense. But the robots can solve this in a way humans cannot. Here’s a quirky program playing with Schrodinger’s Cat.

Another one I found very funny is a satirical animation called The Game by Lucas Licata. Here the consequences on violence in games for game AI is spelled out in a government-warning style. This reminded me of the clever ‘rewriting’ of games at Red vs Blue.

Interactive Drama goes Mainstream

Over a year ago I found out about a website called Jupiter Green. It had info about the concept of an ‘interactive drama’ that will be coming soon. Then last year I attended a seminar and the producer of the site, Jo Lane, gave a talk and showed the actual drama. Back then they were looking for finance to go live. In the audience were folks from Sensis Pty Ltd and CitySearch. They approached Jo Lane and struck a deal. Now the ‘interactive drama’ is live for what Jo Lane dubbed

the most public user testing

It is live until the end of August. It is a soapie series of six episodes that you can access every three days after your initial registration. What you find, though, is that not only can you delve into the lives of the characters who live at the apartment block Jupiter Green, but you will also be emailed by them! This aspect, like alternate reality gaming, is exciting to be involved with. The interactive nature of the drama extends as far as the storyworld only for nothing you do will impact the characters or plot. However, the fact that it is hosted at CitySearch signals the beginning of electronic works beyond games and edutainment having a market. Register asap and read some of the false claims around the work like

Australia’s first web based drama

I’ll be putting together an article on this piece, for sure.

Primer Needed for Joyce’s Journey

I was inspired by a documentary screened a couple of weeks ago on James Joyce’s Ulysses. I am keen to read the whole book now that I understand more about how the book is structured. Interesting that I needed this info (eg: each chapter is a different writing style, theme and so on) to feel I could ‘access’ it… Anyway, I found some neat websites on the book:
Ulysses Online
Ulysses For Dummies
One Page Every Day
Hypermedia Joyce Studies
Michael Groden’s Digital Ulysses and Ulysses in Hypermedia.