is shrouded in images of and allusions to Berlin, not merely
because I first gave it there but also because it serves, I
think, as a locale for legitimate wariness about magical transformations.
The transformation of the book which I know best involves interactive
fiction. Indeed when I first gave this talk earlier this autumn
in Berlin I was asked to talk about the state of interactive
fiction. To say interactive fiction is what I know best does
not necessarily mean that I am he who knows best about it, since
he who knows best in fact may be a she, as I am reminded in
looking out upon an audience which includes Janet Murray.
I am reminded that the margin, whether the edge of the campfire
or the hedge which shielded forbidden Irish bards, has been
more or less the storytellers place from the first. My friend,
Charles Henry, a great librarian and a technological visionary,
often recounts his vision of what the earliest story-telling
technology. The cave paintings, he reminds us, could only be
seen in patches of light from the rudimentary torchlamps-- no
more than fire upon a flat stone-- held by our European ancestors
of millenia ago. Those, too, were stories disclosed by littles
and surely interactively.
So I will
talk about what I can see, the edges of things illuminated by
a brief fire in my hand. I will console myself with an understanding
that prophecy is cheap in this age of supressed memory. The
market analyst and the technological guru tell the future by
economic quarters but count on having their prognostications
forgotten by the time the stock market closes that day. For
most technologists the measure of the future is a soundbite,
an animated gif, or a mouse click. I have written elsewhere
that in our technologies, our cultures, our entertainments and,
increasingly, the way we constitute our communities and families
we live in an anticipatory state of constant nextness.
constant blizzard of the next, we must nonetheless find our
way through both our own private histories and the cumulative
history of our cultures. Not a history in the old dangerously
transcendent sense, but a history of our making and our remembering
alike: a history nearer to that which in The Special View
of History the poet Charles Olson defines as "the function
of any one of us... not a force but... the how of human life".
novelist Shelley Jackson writes, "history is only a haphazard
hopscotch through other present moments. How I got from one
to the other is unclear. Though I could list my past moments,
they would remain discrete (and recombinant in potential if
not in fact), hence without shape, without end, without story.
Or with as many stories as I care to put together."
I am aware
as I begin to speak to you that this conference attracts many
of you because it promises the excitement of speed, the quickness
of the present moment, the dizziness (or the Disneyesque) of
next. I hope I do not disappoint you with my slowness. Artists
tell the future in millenia, a glacial measure which even (or
especially) at the beginning of a new one is already haunted
by the past, both the past gone and the past yet to be. The
future of fiction is its past, though that future, too, is a
of a truly electronic narrative art form awaits the pooling
of a communal genius, a gathering of cultural impulses, of vernacular
technologies, and most importantly of common yearnings which
can find neither a better representation nor a more satisfactory
confirmation than what electronic media offer.
It seems self-evident that multimedia of the sort we see now
on the web or CD ROM is not likely to find a general audience.
There is astonishing creativity everywhere (and I will point
to some specific locales in a survey of interactive fictions
at the end of this talk) but there has not as yet emerged any
form which promises either widely popular or deeply artistic
Nor is it
likely that a haphazardly swirling chaff of java tools and plug-ins
will suddenly reach a point of spontaneous combustion and bring
forth a new light. The current state of multimedia does not
repeat the case of the motorcar where widespread parallel technological
developments led to a sufficient shift in sensibilities to make
the mass distributed assembly line seem a technological event
threshhold. The form of multimedia itself has no obvious audience,
nor any obvious longing which it seeks to fulfill.
To be sure
there will be electronic television, perhaps even the much vaunted,
ubiquitous push technology which is breathlessly championed
by pseudo-religious cargo cults, techno-onanist publications,
and infotainment empires. Yet push technology is merely radio
for the eyes in which infobits flutter across the field of vision
like papers falling from a virtual tickertape parade.
likewise be an electronic marketplace (perhaps there already
is) for it is only an extension of the shoppig mall with its
shelves full of branded trademarks, surrounded by the architectural
goulash of the gated suburb, and the holy shrines of the ATM
card. The electronic marketplace will in this way parallel the
course of the videotape rental industry in which an island of
catalogues floats upon a sea of porn.
three general views about the failure of a true electronic form
to yet emerge. Before I discuss them I wish to note that I have
been quite intentionally using the term multimedia for the electronic
television and electronic marketplace in order to distinguish
such multimedia not merely from hypermedia but also from an
electronic form yet to emerge but which has occasionally shown
itself in almost magical, if incremental, transformations in
our consciousness and indeed our sense of the real.
though I will return to it later as a figure of more fundamental
morphogenetic change, perhaps the image of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's
Wrapped Reichstag can stand as a figure for these veiled changes,
the pre-emergent and imminent forms of future whose edges push
against the shrouded cloak of time like a baby's elbows push
against a mother's belly.
One view of why a true electronic form has yet emerge holds
that we are in an age similar to that of the Silent Film and
that a rich and powerful art form will emerge synergistically
as the result of multiple, individual explorations upon the
part of cultural producers coupled with simultaneously rising
audience sophistication and expectations.
form of multimedia does not lead naturally from the marriage
of eye and memory which film promised. Contemporary life leaves
little time for those domestic and public mysteries of life
lived in common which feed drama. Nor does multimedia provide
the shadowbox for the psychoanalytic model of detached personality
as does television. Multimedia neither extends the page into
some inevitable dream of technicolor longing to which its surface
previously aspired, nor does it endow the unruly moving image
with the staid conventionality of the page.
view about the failure of a true electronic form to yet emerge
holds that authorship will turn from the creation of distinctly
marked, individual stories to the creation of potentiated storyworlds,
maintained and extended communally or by software agents which
poll communal tastes, In such worlds individual audience members
assume identities, spawn transitory narratives, and populate
communities according to the logic of the storyworld, the accidental
encounters of their inhabitants, and the story generation algorithyms
of software agents alike. The dream of the software agent and
the storyworld is the dream of Sheherezade's mother, a longed
for happily-ever-after which is both outside the womb and yet
no longer in the world. That dream doomed Berlin once before,
before this rebuilding, the dream of a history outside history,
a history at history's end. I think we all must be wary that
dreams without ends do not summon the Reich of Virtual Reality,
do not awaken the Avatar fuhrer.
view is perhaps an extension of the second. It holds that language
slides inevitably toward image. From Jaron Lanier's 60's hippy,
utopian view of unmediated, grokking communication through Virtual
Reality to the network executives (of either the broadcast or
inter networks) who see the web as packaging for a particular
kind of targeted entertainment, not unlike the wrapper on a
frozen egg roll, a Victoria's Secret brassiere, or the picture-in-picture
headshots of interchangeable experts who appear over the shoulder
of interchangeable infotainment news show hosts.
in the unmediated image is the behavior of cults. The Heavens'
Gate cult knew what it saw beyond Hale Bop. Total belief in
the unmediated image is denial of the mortality of the body.
Yet outside the occult we live in a patchwork of self and place,
image and word, body and mind. "Suppose we thought of representation,"
the philosopher and literary critic W. J. T. Mitchell suggests
in his book Picture Theory. "not as a homogeneous field
or grid of relationships governed by a single principle, but
as a multidimensional and heterogeneous terrain, a collage or
patchwork quilt assembled over time out of fragments."
come to see (we have come to see) that electronic texts expose
the patchwork ("expose" perhaps in the way of a photograph)
and recall the body. "Suppose further," Mitchell says,
" that this quilt was torn, folded, wrinkled, covered with
accidental stains, traces of the bodies it has enfolded. This
model might help us understand a number of things about representation."
The image Mitchell summons here is clear, the stained quilt
is the Shroud of Turin, the bride's gift from her grandmother,
the wedding night sheet, the baby's blanket. The image is clear
but it does not proclaim its self-sufficiency.
The new electronic literature will distinguish itself by its
clarity. It will seem right. I say literature because any literacy,
even a visual or transitory one, expresses itself in a literature.
Nor do I mean the kind of clarity that media purveyors speak
about in terms of better authoring tools or more intuitive interfaces.
I mean a new human clarity.
In the recent
and important special issue of Visible Language regarding New
Media Poetry and guest edited by Eduardo Kac, the French electronic
poet and theorist Phillipe Bootz quotes Jean-Pierre Balpe's
assertion that because computer authors "do not question
at all the notion of literature [but] on the contrary claim
they belong to it and feed on it., the fact that they bring
us to reconsider its nature and consequently its evolution seems
of interactive fiction as a literary form increasingly seem
to reside, quite curiously for me, in its realism, how truly
it lets us render the shifting consciousness and shimmering
coherences and transitory closures of the day-to-day beauty
of the world around us. Hyperfiction seems equal to the complexity
and sweetness of living in a world populated by other, equally
uncertain, human beings, their dreams, and their memories.
isn't a matter of branches but rather of the different textures
of experience into which language (and image) leads us. Hyperfiction
is like sitting in a restaurant in the murmur of stories, some
fully known, some only half-heard, among people with whom you
share only the briefest span of life and the certainty of death.
To be sure
interactive fictions are an intermediate step to something else,
but what that something might be is a question fit for philosophy.
All our steps are intermediate. This one seems to be veering
toward television, god help us, perhaps even television imprinted
on your eyeballs. I put my trust in words. Media seers may talk
about how we won't need stories since we will have new, virtual
worlds, but soon those new worlds, too, will have their own
stories and we will long for new words to put them into.
Do not mistake
me. I am not saying that hyperfiction enjoys an obvious audience
which multimedia lacks. I am however saying that language- with
its instrinsically multiple forms, with its age-old engagement
of eye and ear and mind, with its ancient summoning of gesture,
movement, rhythm and repetition, with the consolation and refreshment
it offers memory- offers us the clearest instance and the most
obvious form for what will emerge as a truly electronic narrative
electronic literature will seem self-evident, as if we have
always seen it and, paradoxically, as if we have never seen
this moment seems the ideal figure of what moments ago I called
the astonishing creativity of an emerging electronic literature,
a Berlin in which the cranes crosshatch a sky whose color, rather
than being William Gibson's color of television, is not yet
known, a sky whose expanse promises a new clarity (eine neue
the earnest impulses of government bureaucracies and the imperial
appetites of transnational conglomerate capital all of the busyness
of the Berlin skyline- while not purposeless- is nonetheless
to no purpose. This is good. We need to move beyond purpose,
to what the monk and poet Thomas Merton calls the "freedom
which responsibilities and transient cares make us forget."
We need to be free of technology to be free in technology. Like
the overarching apparatus of our technologies, the scaffolding
which criss-crosses Berlin is bandaged air. Beneath it lies
the promise of new clarity, indeed even the unthinkable possibility
of a Kristall Tag, an inversion of history, in which our world
refroms itself as a globe of glass in which the fractures of
the darkest nights are never again forgotten but rather where
these healed over fractures form a prism for a new light to
shine through in all its differences. Through such a new prism
the wounds of a world torn apart would both flow like tears
and crystalize like roses at intervals in the way that the hearts
of martyrs do under glass reliquaries in a cathedral.
electronic literature will seem old, as old as any human story,
in its newness as old as birth.
Berlin heals over itself and in the process becomes itself differentiated
by its own perception of gathering forms. The way in which a
thing is both still itself and yet no longer itself is what
Sanford Kwinter identifies as the singularity of catastophe
theory in which "a point suddenly fails to map onto itself"
(58) and a new thing is born. This is, of course, the genius
of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Wrapped Reichstag in which the
thing seen is not the thing wrapped and yet evokes and insists
upon it, and meanwhile the thing unwrapped is no longer the
thing which was wrapped and yet promises to be what it was then.
traces a circle like that of the zen paradox, the circle whose
center is nowhere and whose circumference is everywhere. In
writing some years ago about the emergence of a city of text
I cited Wim Wenders angelic vision of the great Berlin film,
Wings of Desire, in which angels walk among the stacks of a
library, listening to the musical language which forms the thoughts
of individual readers. Into this scene, shuffling slowly up
the stairs, comes an old man, who the credits identify as Homer.
"Tell me, muse, of the story-teller who was thrust to the
end of the world, childlike ancient...With time," he thinks,
"my listeners became my readers. They no longer sit in
a circle, instead they sit apart and no one knows anything about
The new electronic literature will restore the circle as it
always was and, paradoxically, as it never was before.
earlier that we live in constant nextness. Thomas Merton speaks
of the nextness of "Computer Karma in American Civilization"
be done has to be done. The burden of possibilities has to be
fulfilled, possibilities which demand so imperatively to be
fulfilled that everything else is sacrificed to their fulfillment
electronic literature will bear the burden of possibilities
in the way the earth bears the air.
the editor of the webzine FEED, recalls the passage in Walter
Benjamin's essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical
Reproduction," where "Benjamin talks rhapsodically
about the cultural effects of slow-motion film" as an instance
of how difficult it is "to predict the broader sociological
effects of new technologies" .
always liked this passage, "Johnson says, "because
it seems so foreign to us now, reading Benjamin fifty years
later. If you imagine all the extraordinary changes wrought
by the rise of moving pictures, slow-motion seems more like
a side-effect, a footnote or a curiosity-piece."
by Johnson's observation I wondered instead whether Benjamin
was right and we have missed the point of the technology. Perhaps
we are all watching too fast. In his book of interviews Wim
Wenders quotes Cezanne, "Things are disappearing. If you
want to see anything you have to hurry." Yet in another
place Wenders says, "Films are congruent time sequences,
not congruent ideas...In every scene my biggest problem is how
to end it and go on to the next one. Ideally I would show the
time in between as well. But sometimes you have to leave it
out, it simply takes too long..."
generations of Berliners are, of course, citizens of the time
in between and as such bear the responsibility which so many
of us do in the constant state of changing change which constitutes
networked culture. Many of you here are likewise from the generation
of the time in between, and you too bear the burden of its telling,
a process which, despite our technologies, requires constant
generation and generations alike. One day Potzdamer Platz will
be however temporarily complete. One day the world will lack
a memory of what happened here, it is a storyteller's task to
remember in the midst of dizzying change.
The new electronic literature will show the time in between,
which is nothing less than the space which links us through
as I turn finally in the last part of this talk to the brief
survey of interactive fiction which I promised earlier, I hope
you will forgive me if I turn a critical eye toward the paradoxical
lack of any obvious sense of what links us in these fictions.
It is this lack of the betweenus, to use the word which Helene
Cixoux coined, more than any technical lack, which momentarily
stops us short of a mass electronic medium or a lasting artform.
Nor do I exempt myself from this criticism. Although my hyperfictions
are sincere attempts to negotiate whatever clarity I could find
in link and multiplicity of voices, I have as yet found nothing
truly self-evident to show you. No new clarity, no new city
of text beneath the cranes and scaffolds, no promised land,
not even a wire frame Frankenstein awaiting the flesh of textural
I also hope
as I begin this survey that you will recall the modest intention
with which I began this talk, that is to say what edges I think
I can glimpse of forms of future. On the campus of the media
lab this kind of modesty doesn't have to be forced. I'm not
pointing here to the sea changes which the lab and other habe
made their business but rather to the ripples upon a surface
which distinguish art from business.
this doubled claim for modesty (which, like double negatives,
doesn't not say I make no claim to see) let me say something
briefly about my most recent work, the web fiction, Twelve
Blue, which is available on the server here and at Eastgate.
let me say something briefly about my current work, the web
fiction, Twelve Blue,
which is available on the server here and at Eastgate
I have often been critical of the way the web impoverishes hypertext
The web is a pretty difficult space in which to create an expressive
surface for text. It seems to me that the web is all edges and
without much depth and for a writer that is trouble. You want
to induce depth, to have the surface give way to reverie and
a sense of a shared shaping of the experience of reading and
writing. Instead everything turns to branches.
fiction I decided to stop whining and learn to love the web
as best I could, to honor what it gives us at present and to
try to make art within the restrictions of the medium, Twelve
Blue explores the way our lives--like the web itself or a year,
a day, a memory, or a river-- form patterns of interlocking,
multiple, and recurrent surfaces. I've tried to use frames and
simple sinking hyperlinks to achieve a feeling of depth and
successive interaction unlike most web fictions. The idea is
to put the links within the text and outside the interface and
thus have the fiction echo with possibilities and transform
the day-to-day, page to page, rhythm of the web into a new music
of swirling waters and shades of blue. So while there is only
one text link in any screen (and that one disappears when it
is followed) the whole of the text is not only surrounded by
the visual threads of its various linked narratives but threaded
through with shared visions, events, and situations for which
the reader's sensibility supplies the links.
came first, the threads creating a kind of score in the sense
of John Cage, a continuity of the various parallel narratives.
When the threads veer nearer to each other-- or in at least
one instance cross-- so do their narratives. The twelve lines
became months but also characters or pairings of them as well
(that is, sometimes a character has her own line and another
line she shares with someone paired to her, although not necessarily
within the narratives threads). The twelve threads do not start
with January at the top but rather November, the year of my
year. I then made eight different cuts across the Y axis, though
in my mind they were more fabric strips or something like William
Burrough's compositional cuts.
eight longitudinal strips the various stories take place and
intermingle. Obviously however since narrative goes forward
horizontally and time here is represented vertically, there
is something of a displacement in which events along a single
thread in fact violate the larger time of the characters sensibilities.
Thus the drowning deaf boy of the story floats across various
threads through different seasons until his body surfaces at
the end. Beyond this I gave myself some other simple constraints,
for instance the already mentioned one of only one text link
per frame and another of having every screen contain the word
I have barely begun another webfiction which takes place on
an island inhabited by several historical characters (St Francis,
William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, and the engraver
and book illustrator Bernard Picart). It is a novel about the
relationhips between word and image and the slippages as each
lapse into each other. Parts of it are in a local pidgen of
the island, whose name we never quite get, although the locals
call it Banyan (or Yamland in some parts). In the words of the
fiction pidgen also enters through occasional typos, which themselves
enter the pidgen, since typos are thought to be sacred in this
place, i.e., divine inspiration, the devolution of the word,
logo into imago, or so I think at present.
ago I invoked Frankenstein and so let me begin my survey of
interactive fiction with Shelley Jackson's extraordinary disk-based
hypertext novel, Patchwork
Girl or A Modern Monster, a work attributed to Mary/Shelley
and Herself. This hyperfiction seems to oscillate in its voices
among these three attributed authors and at least once engages
in a dialogue with Derrida. It is a fiction of continuous dissection,
in which both Mary Shelley's monster and Frank Baum's girl of
Oz are successively cut and repatched in the way of Xeno's paradox.
This is a getting nowhere which gets somewhere. "I align
myself as I read with the flow of blood," says Shelly Jackson's
it cycles keeps moist and living what without it stiffens into
a fibrous cell. What happens to the cells I don't visit? I think
maybe they harden over time without the blood visitation, enclosures
of wrought letters fused together with rust, iron cages like
ancient elevators with no functioning parts. Whereas the read
words are lubricated and mobile, rub familiarly against one
another in the buttery medium of my regard, rearrange themselves
in my peripheral vision to suggest alternatives. If I should
linger in a spot, the blood pools; an appealing heaviness comes
over my limbs and oxygen-rich malleability my thoughts. The
letters come alive like tiny antelopes and run in packs and
patterns; the furniture softens and molds itself to me.
(I do not know what metaphor to stick to; I am a mixed
metaphor myself, consistency is one thing you cannot
really expect of me. )
What I leave alone is skeletal
and dry. ('Blood')
Dissection and Frankensteinian cyborgization also
informs the very provocative collaborative web work of
Noah Wardrip-Fruin and others, titled Gray
Matters, itself a brilliant unbinding of book and
body and the link each represents between creation and
On the web I am currently very much taken by the work
of Tim McLaughlin whose language constantly meditates in
the presence of image and mediates the nature of image.
McLaughlin's work with the architects , Thomas Bessai,
Maria Denegri, and Bruce Haden for the Canadian biennale
pavilion, Light Assemblage is an extraordinary
exploration of how word makes place and place enables
language. His 25 Ways to Close a Photograph perhaps
most nearly approaches the self-evident quality which I
have demanded of electronic literature, exploiting rather
than working within the constraints of the web.
Although not strictly a fiction, I am very fond of
Memory Arena and Who's Who in Central & East Europe
1933 done by Arnold Dreyblatt in collaboration with the Kulturinformatik,
Dept. of the University of Lžneburg which Heiko
Idensen first introduced me to. As Jeffrey Wallen notes
in his introduction, this work takes "the ordinary
and the bureaucratic ...to a further extreme through
their own logic of fragmentation, listing, juxtaposition,
and leveling" giving us "a haunting glimpse of
I know that this conference has previously been graced
by Mark Amerika, whose overly earnest but nonetheless
likeable Grammatron is weighed down by a
quasi-theoretical agenda, a perplexing nostalgia for
cyberpunk, and the already discussed impossibility of
A similarly likeable brilliance, but without the
nervousness of multimedia, suffuses the work of both
Marjorie Luesebrink and Adrianne Wortzel with a serenity
of surface if not yet a fully new clarity. Luesbrink's
Lacemaker webfiction (written as M.D. Coverley at
http://gnv.fdt.net/~christys/elys_1.html) inside the also
very compelling Madame de Lafayette site of Christy
Sheffield Sanford is a variation upon Cinderella.
Wortzel's Ah, Need turns the inevitable probing
of surface which multimedia elicits to something more of
an experience of liguistic surface.
Finally I am especially fond of Flygirls,
the web fiction of the webwench, Jane Loader of Atomic
Cafe fame. Its dusty rose to khaki trim retro look, its
elegiac quality, and most of all its rich expanse and
compelling writing are smart in the double sense of
intelligence and style. This site seems an actual
aerodrome but with the narrative spine of the race
stretching over the rose-lit space, the links like
My own feeling,
however, is that the most provocative works are taking place outside
the web in what might be called natural electronic spaces, the
vernacular technologies of game engines, MOO's and most especially
the kinetic texts of electronic poetry where language finally
finds its natural element in motion, not in a window but as a
window, not as a single surface but as the aural, visual, and
proprioceptive experience of successive surfaces. I do not think
I am wrong to include hypertext fiction among these natural electronic
environments, despite the current feeling in media and publishing
and among certain critics that their time came and passed. This
is hardly the literature of the present and will likely not be
the literature of the future, and yet I am convinced that the
literature of the present cannot continue without it and the literature
of the future will not only encompass it but in some sense depends
An extraordinarly exciting international collaboration involves
the Dublin based but Derry born writer, Terence MacNamee , the
electronic artist and programmer, Eoin O'Sullivan in Derry,
an American hyperfiction writer, Noah Pivnick and his colleague
and co-producer, Rachel Buswell (info at http://www.ulst.ac.uk/hyperfiction/Welcome.html).
This group is in the midst of creating a fiction in the form
of the Derry city walls, utilizing the Quake game engine as
a locale for what they call networked co-readings. This story,
which the authors describe as hypertext in architectural space,
includes progressively disclosed texts, ambient sounds, and
multiply inhabited story spaces which subvert the mythic war
engine of Quake toward a literally dynamic consideration of
the possibility of reconciliation. The fictional space invites
the reader to explore walls and the link they represent between
insider and outsider, reader and writer. Their fiction thus
takes its place rather than takes place within a naturalized
electronic space, not unlike how Judy Malloy in the early stages
of Brown House Kitchen would set up space inside a room
at Lambda MOO and begin to tell her stories, ignoring the protests,
until the story made its own space.
Of my experiences of virtual reality thusfar, I remember only
one with a visceral excitement and longing: the experience of
moving in and out of planetary spaces of text within a 2D rendering
of 3D typographic space which I experienced in the work of the
late Muriel Cooper together with David Small, , and Suguru Ishizaki
at MIT's Visible Language Workshop. "Imagine swooping into
a typographic landscape: hovering above a headline, zooming
toward a paragraph in the distance, spinning around and seeing
it from behind, then diving deep into a map," Wendy Richmond
described it perfectly in WIRED, "A virtual reality that
has type and cartography and numbers, rather than objects -
it's like no landscape you've ever traveled before, yet you
feel completely at home."
Making space through and in and of language distinguishes the
kinetic poets featured in Visible Language whose work seems
to me very much in the spirit of Muriel Cooper and her group.
This includes Eduardo Kac's holopoem's, John Cayley's cybertexts,
E. M de Melo e Castro's videopoemography, Philippe Bootz's work
on a functional model of texte-a-voir, and most importantly
Jim Rosenberg's extraordinary body of theory and poetry
leading toward an "externalization of of syntax analogous
to the externalization of the nervous system manifested in computer
This is a call for a language outside itself, a language which
goes out into the world. In his chapter "Walking in the
City" in The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel
de Certeau spies this externalization in the figure of the wanderer
who looks beyond "the absence of what has passed by"
to "the act itself of passing by." (97) The act of
passing by is Olson history as the "how of human life."
It takes place and makes place alike in the city of text..
There is a city of text and it, too, mutates and thrives beneath
an umbrella of construction cranes and a crenellated skin of
scaffolding, beneath SGML, XTML, VRML, and HTML, inside the
plug-in, the data stream, the web crawler, the game engine,
the photoshop filter, and so on. As with Berlin what matters
most is not what life goes on beneath but what life emerges
and in what light we come to see each other in the act of passing
Balpe, Jean-Pierre. L'Imaginaire Informatique de la Litterature
Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. (1983)Trans. Steven
Randall. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Kwinter, Sanford. Landscapes of Change: Boccioni's Stati
d'animo as a general theory of models. (1992) Assemblage,
19, pp. 55-65.
Merton, Thomas. Woods, Shores, Desert. (1982) Santa Fe:
Museum of New Mexico Press.
Mitchell, W. J. T. Picture Theory.
Olson, Charles. The Special View of History edited
with an introduction by Ann Charters. (1970) Berkeley CA:
Richmond, Wendy. Muriel Cooper's Legacy. WIRED 2.10