Narrative Palindromes 1: Beginnings

8:30 AM, Wednesday 15 Aug 2018 (1 hour 15 minutes)

In electronic narrative literature the Gap requires a frame. Nothing happens until the story starts – and nothing happens after it ends. But both entry and exit have been problematic in digital narrative structures, as the linear form of narratives (which may be understood one way as having beginning, middles, and ends) may be thrown for a loop when compared to networked or dynamic texts that have may have no defined beginning or ending at all.

Daniel Punday kicks off exciting talks on narrative palindromes by examining the fictional “entrance” trope in e-lit narratives. Punday explores “interface” as a term that travels between the design of an interface and fictional worlds. Will Luers’ paper considers the idea of a digital loop that results from digital media not having any concrete or objective offering of time or space. Luers ponders the discrepancy between this non-narrative quality and digital storytelling aspects. Lai-Tze Fan discusses how choice making in interactive narratives raises e- lit readers’ awareness of both their narrative- and device- consumption practices—encouraging them to be smarter than “smart” devices. Fan offers an example of her e-lit project Open (Re)source that represents digital device lifecycles. Roderick Coover’s paper examines theoretical gaps in visual culture—between shots, media, subjects, and so forth—and the work of suturing that calls for negotiation among imaginary totalities, border limits, and the unknown of the gap.

University of Waterloo
Mississippi State University
Temple University
Professor, Director Program in MediaXArts: Cinema For Emerging Technologies And Environments
University of Waterloo

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