Media Art


The 24-Hrs. Micro-Elit Project

Project Website

Installation at juried show, Archive and Innovate, at Brown University, June 2010

Essay, “On the Art of Producing a Phenomenally Short Fiction Collection over the Net using Twitter:  ‘The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project,’” forthcoming at Judy Malloy’s “Authoring Software

“The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project” is an anthology of micro-fiction that utilizes Twitter for producing and disseminating the stories.  Inspired by Richard Brautigan’s pithy "The Scarlatti Tilt," a story of only 34 words published in 1971, my work centers around  a collection of 24 stories about life in an American city in the 21st C.  Each story involves 140 characters or less delivered—that is, "tweeted"—on Twitter over a 24 hr. period. The project ran on Friday, August 21, beginning 12 a.m. PST.  Each hour, one story was posted; during that time others who were following the project also tweeted their own stories.  The result is a collection of very short stories by writers from all over the world. An archive of the event and the work it generated is available at the project website.

Rhapsody Room: Experiments with Language and Digital Poetry

with Jeannette Altman

Performance: Clark College, September 28, 2007

“Rhapsody Room” is a multimedia performance piece that experiments with motion tracking technology and digital media like video, animation, and music for use in live, interactive performance-installations involving language explorations. A user, moving through the performance space, evokes a word by moving the tracking device to a particular place in that space. Nouns and pronouns are found at the highest levels of the space; adjectives and adverbs, in the middle, and verbs and other parts of speech at the lowest level. Music and light accompany the words as a way of emphasizing placement of categories. As a performance piece, it explores the notion of electronic "cut up poetry;" as an installation, it challenges the player to produce words, phrases, sentences, lines of poetry "on the fly." The work is in its very early stage in development and has been performed as a work in progress.

“Things of Day and Dream” is short poem about the liminal space between waking and dreaming. Divided into 13 phrases, the work is laid out into two main parts of the performance space. Upstage to the right are 10 phrases associated with "day;" to the left, two phrases with "dream." In the middle lies the overlapping space where we cannot tell the difference; in this space the one phrase "and lurking between day and dream" is spoken. Motion tracking technology is used to evoke the various media objects, such as video clips, sound files, and light, making this work a live, interactive, multimedia work, performed with the use of the entire body, rhapsodically. The end result is a work not unlike pre-print literature such as a performance of ancient Greek drama or Greek lyrical poetry. In sum, "Things of Day and Dream" experiments with language, not only visual, but also auditory, kinesthetic, and kinetic.

Things of Day and Dream

with Jeannette Altman

Premiere Performance, Clark College, September 28, 2007

Video Clip: 1.4 MB, 1 min. 7 sec.

Video documentation by Victoria Barnett

The MINDful Play Environment

with Steve Gibson, Justin Love, & Jeannette Altman

In progress

Project Website

An acronym for Motion-tracking, INteractive Deliberation, The MINDful Play Environment is a learning environment that provides a hands on, virtual experience for the teaching math, science, and language concepts through the use of emergent technologies, like motion tracking and web cam systems, and digital media, like sound, video, and animation, to young audiences primed by game environments that encourage a high level of physical activity. MPE is the product of Dene Grigar, Steve Gibson, Justin Love, and Jeannette Altman. Built on the engine that produced Gibson's successful music and light installation, Virtual DJ, MPE creates a virtual reality experience where three players collaborate to produce a multimedia art installation—comprised of light, music, spoken word, video, and animation—on the fly in real-time, with the help of motion tracking and webcam technologies.

When Ghosts Will Die

with Steve Gibson

Art Tech Media 06, Spain, Collision 2005, Canada

Project X + The Planetary Collegium, 2005, USA

Finalist, Drunken Boat Panliterary Awards 2005

Video & Project Website

“When Ghosts Will Die” is a performance-installation utilizing multi-sensory elements such as sound, video, light, and images controlled by motion-tracking technology that tells the story about the dangers of nuclear proliferation. Inspired by the play, Copenhagen, by Michael Frayn, the piece marks my first work in the areas of ephemera and live, multimedia performance and represents a wide departure from my previous work. Having spent two years in post-doctoral study with the Center for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (Now "The Planetary Collegium"), I was able to make the leap from working in the 2-dimensional space of the computer screen to that of the 3D space of live performance space. During the time of my post-doc, the Iraqi War began, and my concern about that nuclear weapons would be used deepened. Thus, When Ghosts Will Die is historically centered at the development of the nuclear weapons and height of the Cold War paranoia and involves a dialectic between the forces pushing for nuclear armament and those concerned about its implications.

Virtual DJ Networked Performance

Created by Steve Gibson

Performance,, Vancouver, Canada, April 18, 2007

Victoria-Denton Performance, August 2005

Video, Project Website Conference Program

“Virtual DJ” is a telematic, telepresent performance developed to allow two geographically-removed performers to interact simultaneously using tracking software to allow positional information to be delivered over a high-speed network. The network performance between Gibson and me was tested in the summer 2005 between Gibson's studio at the University of Victoria and my lab at Texas Woman's University. In this performance I control the sound and light of the melody tracker in Victoria. Using webcam technology, I see Gibson's projected image of the room in Victoria and hears how I am affecting the audio there. Similarly Gibson sees my projected image in his Victoria studio and can infer my movements by a light which moves in a ghostly manner in response to my movements. The work was performed for at-a-distant audiences at in Vancouver, Canada and Research Showcase held at Washington State University Vancouver, where I am now on faculty.

Fallow Field: A Story in Two Parts

Iowa Web Review. September 2004


Analysis by Jess Laccetti, De Montfort University, UK

“Fallow Field” is a short work of hypertext fiction of no more than 30 lexias that chronicles the breakdown of a marriage. Mythic in quality, it is set in no particular place or time and reflects no one culture. It does, however, recall those archetypal power struggles between women and men so familiar in Western tradition, beginning with Hera and Zeus, Helen of Troy and Menelaus, and Klytemnestra and Agamemnon. The older we are, the better we know the compulsion and repulsion of such relationships, feeling both sadness and relief when they end. The work is essentially an experiment in what N. Katherine Hayles calls "electronic textuality," yet one that utilizes the "software functionality" (Writing Machines 19-20) of hypertext not for breaking down narrative structure, as seen in various other works of electronic fiction like Michael Joyce's seminal afternoon: a story or Deena Larsen's Disappearing Rain, but but for holding the narrative structure more tightly together in a tale that centers on characters whose lives are horribly broken and fragmented. The images and sound brought into the story via the hyperlinks are intended to work in conjunction with the words to provide a larger canvas on which the reader can draw meaning. More specifically, it aims to demonstrate that images and sound are elements as important to any "text" as words can be when that text is electronic.

The Jungfrau Tapes: A Conversation with Diana Slattery about The Glide Project

Iowa Web Review. September 2004


“the Jungfrau Tapes” is video-hypertext that experiments with capturing the spirit and personality of media artist and science fiction author, Diana Slattery, in the genre of "the interview." The conversation took place between Slattery and me over several days while we traveled from Grindelwald to the top of the Jungfrau Mountains and later to Lucerne during April 2003. At the time Slattery had just seen the publication of her novel The Maze Game and was moving toward the development of her 3D relational database. The Jungfrau Tapes was commissioned by Iowa Review Web and published in the fall 2004 by the journal. It marked my first foray into video work.

Interactive Virtual Archives

Kairos, 5.2. Fall 2000


“Interactive Virtual Archives” is last hypertext essay that I created. At the time, however, this webtext represented my attempt to talk about the interactive, virtual archives that I had created for Texas Woman's University; it also led me to begin thinking about a theory of media translation, which I am still working to complete. Driving my theory is the idea that moving real-time archives into an asynchronic space like the web amounts to translation, but unlike translating between languages, this type of translation focuses on translating between mediums. With this work, I attempted to capture some of the flavor of the real-time experience in a space that is asynchronous.

Idealism, Pragmatism, and Skepticism in Computers and Writing at the Fin de Siécle

with John F. Barber



“Idealism, Pragmatism, and Skeptism” represents another experiment in the hypertext essay, a critique and analysis of the 1999 Town Hall meetings, held at the Computers and Writing Conference. My collaborator John Barber and I took a unique approach to this piece in that we tried to capture the voices of the many speakers at the meeting by producing a multivalent, multivocal work that presents three different webtexts embedded in one: "Sequential Writing with Hyperlinks," "Interactive Webtext," and "Randomly Generated Text." Each offers a unique lens through which to view the 1999 Town Hall Meetings, while at the same time presenting the same information in different ways. Each webtext is augmented with unique artwork, all adopted from late 19th Century advertising graphics, which is intended to conceptualize the intent of the particular webtext and promote common themes throughout all three.

The Way We Will Have Become

with Becky Rickly & John F. Barber

Kairos. 3.2 Fall 1998


“The Way We Will Have Become,” while not my first hypertext essay I produced, it is the first I published.  It reports on the first Computers and Writing Town Hall meeting. Held in 1998, this series of two face-to-face community meetings, three online meetings, and an ongoing email discussion began a formal discussion that explored the future of the computers and writing community, a pioneering group of academics who experimented with computers for research and teaching. Produced a few years after the introduction of Netscape and what has become a media-rich web, this piece allowed me the opportunity to gain an understanding of how images can be used as text to communicate information traditionally presented as words. Prior to this experiment, I had created numerous text-based websites that were published as academic essays.

Fort Vancouver Mobile

Project Updates

Phase I:  Funded by Clark County Commissioners 2010 Historical Promotions Grant and 2010 WSUV Mini-Grant

Phase II: Funded by Clark County Commissioners 2011 Historical Promotions Grant

NEH Start Up Grant proposed

Video, produced by CMDC student Aaron May

Essay, “The Interrelationships of Digital Storytelling Mobile Media,” with Brett Oppegaard, forthcoming in Mobile Media Narratives, edited by Jason Farman.  Book proposal for U of Minnesota Press

“The Fort Vancouver Mobile” Project brings together a team of 20 scholars and storytellers from throughout the digital humanities field––including historians and archaeologists as well as experts in literature, rhetoric, and writing––to create digital content for mobile phones that can be accessed by visitors to the The Village at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, in Vancouver, WA.  Phase I developed “apps” for mobile phones that delivers nonfiction narrative content about the lives of Hawaiian workers of the Fort.  It has resulted in the “proof of concept” for the larger project.  Phase II focuses on gender and domestic issues of women whose presence at the Fort until recently has not garnered much attention.