Monthly Archives: November 2017

Week 9: Algorithmic and Appropriative Writing

This week we’ll be looking at appropriative writing, fanfiction, and other forms which make explicit use of the ideas and words of others. In talking about these works, we’ll look at a lot of examples from the history of “experimental” writing and examine how techniques developed over the last century are given new life in digital media.


Assigned Reading

It’s Not Plagiarism. In the Digital Age, It’s ‘Repurposing.’ Kenneth Goldsmith (also of note: “Authenticity Obsession, or Conceptualism as Minstrel Show” by Ken Chen and “Kenneth Goldsmith Says He Is an Outlaw” by CAConrad.)

Bronwen Thomas. 2011. “What Is Fanfiction and Why Are People Saying Such Nice Things about It??” Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies 3. University of Nebraska Press:1–24. [Available through the Bath Spa Library Website.]

The Cut-Up Method of Brion Gysin. William S. Burroughs

Additional Reading

The Ecstasy of Influence. Jonathan Lethem

Tradition and the Individual Talent. T.S. Elliot

“One hundred million million poems.” (“Cent mille milliards de poèmes”) Raymond Queneau. About the work.

The Two. Nick Montfort

Opened Captions. About Open Captions.

From Instrumental Texts to Textual Instruments. Two examples of textual instruments here.

John Cage on Wikipedia.

Vito Acconci

Language is a Virus (site dedicated to text generation with lots of online text manipulation tools)

Even More

Week 8: Locative Writing / Ambient Literature

This week we’ll be looking at forms of digital writing that take advantage of the locational  and contextual possibilities offered by contemporary technologies. We’ll be meeting in Bath to try out a piece of “ambient literature”.

Assigned Reading

Dovey, Jon. 2016. “Ambient Literature: Writing Probability.” In Ubiquitous Computing, Complexity and Culture, edited by Ulrik Ekman, Jay David Bolter, Lily Diaz, Morten Søndergaard, and Maria Engberg, 141–54. New York, NY: Routledge. [An online copy of this book is available through the Bath Spa Library website.]

It Must Have Been Dark By Then. This is a hybrid work which combines a smartphone app with a physical book. You can download the app for Android or iOS. We’ll be doing this in class this week.

Additional Reading

Ambient Literature

Janet Cardiff

The Cartographer’s Confession and interview with James Attlee (You need to be in London to actually do this one, but you can still experience the content through the “armchair” mode.)


Week 7: Writing and Performance

We have a guest lecture from Dr Panayiota Demetriou this week. She’ll be talking about refiguring narrative through audio-visual performance and immersive theatre. In this, the aim is to think about how writing for digital platforms can start to move away from the computer and into the real world.


Dr Yiota Demetriou’s slides

Assigned Reading

The potentials of spaces: The theory and practice of scenography & performance edited by Alison Oddey and Christine White. p. 35 – 40. [This is available as an ebook through the Bath Spa Library, just make sure you are signed in to the library before visiting the link.]

Documenting performance: The context and processes of digital curation and archiving edited by Toni Sant. Read the chapter “Remembering Performance through the Practice of Oral History” (p. 83) [This is available as an ebook through the Bath Spa Library, just make sure you are signed in to the library before visiting the link.]

Unstable ground: Performance and the politics of place / edited by Gay McAuley. Read the chapter “Haunted Spaces” (p. 111–124). [This is available as a print book through the Bath Spa Library, with most of the text of the chapter available on Google Books.]


Love Letters

Additional Reading

Love Letters – Wearing Stories Told: A performance-technology provocation for interactive storytelling

Love Letters – Performance, Creative Technologies, Audience Participation


We’ll be workshopping some of your early work for your final projects, so be sure to bring something that you’ve been working on that you can share with the class. If necessary, write up a brief explanation of your project so that other students can get a sense of what you are doing in the project.

Week 6: Games and Chatbots

Building on the discussion of interactive writing last week, we’ll be turning toward a more dynamic form of interactive writing that looks to establish systems that mimic real life interactions.


Assigned Reading

Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies by Noah Wardrip-Fruin. E-Book available to Bath Spa University students can be found here. (Read chapters 2 and 3).

Additional Reading

The Inspection Chamber

Experimenting with Low Intelligence Dialogue




  • Workshop the pieces of interactive writing that were started last week.
  • Create a short chatbot-based interactive dialogue.