Nick Montfort: Computational Poetic Models 1/16

For the first event of 2014, HaCCS Lab welcomes Nick Montfort for a guest talk, co-sponsored by the iMap Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

8bit Nick

Computational Poetic Models
Thursday, January 16, 2014
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
SCA Complex
SCI Room 108

Economists use computers to model economies, while architects model buildings using computers. Programming such models is now an essential method in many fields for both analysis and the creation of new work. Nick Montfort will discuss how programming computer models has been a part of his projects in the humanities and the literary arts. This type of literary computing can be done by motivated individuals or by small groups of collaborators, as he will show by demonstrating several small-scale literary models. He will also describe two projects, Curveship and his collaboration Slant, that show how larger-scale literary modeling can be done. His presentation will include a discussion of the literary concepts explored by my work and a reading of some of my digital poems.

Nick Montfort, an associate professor of digital media at MIT and faculty advisor for the Electronic Literature Organization, works at the intersection of digital media and creative writing. His digital media writing projects include the interactive fiction system Curveship and (with international collaborators) the large-scale story generation system Slant; the ppg256 series and Concrete Perl set of very small-scale poetry generators; the group blog Grand Text Auto; Ream, a 500-page poem written on one day; Mystery House Taken Over, a collaborative “occupation” of a classic game; Implementation, a novel on stickers written with Scott Rettberg; the interactive fictions Winchester’s Nightmare, Ad Verbum, and Book and Volume; and several other digital poems and language generators, including the collaborations Sea and Spar Between and The Deletionist. Other projects include 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, a 10-author single-voice publication that Montfort organized and which focuses on a one-line Commodore 64 BASIC program, Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System, written with Ian Bogost and the first book in the Platform Studies series which he co-edits. He also wrote Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction and edited The Electronic Literature Collection Volume 1 (with N. Katherine Hayles, Stephanie Strickland, and Scott Rettberg), and The New Media Reader (with Noah Wardrip-Fruin). Montfort is currently writing Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, completing a book of poetry to be published by Counterpath Press, and further developing several digital projects.

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