Within a digital poem the notions of literary/artistic/poetic text encompasses more then just
words and sentences, lines and letters. All an interactive poem’s elements become critical
literary texts, including the images and video, the movement and animation, the coding and
interface, the words and sounds. With “these subconscious drives” the goal was to build a
dynamic and interactive interface exploring multiple screen depths and dimensions.
The notion was to emulate how I understand, how my brain imagines poetry as a multilinear,
multimedia, multi-spatial and recombinatory space. In numerous ways, the work is much like
walking through a busy city, the poetics of buildings and narratives of people intersecting,
moving towards and away, continually mutating. (Hint: try pressing your space bar!).
And inside of this reforming space are a hundred poetic/literary/artistic tiles, small moments
of experience and diagram. Each new movement and click and swipe creates new
3-dimensional stanzas. “these subconscious drives” is a playground for what streams from
the back of our brains.
So read the directions, and explore the space, with over 200 poetic tiles, designed for
tablets, desktops, ipads and any number of other wondrous worlds.
And again, pressing the space bar will bring you entirely new configurations of this poetic
This is a map of the poet’s brain. Go and explore and play and read.
“Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads – Sand + Smudges” comprises Part One of a five-part
Young Adult interactive Digital Novella.
Alice Field is back in a special five-part story spanning the gap between episodes six and
seven of the award-winning Inanimate Alice series. Fans of the series who have been
following Alice’s adventures for over 10 years can now experience Part 1 of this latest Alice
story told through an innovative mix of online storytelling and multimedia/360 photo
In this Part 1 of “Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads”, Alice is stuck. On a bus. In the middle
of the desert, miles from nowhere. Great. Maybe she could go for help, but where? Like any
worldly 19-year-old adventurer, while Alice uses her phone to download a chat app called
Whispurring Nomads, she also takes stock of the environment she’s stuck in the desert, and
the others trapped on the broken-down bus with her.
Part One of the “Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads” is made up of 38 pages containing:
• Dynamic text which contains interactive clickable regions that expand and reveal
additional narrative elements.
• 360 photo pop-outs where a reader is able to explore a rendering of elements from
an accompanying Virtual Reality Prototype.
• An original music score and video pop-outs presented as interactive “on-click”
1) Part One of the five-part Digital Novella Set accessible at:
2) A Virtual Reality Prototype for the Oculus Rift downloadable from:
4) A Video Trailer containing footage from the VR Prototype is available for viewing via:
5) High Resolution Screenshots available for viewing and download at:
• “Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads – Sand + Smudges” premiered at the Frozen
River Film Festival in Winona, Minnesota on February 2017.
• In May 2017, “Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads – Sand + Smudges” was
shortlisted for both the Judge’s Prize and the People’s Choice Award as part of the 2017
Opening Up Digital Fiction Competition: “The first ever UK competition to find the best new
examples of popular digital fiction…run by Sheffield Hallam University and Bangor
University, and part of the AHRC-funded Reading Digital Fiction project.”
• Also in May 2017, “Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads – Sand + Smudges” was
presented as part of the Keynote Conference address given by Dr Carolyn Guertin at “Digital
Narratives Around the World: A Symposium on the Global Encounters of Computing and
Collocations is a work of experimental writing that explores the disruptive implications of
quantum mechanics for science, philosophy and literature. Designed for tablet computers,
Collocations employs strategies of erasure, visual poetry, and algorithmically defined
systems to produce a work of innumerable poetic texts. Interaction with the work transforms
the user into an experimenter, whose observation and physical manipulation of the device
determines the materialization of unique textual configurations in a dynamic, non-linear and
kinesthetic reading experience.
Collocations appropriates two key texts from Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein’s historic
debates about the complementary relationship between position and momentum on the one
hand, and determinacy and indeterminacy on the other. In quantum mechanics, that
relationship is mediated by an experimental apparatus through which the experimenter
observes the phenomenon in question; in Collocations, the tablet computer is that
experimental apparatus, and the user’s choice to manipulate either its position or momentum
allows certain poetic texts to become determinate at the expense of others. As the user
manipulates the device in space, certain words from within Bohr and Einstein’s original texts
begin to vibrate, becoming highlighted and forming poetic subtexts. Striking a delicate
balance between completely predetermined and randomly generated texts, these poems
embody the fundamental indeterminacy of matter without sacrificing poetic agency. At the
intersection of science, art, language and code, Collocations posits a new quantum poetics
that disrupts classical notions of textuality and offers new possibilities for reading.
designed to create the feel and agency of parser-based interactive fiction while using a
newcomer-friendly keyboardless interface. There are three mystery cases to solve, which
can be done in any order (or all at once), plus an endgame. The story won first place in the
2016 Interactive Fiction competition, and is currently shortlisted for Reading Digital Fiction’s
“Opening Up Digital Fiction” prize.
Modality of presentation: Web based work
URL to work: http://versificator.net/detectiveland
URL to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_4sRa3fw1U
“How To Rob A Bank” is a love story in three parts. The story focuses on the misadventures
of a young and inexperienced bank robber and his female accomplice. The entire work is
revealed through the main characters’ use of their iPhones and the searches, texts, apps,
imagery, animations, audio, and functions that appear on their iPhones. Links are provided
at the end of each section to the next sections. Built with HTML5 and playable on desktop,
laptop, iPad, and portable devices.
Modality of presentation: Web based work
URL to work: http://webyarns.com/howto/howto.html
The ChessBard is an app that translates chess games into poems. A website built around a
playable version can be found at chesspoetry.com. I would propose to have a broke out
version of the ChessBard available to be played
(http://chesspoetry.com/ChessBard/breakout/) wherein a member of the public can walk up
to the computer and play against a chess AI and, as they do, it translates both their and the
computer’s game in real time. At the end of their game, the player can hit the print button
and have a version of their game printed out.
Modality of presentation: Web based work
URL to work: http://chesspoetry.com/ChessBard/breakout/ and chesspoetry.com
“novelling” is a recombinant digital novel that employs text, video and sound. It poses
questions about the acts of reading and writing fiction, and inhabits the liminal space
between the two activities. The work is a generative system that algorithmically orders and
spatially arranges fragments of media (design elements, text, video and sound) in 6-minute
cycles. Every 30 seconds the interface changes, but the user may also click the screen at
any time to produce a change.
Straddling the lines between literature, cinema and music, “novelling” evokes the history of
the novel (remixing and rewriting 19th and 20th century sources), but it also questions the
form’s basis in plot, character and words alone. “novelling” unfolds through suggested
narrative connections between four characters. The characters, immersed in their isolated
life-worlds, appear to be transported elsewhere by what they are reading. Are they reading
and thinking each other? How does the writing relate to the reading? Are the words on the
screen versions or even drafts of the novel? Do the sounds come from a different interior
world? The work is suggestive of novelistic spaces, spaces of interior reflection and exterior
gestures, intimacy and estrangement, gazing and being gazed at. The variable and
deterministic system of selection and arrangement produces a fluid, ever-novel and potential
Modality of presentation: Web based work
URL to work: http://novelling.newbinarypress.com/
In public relations and politics, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a
biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or
against some organization or public figure. Interested in the metaphoric and literal meaning
of spin I created the iOS app “News Wheel.” “News Wheel” explores the poetics of ever
changing news headlines. Each time the application is launched, a wheel appears on the
iPad or iPhone screen composed of 9 pie-shaped slices depicting current images from the
front page of the newspapers. A tap on the wheel causes it to spin, and another tap to stop.
Each time the wheel stops current headlines from one of nine RSS feeds appears on the
screen. The more taps, the more headlines. Selected words can be deleted or rearranged by
the user to create new textual relationships. Pressing and holding down a word allows it to
be dragged across the screen creating a chain of text.
Lately, with each passing week, the news spin seems to get increasingly out of hand, with
mainstream news sources being labelled as fake news by the U.S. President while outright
lies are touted as facts. “News Wheel” gives literal form to this troubling phenomenon
allowing users to rearrange headlines to create their own poetic narratives. “News Wheel”
becomes an interactive, creative and poetic way to view, juxtapose and interpret world
The public can interact with the app. Create poems from the headline texts. The collages
can be saved to the device and later shared. The app can be downloaded for free to an iOS
device however in this presentation the public can “play” with the app in a public space and
share their experiences and creations with other viewers who become an audience for the
users performance with the app.
Modality of presentation: iPad, iPhone
URL to work: http://newswheel.info
URL to Video: http://newswheel.info/lbcc/newswheel_lbcc.html
Matt Bryden (concept and poems) with Jon Munson II (programmer)
The Poetry Map is a collection of 67 poems arranged against the backdrop of a map – with
each poem located at the site of either its location or composition. The poems are divided
into four distinct paths, and can also be accessed in a random order. The reader navigates
across the map as they read the poems. Further, a number of ‘magic tickets’ reveal bonuses
such as audio recordings, images and videos as you travel.
The Poetry Map is designed to make poetry more accessible, and to contest the assumption
that poetry which appears online is of less value than poetry appearing in a poetry journal.
The four sequences are only available through this interface and will not be published in
hard copy. This recognises the fact that there is a substantial difference between reading a
poem online and reading a poem in a book. Just as the sequences would not necessarily
work in book form, neither would poems that work in a book necessarily translate to the
screen. While ordering them, I found that often the ‘better’ poems did not work on the screen
– I needed poems that were quickly graspable and led one to ‘read on.’ So the four
sequences went through many permutations to create the optimum ‘reading’ experience.
The length of each sequence was also an issue – with the potential distractions that exist
online (not present in a book) I needed to create four sequences that were readable in one
sitting, before one was tempted to check one’s mails or click on a newsfeed.
Similarly, I did not want to throw the digital kitchen sink at the project simply because I could.
I found that some readers – perhaps more practiced poetry readers – found the additional
features a distraction, while for others it was the ‘treasure hunt’ of revealing these features
that drew them through the poems. An additional consideration is that the poems already
have a visual element to them. Each path follows a different trajectory, and the poems’
themes are often reflected in the topography, be it a dense cityscape, a forest in the Czech
Republic or a a ferry terminal in the South of England. The third sequence, principally set in
Eastern Europe, differs in visual tone from the others with its occasionally blurred maps,
giving one a sense of being at a distance, almost out of reception.
The concept of the Poetry Map is to cast the reader adrift in the poems. The cartographic
background provides a handrail of sorts, while a different kind of mental territory is
simultaneously traversed. The interface is attractive, and draws many people in before they
realise it. Simultaneously, the information gap (where will the next poem take me?) engages
the interest. This accessibility led me to capitalise on the site’s potential and create
user-friendly worksheets for students and teachers, which are available on the site.
The Poetry Map has been described as ‘a wonderful concept perfectly realised’ that ‘makes
the poems so readable and moreish,’ whilst students have described feeling ‘like a detective
working on a case’ ‘needing to put on my thinking cap’ and the map itself as ‘unlike anything
I’ve ever seen.’ The Poetry Map has been used in schools across the world from a university
in California to a primary school in Somerset, England.
However, while the Poetry Map enables students to learn to navigate a world in which not
every detail is known, what John Keats referred to as ‘negative capability’, this is not an
experience designed exclusively for students. It can be enjoyed by anyone, with a declared
interest (or not) in poetry.
Modality of presentation: Web based work
URL to work: http://www.mattbryden.co.uk/Matt_Bryden/PoetryMap/
Autopia is a text generator that continually produces short sentences made entirely out of
the singular and plural names of cars, such as IMPERIAL PILOTS STORM COLORADO and
free software license. Those who access Autopia on the Web may study and modify the
code, using it to develop their own creative work if they like. Those who see the generator
running at an exhibit can figure out the principle behind the text generation by reading the
Amaranth Borsuk, Kate Durbin, and Ian Hatcher
Abra is a magical poetry instrument/spellbook for iOS. In this free app on iPad and iPhone,
readers encounter a series of poems exploring themes of mutation and excess. The poems
themselves are constantly in motion, mutating gradually from one to the next. Readers can
take part in this process, touching words and watching them shift and undulate, casting
spells to set the text in motion, and grafting new words into the text, expanding Abra’s
vocabulary and introducing a lexicon of emoji and words in any character set on their device.
We invite readers to make the text their own.
A collaboration between the authors and a potentially infinite number of readers, the project
merges physical and digital media, integrating a hand-made artists’ book with an iPad app
that can be read separately or together, with the iPad inserted into the back of the book. The
artist’s book contains a number of physical features that emulate the mutation and
the interactivity of the app, including blind-printed text, heat-sensitive ink, and laser-cut openings
that invite the reader to see page and screen as a continuous touch screen interface.
DO IT is an interactive app. of Electronic Literature for smartphones and tablets (both for
Android and iOS).
This digital creation offers four interactive experiences: adapt, rock, light up and forget. Each
scene comes as an answer to contemporary injunctions: being flexible, dynamic, finding
one’s way, forgetting in order to move forward…
You will have to shake words in the “Rock” scene, or to use the gyroscope in the “Light up”
These four scenes are integrated into an interactive narrative (Story).
They can also be experienced independently (Scenes).
The app is available for free on:
– Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tx.agir
– App Store: https://appsto.re/cn/WDN8fb.i