Judy Malloy

Classic Authoring

Book Reviews
Authoring Systems and Interfaces

Featured Sections:

The Electronic Manuscript

Social Media Narrative:
Issues in Contemporary Practice

Conferences and

Next Horizons::
The 2016 Electronic Literature Organization Conference, Victoria, BC, June 10 - 12, 2016

The End(s) of Electronic Literature:
The 2015 Electronic Literature Organization Conference,
Bergen, Norway, August 4-7, 2015

Hold the Light:
The 2014 Electronic Literature Organization Conference,
Milwaukee, WI, June 2014

Dene Grigar
Documenting Curation
as Critical Practice

Pathfinders: 25 Years
of Experimental Literary Art, MLA2014 Convention, Chicago

Chercher le texte: the 2013 Conference of the Electronic Literature Organization Brings Electronic Literature to the Public in Paris, September 23-28

E-Poetry 2013, Kingston University, London in June; Program Features Presentations, Exhibitions, Performances, and a Pedagogy Colloquium

With a Theme of "Avenues of Access", MLA2013 Includes an Exhibition of Electronic Literature and over 60 Digital Humanities Panels

Remediating the Social, Edinburgh, November 1-3, 2012

Media Art
Exhibition to be Held
at WVU, June 20-23

Critical Code Studies
Working Group 2012
Reading Code in Context

Belgrade Resonate Festival
March 16-17, 2012

2012 MLA Convention to Feature Elit Panels and Exhibition

Dene Grigar, Lori Emerson,
and Kathi Inman Berens Impact Report for the
Electronic Literature Exhibit at MLA2012

Dangerous Readings
Explores Frontiers
of New Narrative

Elit Well Represented
at ISEA2011

Electronic Literature Organization Moves to MIT

J.R. Carpenter
The Broadside of a Yarn

Software: QR code, JavaScript,
jQuery, CSS, HTML, Photoshop, Gimp

detail from the work J. R. Carpenter is a Canadian-born UK-based artist, writer, performer, postdoctoral researcher, and maker of maps, zines, books, poetry, short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction, and non-linear, intertextual, hypermedia, and computer-generated narratives. She began using the Internet as a medium for the creation and dissemination of non-linear narratives in 1993.

Since that time, her work has been presented in journals, festivals, and museums around the world, including, among many others, the Electronic Literature Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art; Montréal Museum of Fine Arts; Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum; The Art Gallery, Tasmania; The University of Maryland; Jyväskylä Art Museum, Finland; Palazzo delle arti Napoli in Naples, Kipp Gallery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; E-Poetry, Barcelona, Spain; the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, England; and The Banff Centre, Canada.

Carpenter is the recipient of grants in literature and new media from the Conseil des Arts de Montreal, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec, and Canada Council for the Arts. She served as the Digital Literature and Performance Writing faculty mentor for the In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge Literary Arts residency program at The Banff Centre form its inception in 2010 to its closure in 2014. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Eccles Centre For North American Studies at the British Library in 2015 and is an Associate of the Informatics Lab at the Met Office.

Commissioned by ELMCIP for the 2012 Remediating the Social exhibition in Edinburgh, The Broadside of a Yarn is a richly detailed 21st century locative broadside, in which a series of computer-generated narrative dialogues are accessed via QR codes.

One generator "is composed entirely of dialogue from Joseph Conrad's The Secret Sharer. Another contains lines of dialogue from Shakespeare's The Tempest," she explains in her Authoring Software statement. "Details from many a high sea story have been netted by this net-worked work. The combinatorial powers of computer-generated narrative conflate and confabulate characters, facts, and forms of narrative accounts of fantastical islands, impossible pilots, and voyages into the unknown undertaken over the past 2340 years."

Existing not only as a series of gallery mounted "map squares" of images found and/or created, in Edinburgh but also as a live many-voiced performance, The Broadside of a Yarn was/is in her words "a pervasive performative wander through a sea of sailors' yarns".

More information about J. R. Carpenter can be found on her homepage at http://luckysoap.com

J. R. Carpenter: The Broadside of a Yarn, November 2012

The Broadside of a Yarn was commissioned by Electronic Literature as a Model for Creativity in Practice (ELMCIP) for Remediating the Social, an exhibition which took place at Inspace, Edinburgh, UK, November 1-17, 2012.

In theory, The Broadside of a Yarn is a multi-modal performative pervasive networked narrative attempt to chart fictional fragments of new and long-ago stories of near and far-away seas with nought but a QR reader and a hand-made map of dubious accuracy.

In practice, this project is, in a Situationist sense, a wilfully absurd endeavor. How can I, a displaced native of rural Nova Scotia, (New Scotland) perform the navigation of a narrative route through urban Edinburgh? (Old Scotland) How can any inhabitant of dry land possibly understand the constantly shifting perspective of stories of the high seas?

The Broadside of a Yarn remediates the broadside, a form of networked narrative popular from 16th century onward. Broadsides were written on a wide range of subjects, cheaply printed on single sheets of paper, (often with images) widely distributed, and posted and performed in public. During the Remediating the Social exhibition, The Broadside of a Yarn was posted as a discontinuous map printed on 15 A3-sized foam-core-mounted squares arranged in an asymmetrical grid in a 5m x 3m light-box situated in the main entrance of Inspace gallery, visible from the street.

Each of these map squares is composed of a wide range of images, most of which were collected during a research trip I took to Edinburgh in May 2012. These include photographs taken on my Canon G11, and scans of details of maps, charts, drawings, and diagrams found in books, pamphlets, prints and other ephemera gleaned from used and antiquarian bookshops. The Old Town Bookshop was particularly helpful. Other image and text research was undertaken on The National Library of Scotland website, and in The British Library and The Bodleian Library Maps collections. Each map square was composed separately in Photoshop and Gimp and printed at Edinburgh Copyshop. Each is embedded with one or more QR codes, such as the one pictured below. These were created using a free third-party website called http://www.qrstuff.com

Each QR code is links to a computer-generated narrative text. In order to access these texts, the QR codes must be scanned by a smart phone, tablet, or laptop equipped with an internet connection, a camera, and QR code reader, a wide variety of which are available for free download. Although QR codes are woefully unattractive they remain the simplest way to link a physical print surface to a digital text.

I used a portion of the ELMCIP commission to engage Steve Booth, Amy McDeath, Braille Fem, and Caden Lovelace in an extended conversation toward the creation of an extensible code base for authoring slot-type word-level text generators. Booth et. al. wrote a generator engine in JavaScript using jQuery, which I then used, in concert with CSS, HTML and various other JavaScripts, to create 13 different computer-generated narrative dialogues. Most though not all of these are intended to serve as scripts for poly-vocal performances. Some, such as Walks from City Bus Routes, propose imprecise and possibly impossible walking routes through the city. Others, such as Notes on the Voyage of Owl and Girl, may suggest a journey of another kind, a pervasive performative wander through a sea of sailors' yarns.

detail from the work The generator linked to from this QR code is composed entirely of dialogue from Joseph Conrad's The Secret Sharer. Another contains lines of dialogue from Shakespeare's The Tempest. Details from many a high sea story have been netted by this net-worked work. The combinatorial powers of computer-generated narrative conflate and confabulate characters, facts, and forms of narrative accounts of fantastical islands, impossible pilots, and voyages into the unknown undertaken over the past 2340 years.

On one hand, a print map hung in a gallery exhibition for three weeks, offers but a narrow window of access to such a vast and varied body of digital text. On the other hand, this discontinuous print map is infinitely expansible. Any number of new map squares may be added at any time. In part to extend the life of The Broadside of a Yarn beyond the Remediating the Social exhibition, and in part to further the remediation of the broadside as a form, I also created an A3-sized subset of the gallery map, which was handed out freely during the exhibition and which continues to circulate through gift exchange economies and postal networks. This map collages together imagery and QR codes from some but not all of the gallery map squares. It was created in Photoshop and Gimp and printed at Totcom Copy Centre in Totnes. The folding of 500 A3 sheets into map form took rather longer than expected and became something of a performance in the gallery space in the lead-up to the opening of the exhibition, November 1, 2013.

Immediately following the gallery opening there was a performance event in the Sculpture Court of Edinburgh College of Art, in which, a number of the computer-generated narrative dialogues in The Broadside of a Yarn were performed by myself, Jerome Fletcher, Judd Morrissy, and Mark Jeffery before a live audience. The performance of The Broadside of a Yarn continues. Each gifting, each unfolding, each QR code scanned, each computer-generated narrative dialogue read aloud, each collective utterance prompted by this broadside constitutes an event.

The Broadside of a Yarn may perhaps be best described as an assemblage -- a collection of stories, a folio of broadsides, a prompt, a poly-vocal performance script, an unbound atlas of impossible maps, a network of interrelated narrative elements mediated across a continuum forms. As is the way with assemblages, this work remains fluid and is by no means finished.

Index to
content | code | process:

Judith Adele
Social Media Narrative:
Avatar Repertory Theater

Marcello Aitiani
Networked Projects
Ship of Light

Mark Amerika

Bill Bly

James J. Brown, Jr.
Social Media Narrative:
Social Media Harassment

Jay Bushman
Social Media Narrative:
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

J. R. Carpenter
__ The Broadside of a Yarn
; __ Entre Ville
__ Chronicles of Pookie and JR

M.D. Coverley
__ Egypt: The Book of
Going Forth by Day

__ Tin Towns

Robert Edgar
Memory Theatre One

Robert Emmons
Social Media Narrative:

Caitlin Fisher

Chris Funkhouser

Joy Garnett
___Social Media Narrative:

Dene Grigar
__ 24-Hr. Micro-Elit
__ Social Media Narrative
__ Fallow Field

Fox Harrell

William Harris

Matt Held
___Social Media Narrative:
Facebook Paintings

Megan Heyward
__of day, of night
__The Secret Language of Desire

Adriene Jenik

Antoinette LaFarge
__ Demotic
Social Media Narrative

Deena Larsen
__ Marble Springs wiki
__Social Media Narrative
__ The Pines at Walden Pond

Judy Malloy

Mark C. Marino
Marginalia in the Library of Babel
and a show of hands

__Social Media Narrative:

Cathy Marshall
__Social Media Narrative
Who owns social media content?

María Mencía

Nick Montfort
__Nick Montfort and
Stephanie Strickland
Sea and Spar Between

Judd Morrissey

Karen O'Rourke

Nancy Paterson

Regina Pinto

Andrew Plotkin
__ Hoist Sail for the Heliopause and Home
__ The Dreamhold

Aaron Reed

Scott Rettberg

Chris Rodley
__Social Media Narrative
The Magic Realism Bot

Emily Short
__ Bronze

Nina Sobell
__ Work: 1977-1997

Chindu Sreedharan
__Social Media Narrative

Silvia Stoyanova and Ben Johnston
The Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform

Stephanie Strickland
__Nick Montfort and Stephanie Strickland
Sea and Spar Between

Katrin Tiidenberg
__Social Media Narrative
Identity on Tumblr

Fred Truck

Eugenio Tisselli

Dan Waber

Marco Williams
The Migrant Trail

__Social Media Narrative
Rob Wittig - Netprov

Alice Wong
__Social Media Narrative


Mark Bernstein
__Interview with Mark Bernstein

Anna Couey and Judy Malloy
__Conversation about the Arts Wire Interactive Art Conference

Tom Klinkowstein
__Interview with Tom Klinkowstein

Stuart Moulthrop
__ Interview with
Stuart Moulthrop

Sonya Rapoport:
__Interview with
Sonya Rapoport