Course Plan

Week 1 (1/28):
New Media Authoring

Frame and excess : the claims of Non linearity/ Interactivity/ Multiple media
Indices of excess/ the off-frame

Demo - Pam Jennings
Discussion of interface design guidelines

Homework -
Reading (due week 3):

  • Joyce, Michael - Afternoon (on disk; installed in lab)
  • J. Yellowlees Douglas - "How Do I Stop This Thing? Closure and Indeterminacy in Interactive Narratives"
  • Jennings, Pam - "Narrative Structures for New Media"

Exercise 1 (due week 5) -
Construct a story as a puzzle. Use text or sound cues in addition to visual cues.

Week 2 (2/4):
Dreamweaver workshop:

Week 3 (2/11):
Segmentation / Alternative paths (A)

Review Reading
Analysis of Afternoon

Homework (due week 7)-

  • Guy Vardi, "Navigation Scheme for Interactive Movies with Linear Narrative"
  • Rashomon:
    The Akutugawa Stories: Rashomon, In a Grove
    Parker Tyler - Interpretation and Background

View at home: Korasawa's Rashomon

Week 4 (2/18) - President's day; no classes

Week 5 (2/25):

Review and critique Ex1.

Discussion: Georges Perec - Life a User's Manual

Exercise 2 (due week 8):
Multiple POV - write/form a collaborative journal reflecting a similar experience or a limited period; focus on overlaps and points of friction as potential links between or interruptions of singular views.

Week 6 (3/4) - Flash workshop

Week 7 (3/11):
Multiple points of view

Holbein's "The Ambassadors"

Lacan's map and Orpheus' gaze


  • Guy Vardi's project
  • 360 degrees - Picture Projects
  • Stan Douglas - "The Sandman"
  • Zbig Rybzinski
  • Peter Campus - Three transitions

In preparation of reading: Jacobson's definition of Metonymy and Metaphor

Homework -
Reading (due week 10):

  • Borges, Jorge Luis - "The Garden of Forking Paths"
  • Brooks, Peter - Reading for the Plot, upto p.23 [The rest is optional]
  • Stuart Moulthrop, from Hypermedia and Literary Studies - "Reading from the Map: Metonymy and Metaphor in the Fiction of Forking Paths"
  • Terence Harpold, from Hypermedia and Literary Studies - "Threnody: Psychoanalytic Digressions on the Subject of Hypertexts".


Week 8 (3/25):

Review and critique Ex2.

Exercise 3 (due week 11):
Create (a prototype for) a web site organized around the concept of Forgetting -- the dispersal and erasure of the story. Rely on previously discussed themes such as expiration, absence, erasure and decay, interruption of frame and point of view. Outline an overall map of the site, and give samples of possible images, drawings and text for a number of central pages, along with the possible links leading to and from them.

Week 9 (4/1) - Final Cuts Pro workshop

Week 10 (4/8):
Segmentation / Alternative paths (B)

Metonymy and Metaphor in the Fiction of Forking Paths
Beginning, Middle, End vs. Margin-Center

Linear plot construction (Brooks) vs. Hypertext

Demo holes and gaps in contemporary visual art

Demo - Bill Viola / The Pool

Homework -
Reading (due week 12):

  • Borges, Jorge Luis - "The Secret Miracle"
  • Benedikt, Michael - "Cyberspace: Some Proposals"
  • Wolf, Mark J. P. -
    "Inventing Space, Towards a Taxonomy of On- and Off- Screen Space in Video Games"
  • Bolter, Jay - Topographic Writing: Hypertext and the Electronic Writing Space

Week 11 (4/15):

Review and critique Ex 3.

Exercise -Final project:

  • Written outline (due week 12).
  • Beta version (due week 13)

Signup for individual meetings over final projects

Week 12 (4/22):
Elastic Time and Space

Flexible linear models
Open and closed environment; Orientation.
Landscape as Story. Maps.

Example: Robert Enrico / Owl Creek Bridge


Homework -
Reading (due week 14):

  • Eco, Umberto, The Role of The Reader -
    • Introduction, p. 7-10 [The rest is optional]
  • Sherry Turkle, Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet -
    • Ch.7: "Aspects of the Self"
  • Dibbell, Julian - "A Rape in Cyberspace"



Week 13 (4/29):

Review final project beta version

Review Interface Design Guidelines [Examples from Poetry CD-ROM]

Week 14 (5/6):
The Reader/ User/ Game Player

You as protagonist/ collaborator: Positioning the reader
Eco - The Role of the Reader: Closed and Open texts

MUDS - User identity

Demo: Bjork video clip

Discussion: Calvino, Italo - If On a Winter's Night a Traveler

Week 15 (5/13):
Final Projects Review and Critique