novelling

Creative Work
Year: 
2016
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Description (in English): 

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 narrative.

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James O'Sullivan