Cave Writing: Reshaping Writing at Brown

Abstract (in English): 

In the spirit of engaging Robert Coover's contributions to the electronic literature field (one of the conference aims) and simultaneously looking at the cutting edge of our field, this panel will discuss the groundbreaking Cave Writing project that Coover has initiated at Brown. It will feature the two primary faculty the project has had over the last eight years (Coover and Cayley), two of the students who have been involved in organizing the project and creating work (Wardrip-Fruin and Gorman), and one of the critics who has looked at this work most seriously (Raley). Topics will include the history of the literary work done in the Brown Cave, the unexpected power of two dimensional typography in three dimensional space, experiences of embodied interaction and spectatorship in combination and tension with literary reading, the role of non-textual images, animation, and sound in the Brown Cave experiments, and others.

Ideally, this panel discussion will articulate with two efforts. First, if possible, it would be ideal to collect the videos that have been used to share Brown's literary Cave work with those who have not visited the Cave, and perhaps shoot new video, then use it to construct a visual history of the work at Brown that can be shown at the panel, distributed, and archived. Second, again if possible, it would be good to combine this panel with some method for those attending the ELO AI conference to have tours of the Cave at which some of the standout works will be shown. Perhaps the only way this can avoid conflict with the main conference program (given the small size of Cave audiences) would be to schedule them as a series of reservation-requiring tours immediately before and/or after the main conference, encouraging interested people to take this into account when planning travel.

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Audun Andreassen