Giving form to choice: tree-structures and the question of notational systems in multimedia.

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

A selection of exercises de style based on Raymond Queneau’s Un Conte à Votre Façon shall serve to analyze the transitions from written text, to tree-structure, to multimedia, dialogic form. Queneau’s own rendering of the paths contained in his text is a rectangular, closed shape; it evokes both a constellation and an abstract painting, flattening out the horizon of choice. Others have diagramed “Un Conte à Votre Façon” quite differently, with metaphors that suggest alternative ways of revealing elements of Queneau’s text during an interactive “wreading”.

Annotating gesture is linked to the larger issue of how to represent interlocutors in a complex dialogic chain. Un Conte à Votre Façon includes, among others, Queneau the “scriptor”, who answers our “yes” or “no”; imaginary characters, with whom we may identify and who lend their voice to some of our choices; a more or less tacit programmed “intelligence” that determines the evolution of the interface; not to mention our own inner-voice, anticipated by Queneau but shaped by a multimedia incarnation that transforms the status of his text to that of a score.

We shall contrast a dozen dissimilar interpretations of Un Conte à Votre Façon in order to begin to ask how tree-structures can be « augmented » into notational systems capable of conveying the form taken by choice in multimedia. The question is important at a time when artists need to preserve their vision of a given text by means other than those provided by rapidly obsolete technical platforms.

(Source: Author's abstract for ELO_AI)

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Audun Andreassen