Salon Jan 11, 2022: Figurski on the Radio!

Critical Writing
Presented at Event: 
Record Status: 
Abstract (in English): 

Radio made the hypertext star! and Richard Holeton and John Barber will introduce the radio adaptation of the Famous Figurski at Findhorn on Acid!

Join us as we merge technologies and adapt to radio and sound in a favorite work.

About this work:
What began as a pioneering work of electronic literature is now a radio theatre performance. But it took more than twenty years for this to happen.

Richard Holeton first published Figurski at Findhorn on Acid in 2001 using Storyspace software. This novel length, comedic hypertext featured thousands of links, three main characters, three significant locations, one (perhaps two) mechanical pigs, and yes, THAT acid. Wild acclaim followed initial publication.

But changes to computer operating systems and software upgrades soon rendered Figurski at Findhorn on Acid unavailable, lost, for nearly twenty years. In 2021, a team of undergraduate researchers at the Electronic Literature Lab (ELL), at Washington State University Vancouver, led by Dr. Dene Grigar, successfully revived, reconstituted Figurski at Findhorn on Acid making it available on the open web in both classic and contemporary formats. See

John Barber, who has long argued for the centrality of sound (specifically the “voice of the storyteller”) and Marc Rose, a three-time Emmy award winning sound designer, adapted Holeton’s hypertext novel to a radio drama and plan its premier broadcast this January as part of the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the return and renewed availability of Holeton’s ground-breaking hypertext.

This work is part of their collaborative radio storytelling project, Re-Imagined Radio, which broadcasts and streams episodes of radio storytelling locally, regionally, and internationally each month. See

Barber, in writing the script, devised a way to navigate the thousands of links in Holeton’s original novel and situate the three main characters, Frank Figurski, Nugyen Van Tho (The No-Hands Cup Flipper), and Fatima Michele Vieuchanger, at Findhorn, the intentional New Age community at Findhorn, Scotland, along with two (yes, it turns out there are two of these automatons) mechanical pigs, and plenty of acid.

Rose created soundscapes, sonic ambiences, sound effects, and music that situates and contextualizes the dialog, indeed tells stories without words. With larger than life characters, real but unbelievable locations, and acid-induced insights, text is lacking in its ability to share this story.

The result is immersion, engagement, enlightenment, a believable world and a way to participate in the unparalleled events and activities there.

John Barber and Marc Rose, Richard Holeton and Dene Grigar, and possibly some of “The Voices,” the voice actors engaged to bring the characters to life, will be present, and eager to answer questions and provide insight into the radio adaptation of Figurski at Findhorn on Acid. Listening opportunities will be available as well and participants can hear portions of this new work before its premier broadcast 17 January 2022.

(salon announcement)

Works referenced:

Platforms referenced:

Title Developers Year initiated
Storyspace 1987

Organizations referenced:

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Record posted by: 
Hannah Ackermans