Three Entrances

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

This talk will link a discussion of the interface to the representation of fictional entrances in narratives. In the effort to keep it within the time limit, it is build around three images of the entrance: the moment in Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad when the fantastical, titular train first appears in the novel, Alexander Galloway’s treatment of our interface on the fictional world of Norman Rockwell’s Triple Self-Portrait, and the opening few “rooms” of the 1976 Colossal Cave Adventure, a classical electronic narrative that pioneered the text-based interface on the textual world that defined interactive fiction.

The goal of this talk will be to investigate the concept of the interface as a term that can travel between the design of the artifact (digital, written, or visual text) and the world represented. Galloway provides an account of the politics of the interface, and I will explore how that account explains these three very different texts.

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Daniel Punday