This page links to a sampling of various unfinished digital projects. See also my annotated bibliography of my writings for if:book, the blog for the mostly late Institute for the Future of the Book. Many of the links have died!

Sophie-based projects

These projects were constructed in Sophie 1. (These are not constructed in the current version of Sophie, the file format of which is currently a state of flux.) Download and unzip them; they can be opened in Sophie Reader or Sophie Author. If using Sophie Author, make sure that the application is in test mode first.

  • Mothlight. This book is an essay on the act of watching Stan Brakhage’s film; the Sophie version places one of Brakhage’s films, Mothlight, under the text. Turning the pages of the book using the red arrows won’t affect playback. Clicking the area around the text should pause and restart the film.
  • Wichita Lineman for Twenty Orchestras. This book consists of a single page scattered with musical notes; double-clicking any one of the notes will start a cover version of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman” playing, which a single click to the same note will pause it. Twenty different versions of the song can be played at once, allowing the reader to “conduct” their own version.
  • S/Z. This piece is a version of the start of Roland Barthes’s S/Z which is itself a reading of Balzac’s “Sarrasine”. Barthes splits the text up into different lexias, which he argues embody different codes. Clicking any of the buttons for the codes at the bottom of the page will highlight lexias that use that code; clicking on a lexia will open an embedded book with a discussion of that lexia.
  • Emily Dickinson 279. This single-page book presents Emily Dickinson’s poem 279. If the daggers to the right of the poem are clicked, alternate words that Dickinson considered in her manuscript are substituted in, suggesting other ways that the poem can be read. Clicking “Manuscript” shows a scan of Dickinson’s manuscript (a button overlays text so that Dickinson’s handwriting can be read); clicking “Reference” shows the standard reference version of this poem, which provides a very different sort of reading experience.
  • Tender Buttons. This book presents two different ways of visualizing how the text of Gertrude Stein’s “Tender Buttons” works: first as a slideshow showing an image representing each word, second as a slideshow showing a different color representing each part of speech.
  • Die Stadt. This book transforms Die Stadt, Frans Masereel’s 1923 novel in woodcuts into a procession of images that flip over time.

Web-based projects

These projects were done in a variety of electronic media, some just to test out different software.

  • The exegetizer, an ancient project that takes a text and that uses Google’s “I Feel Lucky” feature to suggest a definition of each word. The text is chapter 42 of Melville’s Moby-Dick, “On the Whiteness of the Whale”: in this chapter, Melville questions the relationship between a word (“white”) and its meaning, which he finds can be so broad as to be potentially without meaning.
  • The End, a version of a piece by Richard Kostelanetz offering the final sentences to stories which don’t exist presented for Hotel St. George Press. This is a Java applet programmed in Processing; a Mac application can be downloaded here, and a Windows application here.
  • Nouvelles impressions d’Afrique: this is a web version of Raymond Roussel’s book-length poem. Roussel’s poem makes radical use of parentheses to expand his narrative by digression: in this version, you can click on the parentheses and footnotes to expand and contract the poem, making it significantly more legible than the print version.
  • Finnegans Wake. This is an audio archive of my ongoing reading of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake: I’ve been recording myself reading it out loud and posting it online. I’ve been taking a break from this.

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