The paper version of my AoIR talk on distributed narrative ended up far too long, but no matter, it’s useful to me as an initial survey of what I think distributed narrative is, and I love having started. I put the PDF online, as well as the slides I used. Just images and screenshots, really, hardly any words.

Now I need to cut it to less than half the length by Friday so I can submit it for consideration for inclusion in the best of AoIR 5.0 book. I think it’s probably far too inconclusive and early-researchish to get in, but then again, a lot of people never wrote up their papers, even more will just not get around to submitting, plus you know, it’s a cool area, surveys can be useful, they might need a token humanist and regardless of its chances of publication, it’s useful discipline for me to keep writing about this to deadlines. So I’ll do it.

There’s another deadline I want to make on Friday too: trAce wants to publish a book of criticism of works of electronic literature that’s affiliated with trAce, and they want abstracts by Friday. Just abstracts. 2-300 words.

5 thoughts on “my AoIR paper

  1. Lilia

    Jill, have no idea why there are no trackbacks, but I wrote something related to your presentation. It’s about distributed time and how it’s different for writers and readers.

    And another thing: a paper on weblog conversations that I promised (comments are very welcome). Next to other things it’s about distributed authorship and how personal narratives and distributed narratives interact (which is a one of lines I’m working out for my PhD research).

  2. Jill

    Thanks Lilia – this is really interesting. If only I had more time; ugh, I hate how much there is to do this week.

    As for the trackbacks, I don’t know what’s wrong. They weren’t working then I thought I’d fixed them but maybe they’ve gone wonky again for some reason. How annoying.

  3. Lilia

    Jill, this is not something that needs an immediate response 🙂 Also – we can always get to Skype or phone if/when you feel talking about it.

  4. Francois Lachance


    Thanks for posting the pdf version of the paper.

    Two initial questions:

    First paragraph of the Intro — point about external links — you mean links outbound from the node and not external links inbound to the node. I wonder if this distinctions has an impact on your notion of self-contained.

    Second paragraph — shift from notion of self-contained electronic literature (previous paragraph) to definition of distributed narratives as stories. I am wondering if the classic narratological distinction between narrative and narration might not be useful here. Is it the story that is distributed (or unconcluded) or the narration that is distributed (or ongoing)or both or either?

    Paragraph three morphs the terms again! “distibutive narratives” = narratives with a tendency to distribute themselves, copies of themselves, parts of themselves, copies of parts of themselves…

    I wonder if what you are after is not metadiscursivity.

    See 5.11 from Sense: Storing and Sorting

    Just as sets form sequences, cybernetic recoding generates the possibilities of metadiscourse. The theoretical space between recoding and metadiscursivity is occupied by narrativity or the potential conversion of sequence into story. In this space, verbal signs and their enunciation are on par with other types of signs and their presentation. The linguistic need not be privileged. Once tagging itself becomes taggable, the possibilities of metacommunication emerge.

  5. Jill

    Thanks, Fran?ßois – excellent points. I hadn’t noticed my own terms slipping like that. Distributive interests me especially. I don’t think that was deliberate. You’re right too, of course, about the use of “story”. I know I can’t use that unexaminedly, and I’m going to have to think carefully about why I do want to call it story.

    Anyway, this is definitely an exploratory essay, where I’m trying to write to find where I’m going, so slippages like this are really interesting, and very useful to discover.

    I’m not sure about metadiscursive, but thanks for the reference – I’ll have a look at it.

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Triple book talk: Watch James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me discuss our 2023 books

Thanks to everyone who came to the triple book talk of three recent books on machine vision by James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me, and thanks for excellent questions. Several people have emailed to asked if we recorded it, and yes we did! Here you go! James and Jussi’s books […]

Image on a black background of a human hand holding a graphic showing the word AI with a blue circuit board pattern inside surrounded by blurred blue and yellow dots and a concentric circular blue design.
AI and algorithmic culture Machine Vision

Four visual registers for imaginaries of machine vision

I’m thrilled to announce another publication from our European Research Council (ERC)-funded research project on Machine Vision: Gabriele de Setaand Anya Shchetvina‘s paper analysing how Chinese AI companies visually present machine vision technologies. They find that the Chinese machine vision imaginary is global, blue and competitive.  De Seta, Gabriele, and Anya Shchetvina. “Imagining Machine […]

Do people flock to talks about ChatGPT because they are scared?

Whenever I give talks about ChatGPT and LLMs, whether to ninth graders, businesses or journalists, I meet people who are hungry for information, who really want to understand this new technology. I’ve interpreted this as interest and a need to understand – but yesterday, Eirik Solheim said that every time […]