May 18 – 21: Digital Arts Research Center (“DARC”) Room 108 [Gmap; parking] 12-5pm Wed – Fri; Saturday 12-8pm; reception 4pm Saturday

An exhibition of text-based films, animations, programs, and interactive works by UCSC students and contemporary poets, writers, programmers, filmmakers, and digital and new media artists, alongside important historical works incorporating text and language in film, video, and computer programming. Includes the first Santa Cruz exhibition of Stan VanDerBeek’s “Poem Fields” series, as well as works by Kay Rosen, Eduardo Kac, Abram “Aphid” Stern, Amaranth Borsuk, Peter Rose, Talan Memmott, Samantha Gorman, and many more.


Friday May 20 5 – 7pm, and Saturday May 21 12 – 3pm
Digital Arts Research Center “Light Lab” Room 306 [Gmap; parking] See full descriptions at the bottom of this page.

May 20: Allison Parrish keynote workshop, “Writing Poetry with Procedure”
5-7pm Light Lab (DARC 306) followed by questions and open discussion
sunset (approximately 8:15) Special Screening

May 21: Workshops from noon – 2pm, Light Lab (DARC 306)
12pm: Sarah Harmon, “Teaching Computers to Inspire Creative Writing”
12:20: Stacey Mason, “Links and Creative Expression: A Practical Guide”
12:40: Aaron Reed, “Sculpting Story with The Ice-Bound Concordance”
1:00: Kate Compton, “Twitterbots and text generators, the easy way”
1:20: Mindy Seu, processes behind several online text experiments
1:40: questions, discussion, and practice 
2 – 3pm: Tour of exhibition focused on tools


Saturday May 21 5 – 8pm (three programs, approximately 50 min with 10-min intermissions)
UCSC Media Theater [Gmap; parking]

5 – 6pm MotionPoems program
a curated collection of works from the archives of Motionpoems, a nonprofit based in Minneapolis that works with publishers and film and video artists to produce short video adaptations of contemporary poetry

6 – 7pm Writ Large Oakland program highlights
a selection of works featured in the 2015 Writ Large program at the Great Wall of Oakland

7 – 8pm: UCSC submissions and curated works
a curated program of film and video works by UCSC students and artists from across the globe, submitted through an open call and chosen by the curatorial committee


Saturday 5/21 8pm: Presentation of awards for UCSC work
8:30pm After party (Light Lab, DARC 306) featuring previews of future Writ Large programs



Allison Parrish

Writing Poetry with Procedure: A Workshop

Practitioners in the field of procedural writing have been using rules, procedures and computer programs to create innovative literary work since the invention of the digital computer. Far from the bland imitation evoked by the phrase “computer-generated poetry,” these techniques facilitate the creation of work with aesthetic and emotional affordances sometimes difficult to achieve through conventional compositional techniques: serendipitous beauty, precisely imitative satire, vertiginous wonder at the infinite. In this workshop, participants will learn about the history of computer-generated writing and sample a range of off-the-shelf, freely-available tools on the web to create their own—without writing any actual lines of code. No previous programming experience is required.

Sarah Harmon

Teaching Computers to Inspire Creative Writing

Today, researchers (like me!) are seeking the next level in human-machine collaboration: computational creativity.  Our mission is to understand the creative process, and to build tools to help support it.  Given our current knowledge, how might computers help us to explore the creative writing process?

Sarah Harmon is a PhD candidate in computer science at UC Santa Cruz. Her projects are largely interdisciplinary, spanning fields from expressive intelligence to mathematical neuroscience.


Stacey Mason

Links and Creative Expression: A Practical Guide

Links have long been used in hypertext in a variety of capacities. In addition to laying the foundation for a story’s structure, the way links are framed and the way they behave when clicked can be used to create specific effects and to elicit certain player emotions. This talk will offer a survey of links as they’re discussed in hypertext theory, with special attention to link framings and link behaviors, and will provide ideas for how to use them to creative effect.

Stacey Mason is a writer, critic, and researcher of interactive narrative. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Computer Science with the Expressive Intelligence Studio, part of the Center for Games and Playable Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is also serving as the Director of Communications for the International Game Developers Association Foundation. Stacey formerly worked as a researcher for Zynga, and as an editor of interactive literature for Eastgate Systems, a renowned publisher of hypertext literature. She also writes about games and literature, and performs live, interactive criticism for Cerebral Arcade.


Aaron Reed

Sculpting Story with The Ice-Bound Concordance

Description: The Ice-Bound Concordance is an interactive narrative using augmented reality and a physical printed book, created by two UCSC PhD students and winner of the 2014 IndieCade award for Best Story/World Design. Aaron will discuss the genesis of the project and talk about its successes and challenges.

Aaron A. Reed has worked for more than a decade exploring new ways for storytellers to craft deeply personal digital experiences that respect and honor player choice. His work has been featured in the Electronic Literature Collection, the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and at indie game venues from Slamdance and IndieCade to the Independent Games Festival at GDC. Aaron has an MFA in Digital Arts & New Media and is currently pursuing a PhD in computer science with the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz.


Kate Compton

Twitterbots and text generators, the easy way

A tutorial on using the free tools Tracery and Cheap Bots Done Quick to make twitterbots and more.


Mindy Seu

Typographic Explorations on the Screen

How can you approach the web as an outlet for typographic exploration? By inspecting the code of experimental websites, this overview will introduce code as a kit of parts that can be pieced together in novel ways.

Mindy Seu is a graphic designer and educator working between San Francisco and New York City. She currently works in the studio 2×4 and teaches Interaction Design at California College of the Arts. http://mindyseu.com/