Interactive Showcase

Held in conjunction with the symposium “Unbound: Speculations on the Future of the Book,” this interactive show-and-tell exhibition will present the creative work being done by MIT scholars, artists, writers, and students that propose innovative ways to conceptualize and actualize the future of books and storytelling. The works range from digital humanities projects, online games and journals, hand-made and virtual book projects, spoken and written poetry, and audiovisual art projects. This showcase will be installed in the lower atrium outside Bartos Theater (E15) during the afternoon of May 4th. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the works and interact with participants during coffee breaks and the closing reception.

Organizer and curator Hye Jean Chung is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Comparative Media Studies at MIT. She has a Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include transnational cinema, cross-border mobility, production studies, visual effects and computer animation, East Asian cinema, and cultural translation. At MIT, Hye Jean is working on a book project that analyzes the globally dispersed and digitally networked workforce of film production pipelines, and its relation to the fictional spaces, computer-generated imagery and digital aesthetics of contemporary cinema. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Cinema Journal, The Velvet Light Trap, Spectator, and Contemporaneity, and in the anthology Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (Routledge, 2009), edited by Bhaskar Sarkar and Janet Walker. She is also interested in digital publishing, and has co-edited and contributed to a themed issue of the online periodical Media Fields Journal on the intersection of media, labor, and mobility. In addition to her scholarly endeavors, Chung has worked as a journalist, and published translations of literary works from Korean into English and vice versa.

Exhibitors include:

The “10 PRINT” Book and The Trope Tank

Nick Montfort

Ten authors, including three from MIT, recently collaborated to write the single-voice academic book 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 using a wiki, a mailing list, and other methods. The book is about a one-line Commodore 64 BASIC program of the sort developed and disseminated by hobbyists (frequently in print, in magazines and books) in the 1980s. The 10 PRINT book, coming from The MIT Press in September 2012, was a project of Nick Montfort’s lab, The Trope Tank. This facility for teaching, research, and creative production provides computing and video game systems from decades along with related materials.

Electronic Literature Organization

The Electronic Literature Organization was founded in 1999 to foster and promote the reading, writing, teaching, and understanding of literature as it develops and persists in a changing digital environment. A 501c(3) non-profit organization, the ELO includes writers, artists, teachers, scholars, and developers. The ELO has been headquartered in Chicago, at UCLA, and at the University of Maryland, and is now hosted by MIT’s Writing and Humanistic Studies in Building 14. The ELO’s major projects are the Electronic Literature Collection, the Electronic Literature Directory, the biannual conference which is to occur next in Morgantown, WV June 20-23, 2012, and the website.

Electronic Popables

Jie Qi

Electronic Popables is an interactive pop-up book that sparkles, sings, and moves. The book integrates traditional pop-up mechanisms with thin, flexible, paper-based electronics and the result is a book that looks and functions much like an ordinary pop-up with the added element of dynamic interactivity.

Visualizing Reader Interactions with Texts


What if we had tools that allowed us to visualize how readers engage with a text? How do they discover connections within a text, across texts, to source texts, to adaptations in other media, or derivative texts? What if we could finally visualize the “act of reading” (Wolfgang Iser) and analyze a literary text from both the perspective of the author and the readers? A multidisciplinary team at HyperStudio, MIT‘s Digital Humanities Lab within Comparative Media Studies has been exploring these questions and how the visualization of reader interactions can help novice readers become expert readers. Our poster draws on the history of marginalia and textual analysis to develop concepts for new digital tools that enable, store, and visualize reader interaction with texts. We will also show Miximize, the online annotation tool that we developed in conjunction with Wyn Kelley (Literature at MIT), as a practical instantiation of these broad theoretical questions.

Sensate: A Journal for Experiments in Critical Media Practice

Julia Yezbick & Tom Schilling

Sensate is an online, media-based journal for the creation, presentation, and critique of innovative projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Our aim is to build on the current groundswell of pioneering activities in the digital humanities, scholarly publishing, and innovative media practice to provide a forum for scholarly and artistic experiments not conducive to the printed page. We invite you to attend our booth at the Unbound symposium to learn more about the journal and to try building your own multimedia project using Zeega, a new interactive documentary platform designed in conjunction with Sensate.



Invention is an activity book designed for children ages seven to twelve to introduce the design process. Readers will develop skills such as drawing, brainstorming, association mapping, need-finding, concept-critique, building, testing, and design iteration through simple exercises. Invention is different from other activity books because it is designed with a careful balance of directed and open-ended prompts. The result is that the exercises in this book offer enough structure to motivate and inspire the inventor without limiting creativity.


Carson Salter

A contemporary art book collection and consultancy directed by Carson Salter with Sandeep Bhuller. The firm seeks to connect expertise from the MIT & Harvard communities with art publishing community. We offer buying and publishing consultation, and advise in the developing variable forms of information service.


Natalie Freed & Jie Qi

The Telescrapbooks are remote-communicating sticker books combining physical pages with simple electronic connections. They are constructed to look and feel as much as possible like traditional books, and to be completely customizable and craft-able. Each book contains a set of adhesive sensors and actuators (“I/O Stickers”) that can be used to handcraft personalized remote communication interfaces in the pages of the books while learning the basics of electronics.

The Eye Is A Door: Photography and the Art of Visual Thinking

Anne Whiston Spirn

Images proclaim, entertain, urge, and entice: on television and the Internet, in newspapers and magazines, on flyers and billboards. But to call ours a visual culture is to be impressed by the volume and intensity of images and to miss the dearth of visual literacy. Never have so many people owned cameras, and never have their snapshots been so widely distributed and shared. The world is being recorded, but to what end? Visual thinking is a crucial skill, and photography is one of its tools, but that potential is unfulfilled.


Angela Chang

TinkerStories gives readers control of the story to make literacy teaching more efficient. TinkerStories are tablet storybooks that encourage parents to become better reading teachers while increasing dramatic play. These same features allow children to explore literacy earlier.


Clara Fernandez Vara

Symon is a point-and-click adventure game that takes place inside the dreams of a paralyzed patient. Through exploration of the pensive and sentimental dreamscape, he rediscovers repressed memories and tries to reconcile his troubled past.


Taras Mashtalir

A combination of spoken and written poetic text, inheriting to experiments in the field of Russian avant-garde and kinetic poetry. The mystery of the universe is encoded in the sounds and images of a magical book, the mystery play about enigmas of creation and the universe. The goal of the project is to broadcast a message from the reality, mystically explaining the reality itself.
Poetry: Aleksey Chulansky
Sound: Taras Mashtalir
Video: Alexander Vojjov
Curators: Natalia Fedorova & Yulian Ilyin BookThe Video

Between Page and Screen

Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse

Between Page and Screen explores the place of books as objects in an era of increasingly screen-based reading. The pages of this artist’s book contain no text—only abstract geometric patterns and a web address leading to this site, where the book may be read using any browser and a webcam. The poems that appear, a series of letters written by two lovers struggling to map the boundaries of their relationship, do not exist on either page or screen, but in the augmented space between them opened up by the reader.

YouTube Video

Galerie De Difformité

Gretchen E. Henderson

Lushly designed with crowdsourced images, text deconstructions, and enough narrative tomfoolery to make Tristram Shandy blush, Galerie de Difformité is a printed book that is networked online, acting as both funhouse and curiosity cabinet, art catalogue and “choose your own adventure.” Collaboratively (de)forming across media, this bestiary of the novel-as-poem-as-essay-as-art explores possibilities for the body of the book and, in the process, redefines deformity for the new millennium.

Two Works

Sei Lee

A Night Of Automata

Audio-visual Performance (projection on a wall, video, sound, on-the-fly programming, performer’s movement and voice) I 2009 I running time: 50min (documentation: 15 min)

The media performance is in the collaboration with a novelist and a media engineer. Within this project, three different language systems or constructions of creating texts are overlapped. They move to and shine through one another. They push and pull one another. They escape from and learn one another. They are not juxtaposition but rather a mixed accumulation.


Syncopation for a long standing one in a corridor: a story of Sonic Furniture

2.Site-specific sound installation (tv monitor, radio speakers, telephone speaker units, computers, mirrors, chairs, etc) I 2012 I running time: 20 min (documentation: 10 min)

Sound texture, voice and music hover over a corridor at NamJunePaik art center like Sleeping Old Creatures and ghosts. The audience can listen to some excerpts from a conversation of John Cage and NamJune Paik, particularly their talks about soundscape and technologies like a telephone, a radio, and a TV. Also, this sound installation contains a fable that I wrote about Sonic Furniture and artisans who make them including Cage, Paik and Erik Satie. The sounds play through four different channels: a TV monitor, two radio speakers, and telephone speakers, which are also Sleeping Old Creatures as a thrown-away technology.

X_Sound: John Cage, Nam June Paik and After