Notes Toward Absolute Zero: A Hypertext Traversal

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The Digital Scholarship Commons at the University of Victoria Libraries is pleased to host author Tim McLaughlin and Dr. Dene Grigar for a Traversal of McLaughin's hypertext novel, Notes Toward Absolute Zero on March 1 from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm in the Digital Scholarship Commons (third floor).

Written in 1992/93, McLaughlin's work dates from the pre-web era of hypertext, when the creative potential of the medium was still largely unexplored. Dr. Grigar, director and professor of the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at WSU Vancouver, will conduct a Traversal of McLaughlin's work; a narrated, recorded performance capturing the experience of the work on period 1990s computing technology.

Stored on decaying media and dependent upon obsolete hardware, digital works from earlier eras present escalating degrees of difficulty to those seeking to experience them in their original, authentic form. Traversal is a process for documenting and preserving digital media so that they may outlast the transient dependencies of their original making.

Dene Grigar is Professor and Director of The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver whose research focuses on the creation, curation, preservation, and criticism of Electronic Literature. With Stuart Moulthrop (U of Wisconsin Milwaukee) she developed the methodology for documenting born digital media, a project that culminated in an open-source, multimedia book, entitled Pathfinders (2015), and book of media art criticism, entitled Traversals (2017), for The MIT Press. She is President of the Electronic Literature Organization and Director of the Electronic Literature Lab at WSUV.

Tim McLaughlin is a writer and photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Over the years Tim has been active in experimental radio, hypertext fiction (he is included in the Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada), graphic design, book production, and documentary film. In partnership with Charllotte Kwon and Maiwa Handprints, Tim documents artisan communities and advocates for the importance and continuation of traditional craft and culture. Recently, Charlotte and Tim worked together to produce Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe (Thames and Hudson, 2016).

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