The video for Carleton’s Hyperlab does indeed look super-cool, I could only dream of having something like that set-up at TRU. I did a little more poking around on Professor of English Brian Greenspan, and read in his bio he is “particularly interested in how utopian and dystopian narratives from any given era represent and respond to contemporary narrative technologies, and in how the lessons of Utopian Studies might inform the new affordances offered by hypertext, video games and social media.”
Using our StoryTrek authorware, I am creating an “archival atlas” of New World utopias and dystopias. By mapping archival city narratives, photos, plans, blueprints and visionary descriptions onto actual geospatial sites, I use the city streets themselves as an open, interactive and dialectical interface to historical narratives of urban upheaval and renewal.
The archival atlas project combines literary and cultural critique with new collaborative tools for multimedia spatial analysis, tracing continuities between the earliest radical media and recent forms of networked activism. It aims to theorize the transition from textual archives to narrative databases, linking social and cultural geographies to recent debates over the future of libraries and the printed book.
I couldn’t help but let him know about our emerging Department of Utopian Communications:
So as we create artifacts to flesh out the depiction of our Utopias, we might take advantage of tools that allow us to rework existing media in the forms of parodies, mashups, etc… One of my favorites is Firebug, an extension of Firefox.
The tool is actually framed as a tool for web developers to debug web pages. But the DS106 community has cleverly appropriated it as a powerful web storytelling tool.
I have previously referred to Martha Burtis’s post on this approach, in preparation for what I hoped would be a live virtual hookup between her and the Department of Utopian Communications. Alas, cruel circumstance conspired to prevent this meeting of minds. There are a couple other resources that might salve our disappointment: