Ambient Literature Invite You To Participate in the Future of Storytelling

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Ambient Literature explain their project to Byte the Book and call out for London based volunteers

Over the next 6 months, the Ambient Literature project will be publicly releasing three new works of smartphone-based literature and we’d like your help in evaluating the works and telling us something about how they are received.

2_DSC1108Ambient Literature is exploring the way in which literature is changing as we come to be surrounded with digital devices and the flood of information that accompanies them. A two year partnership between UWE Bristol, Bath Spa University and the University of Birmingham, the project is designed to explore the locational and technological future of the book and address how literature can play a role in navigating our contemporary culture of information. The ubiquity of smartphones presents an opportunity for writers and publishers to think about how the affordances of these new technologies can impact how stories are told and received. More than just a conduit for content delivery, smartphones offer the opportunity to open up books and literature to new ways of engaging readers. Working with technologies that are able to understand the context of readers—where they are, what’s going on around them, what they are doing—it becomes possible for authors to create works which respond to the situations in which they are read. What if the world all around you could be the stage for a story?

Centred around the commissioning of three original works of literature from three different authors—Duncan Speakman, James Attlee, and Kate Pullinger—the Ambient Literature project is creating and studying new works of digital literature that are contextually situated, and respond to the reader as a participant of sorts. We’re excited to have just released the first of our commissions, Duncan Speakman’s It Must Have Been Dark By Then (you can still book your place to experience it at the British Library, where it is running through to the 8th of July). In September we’ll be releasing a brand new work by James Attlee, followed by work by Kate Pullinger in November. As a form of practice-based research, by working with writers we’re exploring how these new forms of literature function and what they say about the future of reading and the book.

We’re currently looking for London based volunteers to participate in a study about the reception of new forms of electronic literature. You’ll be asked to experience each work on your own schedule and tell us what you think. If you’re interested in taking part in our research, complete this form and we’ll be in touch about how to help us shape the future of literature.

Funded through a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Ambient Literature project focuses on developing emergent forms of literary practice that allow authors to create compelling, contextually driven experiences for readers.

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