Narrative structures for new media


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Narrative structures for new media

  1. 1. LeonardoNarrative Structures for New Media: Towards a New DefinitionAuthor(s): Pamela JenningsReviewed work(s):Source: Leonardo, Vol. 29, No. 5, Fourth Annual New York Digital Salon (1996), pp. 345-350Published by: The MIT PressStable URL: .Accessed: 26/02/2013 04:41Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact The MIT Press and Leonardo are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Leonardo. This content downloaded on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 04:41:13 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
  2. 2. Narrative Structures for New Media Towards a New Definition Pamela Jennings ARISTOTLES POETICS IS AN INADEQUATE NARRATIVE MODEL for the creation of computer interactive art, contrary to the thesis laid down by Brenda Laurels Although she opened up space for a rather tantalizing dialogue in this area, it is to Computers Theatre. as non-Western cultures that one should look for narrative structures that fit the sophistication of Western new technologies. The theories and processes of African oral literature provide the groundwork for such a narrative model. A comparison of contemporary postmodern thought and African oral literature shows that they share many attributes. Through a description of her work, which challenges the notion of book arts and narrative theory, as well as through an exploration of the advanced mathematical theory of fuzzy logic, the author opens the door for a discussion of narrative that crosses cultural, aesthetic, and academic boundaries. In this concept of narrative, nuance, indeterminacy, and polyventiality are major players.The Book of Languages. This is a large,thick book with a blue-green up? Artists have repeatedly challenged the notion of thecover that rainbow-hates the light.Morea box than a book,it opens traditional book in this century, and this challenge has accel- inin unorthodox fashion, with a doorin its front cover. Insideis a collec- erated with the growing accessibility of new interactive andtion of eight smallerbooks arranged like bottlesin a medicine case. information technologies.Behindtheseeightbooks are another eightbooks,and so on. To open Ever since the release of Peter Greenaways film Prosperosthe smallerbooks is to let loosemany languages, wordsand sentences, Books, I have wanted to design and build a living book-one andparagraphs chapters gatherlike tadpoles a pond in April or star- that is sensitive to human touch and responds accordingly and inlingsin a November evening sky. that incorporates Umberto Ecos idea of an "open work," a -Peter Greenaway [1] work in movement [2]. My first step toward creating a truly computer-interactive book was a CD-ROM project, Solitaire: dream journal (Fig. 1). Mixing the metaphor of the game board he "interactive book" is a phrase heard daily in and the book, Solitaire: dream journalwhisks the user through a reference to the latest experiments in CD-ROM haunting journey in quest of peace with oneself and connec- and other digital media. But how to translate the tion with others. Solitaire: dream journals interface uses a three-concept of the book into a medium that has no paper and dimensional solitaire game as the engine to move through thisno pages remains a challenge for the artist. Is not a book journey. The solitaire board is tetrahedral (a three-faced pyra-first of all an object one holds in ones hands-the coveraffected over time by acids and oils from the users skin, PamelaJennings,471 Bergen Street#3, Brooklyn,New York, NY 11217,and the pages turned down and yellowed, torn or marked U.S.A. Email: 1996 ISAST LEONARDO, Vo1.29, No. 5, pp. 345-350 1996 345 This content downloaded on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 04:41:13 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
  3. 3. direction, and playback speed. MAX is have created narrative structures based also programmed to create MIDI inter- upon seemingly opposing metaphors: ludes via freewareserialmusic libraries. the unidirectional line and the iterative Just as importantly, the book of ruins circle. The written cultures notion of and desireincorporates a new approach narrative derives from the theory of to narrative. With the advent of com- dramatic progression expounded by puter-based interactive art and interac- Aristotle in his Poetics [6]. The Poetics tive information systems, many issues presents a strict guideline for the drama arise concerning the use of alternative to follow from beginning to end: the engines through which narrative infor- narrativeincreases in intensity to the cli-Fig. 1. The triangular game face from "the book mation may be created. Our culture is max and then gradually reaches an end of melancholy" in Solitaire: dreamjournal. presently experiencing a shift in the parallel in tone to its beginning. By con- organization of knowledge away from trast, primarily oral cultures treat themid), and its three faces correspond to the linear motif. As our Western culture elements of narrative as individualthe three thematic areas of melancholy, works hard to develop new links agents that can communicate despiteflight, and balance. A move made on a between the medium and the message, their placement within a story. Asside of this pyramid will randomly open we must include in our research and Walter J. Ong describes it, these ele-up a chapter of the corresponding theories structures that may appear to ments are "boxes within boxes created"book": "the book of melancholy," "the be new for Western cultures but that by thematic recurrence" [7]. It is a pro-book of flight," or "the book of bal- have existed in non-Western and pre- cess analogous to recursion.ance" (Fig. 2). Western cultures for centuries. Brenda Laurels book Computers as Sound is a crucial element in Solitaire: Theater proposes to use the theories laiddream journal.To create nuanced layers of Notes on Narrative down by Aristotle in the Poetics as atone, I used combinations of my voice, Theproblemwith computers that thereis foundation is from which softwaresampled sounds, and algorithmically not enoughAfrica in them.Thisis whyI cant designers and computer engineers cancontrolled serial interludes. use them verylong.Do you know what a create effective human computer inter- for Solitaire:dream journalled into my next nerd is? A nerd is a human beingwithout faces [8]. Laurel tries to present a modelcomputer-book project, the book of ruins enoughAfrica in him or her. I know this for building computer-based environ-and desire(Figs. 3 and 4), a kinetic, inter- sounds sort of inversely racist to say, but I ments that have the structural elementsactive, mixed-media sculpture that think theAfricanconnection so important. inherent in artistic disciplines, especially isexplores issues of desire and communi- -Brian Eno [4] drama and theater. She argues that nocation. Imagine you are standing beforea simple table on which rests a sculp- Ado bibi naghabol ikio ikio eki Ado bibi natural object with hinged metal leaves or [One ignorant the Benin language yet of maypages. From its case a barely audible understand by commonit sense.]voice murmurs "Touch me." This African Proverb [5]draws you closer and gives you permis-sion to interact with the book of ruinsand Apart from the overtly racist lump-desire.When you turn its metal pages, sum categorizationof an entire continentyou begin an exploration into its multi- of peoples and their collective relation-ple layers, composing your own collage ship to an abstract machine, Brian Enoof my imagery and sound. has tapped the surface of what I believe Thebookof ruinsand desire incorporates are rather poignant connections betweensome unusual materials; its pages, for the linear and nonlinear synapses of theexample, are etched metal plates. The computer as a medium of the mind anddegree of a turned page as well as its the body. However, without theoreticalvelocity are calculated in a fuzzy logic grounding for such juxtapositions of cul-inference engine programmed into a tures and technologies we are left withmicroprocessor. The results are fed to a empty echoes of the tendency to exoti-Macintosh computer running the MIDI cize distant cultures. This dilutes whatprogramminglanguage Opcode MAX [3]. otherwise might be a powerful definitionMAX is programmed as a video and of the relation between technology andaudio switching device that determines our future forms of communication.which images and sounds are played back Narrative is a function of deliveringvia a small LCD monitor and embedded information over time. Written and oral Fig. z. Dream four from "the book of flight"speakers, as well as qualitative dynamics cultures traditionally view the continu- in Solitaire: dreamjournal.of the media such as volume, video um of time differently and therefore346 Pamela Narrative Structures for New Media Jennings, This content downloaded on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 04:41:13 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
  4. 4. one has provided a theory of drama ic contained in those words. The styles The Open Work that is as comprehensive, well-integrat- and techniques of presentation veer If the openness of the work is a key- ed, and widely accepted as Aristotles. away from the literal into a realm of stone of traditional oral storytelling, a In my opinion, however, the model of circular mind-mapping. Combined with similar openness has become a staple of the Poeticsis inadequate to the creation the rich mixture of voice, song, rhythm,postmodern art. Umberto Eco notes of computer-based interactive work, and dance, this creates the ultimate that all forms of communication, inter-especially in its fixed definition of plot. multimedia extravaganza. pretation, and understanding are byThe Poeticsis an arbitrary set of rules The internal structuring of such sto-their nature tentative and hazardous actsenforced for convenience and brevity in ries depends on the use of repetitive of inference. Drawing examples fromthe communication of ideas. Precisely episodes within a tale. The narrator mid to late twentieth century Westernbecause it encourages linearity and trun- controls the movement of his or her aesthetic practices, Eco describes thecation of thought, it is not a good mod- imagination by putting successive "open work" as the work in movement.el for interactive art. episodes of the story into convenient There is no single prescribed point of Richard Schechners analysis of con- frames, allowing events that have a cer-view, and there is the possibility oftemporary Western performance theory tain amount of similarity between them numerous different personal interven-explores why the Aristotelian model is to be described in roughly similar terms. tions. The invitation to participationinapplicable to experimental dramas, Ronald Rassner refers to these periodic offers the reader, interpreter, or per-happenings, and the many plays not repetitions of similar symbols and situa- former the opportunity to enter intomodeled on the Poetics.I will add to his tions as narrative rhythms [lo]. They and complete something that nonethe-list human-computer genres of commu- mark off successive stages of the plot less always remains the work intendednication. He draws his examples from and help give the story a certain balance by the author. An author may not knowthe work of Beckett, Genet, Ionesco, the exact fashion in which her work willand others whose work revolves around be concluded but is aware that oncelife rhythms: eating, breathing, sleeping- completed the work in question will stillwaking, night-day, the seasons, the be her own. In a fundamental sense, itphases of the moon, and so on. These will not be a different work.rhythms do not have the neat begin- While every performance offers anings, middles, and ends required by complete and satisfying version of theAristotelian drama. One rhythmic cycle work, at the same time it remainsis completed only to begin again; noth- incomplete because it cannot simultane-ing is resolved. Drama modeled on life Fig. 3. An installationview of thebook ously give all the other performances.rhythms contains episodes of varying The image the open work gives is one of ruinsand desire.length (usually short), in which tensions of discontinuity. It offers a transcenden-increase, explode, and return to the and regularity, much as rhythmic beats tal scheme that allows the participant tooriginal situation [9]. structure a musical performance. comprehend new aspects of the world. Challenging the Aristotelian notion The oral narrator manipulates the The open work does not narrate;ratherof narrative introduces the quest for audiences sensations by controlling the it offers the participant an infiniteother concepts of time and narrative pattern of narrative beats (upward, potential for exchange rich in unfore-structure. This journey must take us downward, etc.). By intricate variation seeable discoveries [11].outside of the neatly packaged of these rhythmic patterns, a good nar- Eco states that the theory of openAristotelian methods of linear informa- rator will create a complete aesthetic work is none other than a poetics oftion processing. The mono-orgasmic experience for the audience. Unlike lit- serial thought. Serial thought aims atnarrative structure must unfold into an erature based upon the Poetics,African the production of a structure that is atendless time frame where multiple cli- oral literature may contain numerous once open and polyvalent, in music asmaxes can occur. crises or peaks tangential to the nuances well as in painting, in the novel as well of the story, reflecting the environment as in poetry and theater. Serialism dom-African Oral Literature it is told in and the responsiveness of inated European musical thinking in the Isidore Okpewhos book African Oral the audience. Audience responsiveness years following World War II. PierreLiterature: Backgrounds, Character, and is a crucial element of the African oral Boulez, the leader of the developmentContinuityprovides a rare and much- tradition. The audience is expected to of this new musical language, declaredneeded analysis of the oral storytelling participate physically and verbally that the neoclassicism of such com-traditions of Africa. The word-of-mouth through such techniques as call and posers as Stravinskywas dead because itmedium of presentation implies that response, much like the tradition of was too rooted in the music of the past.oral literature makes its appeal first African-American churches. The oral "Classical tonal thought is based on athrough the sound of the words that narrator is receptive to this constant world defined by gravitation and attrac-reach the ears of the audience and only feedback and will alter his or her narra- tion; serial thought, on a world that issecondarily through the meaning or log- tion appropriately. perpetually expanding" [12]. Serialism Pamela Jennings, Narrative Structures for New Media 347 This content downloaded on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 04:41:13 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
  5. 5. by an organic illusion of familiarity. Unfolding the nuance, Briggs and Peat argue, is analogous to an iterative mathematical equation balancing on the boundary of finite order and infinite chaos. Another area where we find a kind of creative indeterminacy is the field of fuzzy logic (Fig. 5), developed by Lotfi Fig. 4. A video still from the book of ruins and desire. Zadeh in the 196os [17]. Traditional (crisp) logic arises from the ideas ofoffered a language in which all familiar scientific views-ultimately tracing bac Aristote and Pythagoras, who believedpatterns and preconstituted scales could to Aristotle-presuppose the existene that matter was essentially numericalbe abolished and replaced by 12-tone of a rationally structured objective reali and the universe could be defined asmelodies. In such melodies, all 12 notes for which there is one correct descril numerical relationships. They are credit-between octaves hold equal potential tion that we arrive at step by ste] ed with the foundation of geometryfor influencing the melodic qualities of Postmodern thinking, by contrast, do( and the mathematics of tone inthe music [13]. If one were to study not assume that there is a single wor Western music. By the tenth century,closely the traditional Western art of with a knowable structure; rather, the: Aristotelian logic formed the basis ofclassical music composition and coun- are as many possible worlds as hums European and Middle Eastern thought,terpoint, one would find the collision of beings can invent and experience. Und and it has persisted for two basic rea-dissonance and consonance creating a the discourse of postmodernism, not] sons. It simplifies thinking about prob-greater whole called harmony. However, ing is meaningful until it has been exp lems, and it makes certainty or truthtraditional Western counterpoint is also rienced either by the body or by t} easier to prove and accept. In the com-very restrictive to the overall plot of a body in and through the mind. puter programming world we know thismusical composition as attributes like form of logic as Boolean logic, therepetition and parallelism are kept tight- Nuance and Fuzzy Logic world of ones and in check [14]. Conceptually, indeterminacy is ve: Because many concepts are better The critic Ihab Hassan notes that closely related to what is now know defined by words than by numbers,postmodernism, as an artistic, philo- as chaos theory. In TurbulentMirr Lotfi Zadeh was interested in a mathe-sophical, and social phenomenon, sup- [16], John Briggs and F. David Pe matics that was linked to language. Hisports such open (in time and structure), analyze the similarities between cha( fuzzy logic (and its expression in fuzzyplayful, and disjunctive forms of dis- theory and artistic creation by consi( sets) provides a discipline that can buildcourse [15]. Immanence and indetermi- ering the phenomenon of the nuanc better models of reality than pure math-nacy are the two attributes he considers As a disjunctive connection made I ematics can. Fuzzy logic systems aredefinitive of postmodern culture. the mind between seemingly unrelate used today for estimating outcomes, forImmanence is the minds ability to events or thoughts, the nuance is t} decisionmaking, and for control ofbecome its own environment, a virtual seed of artistic creativity. For t} many different types of mechanical sys-existence of symbols intervening with artist, nuances reveal themselves tems, such as air conditioning, automo-nature. Indeterminacy is an evasion of interlocking metaphors or "refle, biles, and connections; it is discontinuity, taphors," which are based - r^USl5ual lafwuwi uCj , vlo i^.n |_Wpluralism, deconstruction, displacement, upon irony, metaphor, U :Iindex-= oxO;rupture, and silence. Immanence and simile, pun, paradox, and mf index I&0x38) >> ?) = MAX(fL utpsiindex(mfLindex]indeterminacy are neither antithetical synecdoche. The strength 41 Iinde"nor complementary; rather, they func- of the reflectaphor lies in }tion like strange attractors whose influ- its ability to create loat d( i i9 tt(intoutsndex,float inputsence on each other is often an irresolvable tension fo .floatunpredictable yet highly interdependent. between similarities and flThey can be related both to the polyva- differences. This tensionlency of serialism and the iterative (a form of indeterminacy)structures of African oral literature. induces an intense state for ( mp2 outm-Otmf_ndex nputmfdex Indeterminacy and immanence bring of wonder, doubt, and ttinto question the hierarchy in Western uncertainty in the audi- t{ z 91orme on1 j{_ndem im- dex]thought that places the minds computa- ence, lending the momenttional power above the bodys experien- a sense of unpredictability Fig. 5. A video still of fuzzy logic code fromtial knowledge. A long line of classical and randomness balanced the book of ruins and desire.348 Pamela Jennings,Narrative Structures for New Media This content downloaded on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 04:41:13 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
  6. 6. Fuzzy logic attaches a certain per- ing a possible definition of an Africa- engine of the ambiguities of life-ancentage or weight to its values, which centric style of visual production in engine where ritual, play, games, andare defined qualitatively. Fuzzy logic filmmaking. The tool Jafa describes to sports are as important elements as thewords can be organized under several create this new cinema is a hand- more traditional narrative. The creationheadings: quantification (e.g., all, most, cranked camera-a more appropriate of products that more closely emulatemany); usuality (e.g., always, frequently, tool to realize motion that has a certain the complex patterns of humanoften); and likelihood (e.g., certain, level of plasticity to it. He draws an thought, desire, and emotion should beunlikely, certainly not). Inputs from the analogy between the hand-cranked cam- our goal as artists and producers ofreal world are defined within the sys- era and the taut strings of the African interactive work. The narrative tools totem, and a rule-based matrix is created talking drum [18]. be used have been available for cen-from the possible combinations of This leads me to consider the dilem- turies, and the technical tools are thereinputs. The entire knowledge base (con- ma faced by many artists and producers: in the halls of progressive art programssisting of the defined inputs and desired how to gain the same knowledge of and and engineering institutions.outputs) is then processed through an access to the cutting edge of technologyinference engine. that engineers and computer scientists References and Notes Designing a fuzzy logic system is have. When I was working on the book 1. Peter Greenaway, Books: Filmof Prosperos Arelatively simple, but the system itself of ruins and desire,I had a hunch that Shakespeares Tempest (New York: Thegenerally requires a great deal of simu- fuzzy logic was just what I needed for Four WallsEight Windows,1991) p. 21.lation and fine-tuning before it is oper- the project. It took me a three years of 2. Umberto Eco, TheOpenWork(Cambridge,ational. Despite these difficulties, fuzzy research, Web surfing, a visit to a fresh- MA: HarvardUniversityPress, 1989).logic has been used since 1987 in the man mechanical engineering class at 3. MIDI (for musicalinstrumentdigitalcity of Sendai, Japan, to keep its trains Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that interface),developedin 1982, is an internationalrolling, braking, and accelerating at the was studying the classical problem of specificationused by musicalinstrumentsthatright times. Sony manufactures a fuzzy the inverted pendulum [19], and finally containmicroprocessors communicate to withtelevision set that automatically adjusts a class at Stevens Institute of other microprocessor-controlled instrumentsorthe quality of the screen image, and Technology on microprocessors to devices. MIDI data organizedinto MIDINissan makes cars with fuzzy logic make it happen. "messages" flows over cableswith standardizedautomatic transmissions and fuzzy logic Basically, to create art using these 5-pin DIN (Deutsche IndustrieNorm)antilock brakes. technologies requires either the patience connectorsseriallyat a rateof 31.25 kilobitsper and capacity to learn the technology or second. MIDI communicates performance data,A New Interactive Art collaboration with engineers. As an not actualsound. (Adaptedfrom Christopher Iteration, serialism, open structures, artist desiring to explore the relationship Yavelow,Macworld Music Sound and Biblefuzzy logic, language, desire, and inter- of technology and art, I think it is (SanMateo, CA: IDG Books Worldwide,1992)active media can be a potent combina- important to learn the tools. This gives P. 34.)tion in the hands of todays artists. artists a choice: either to develop the 4. Quoted in Kevin Kelly, "Gossip IsThe development of new tools-or a technological component themselves, if Philosophy,"Wired 3.o5 (May1995) p. 148.rethinking of how we use the tools we they have the ability to do so, or to col- 5. Quoted in Isidore Okpewho,African Oralalready have-will be crucial to the laborate intelligently with computer Literature: Character Continuity Backgrounds, anddevelopment of interactive designs engineers-or both. IndianaUniversityPress, 1992) p. (Indianapolis:that push the horizon of storytelling There is a future for advanced tech- 228.and imagemaking in new media. It is a nologies such as fuzzy logic and micro- 6. George Dickie and Richard Sclafani, J.waste of energy and resources to make processors in industries focused on A Aesthetics: CriticalAnthology York:St. (Newapplications that merely imitate media entertainment and education. Perhaps MartinsPress, 1977) p. 207.that exist in other forms, such as the incorporation of such technologies 7. WalterJ. Ong, Orality Literacy: andprint, television, and film. The early may move these industries beyond cre- TheTechnologi#ing World of the (New York:television industry, for example, quick- atively and intellectually stagnant games Routledge,1982) p. learned that radio plays dont work of violence and one-dimensional mer- 8. BrendaLaurel,Computers Theatre ason TV. But just as photography chandising catalogs. Ecos open work (Reading,MA:Addison-Wesley, 1993) p. 36.prepared the ground for the moving challenges us as artists to begin explor- 9. RichardSchechner,Performance Theoryimage, todays mature media are ing the possibility of polyventiality and (New York:Routledge,1977) p. 26.the forebears of this new age of indeterminacy in computer interactive lo. Okpewho [5] p. 224.interactive communications. work. Subtleties of tonality, imagery, 11. Eco [2] pp. 15-19. Arthur Jafa, cinematographer of Julie and digression amount to much more 12. Steven R. Holtzman,DigitalMantras: TheDashs film Daughtersof the Dust, uses than flotsam surrounding the linear nar- Languagesof Abstract and Virtual Worldsthe word "polyventiality" when explor- rative model of the Poetics,they are the (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994) p. 85. Pamela Jennings, Narrative Structures for New Media 349 This content downloaded on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 04:41:13 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
  7. 7. 13. ClaudeLevi-Strauss offered a useful has Pamela Jennings is an electronicmediaartistcomparison of the key differencesbetween based in New York City. She was a 1993structural and serial thought (Eco [2] p. 220). MacDowellArtistsColony fellow;recipientofIn structural thought,communicationoccurs to New York State Councilon the Arts MediaArtsthe extent to which a given messageis decoded grantsin 1992, 1994, and 1996;and artist-in-accordingto a shared,preestablishedcode. It is residenceat the Banff Centrefor the Artsassumedthat every code is based on a more in Canada) 1990 and 1992. Her video (Alberta,elementary code, and there is a searchfor this Sleep is Now Variations currently touringwith theunderlying ur-code.In serialism, every message AmericanFederationfor the Arts and Museumcalls the code into question.At the extreme, of ModernArt travelingexhibition"VideoArt:each messageposits its own code. Moreover, The First 25 Years."More informationon hereven though it is possible for communicationto projectsis available the WorldWide Web at onbe rooted in an ur-codethat underliesall cultural,the main goal of serialthoughtis to HTML/homepage.html. andallow codes to evolve historically to discovernew ones, ratherthan to tracethem back to the code.underlying14. Counterpoint the studyof voice leading. isIt is the foundationof compositionfrom whichmost traditionalclassicalcomposershave createdtheirmusicalmasterpieces. The aim ofcounterpointis to develop the abilityto hear,understand, control the fundamental andrelationshipsthat arisewhen two or moremelodic lines combine into a meaningful whole.(Adaptedfrom Felix Salzerand CarlSchachter, inCounterpointComposition York:Columbia (NewUniversityPress, 1989) p. 3.)15. Ihab Hassan,"Towarda Concept of in A ReaderPostmodernism," Postmodernism:(New York:ColumbiaUniversityPress, 1993)pp. 152-154.16. John Briggsand F. David Peat, "Prologue:Tension ForeverNew," in Turbulent Mirror(NewYork:Harper& Row, 1989) pp. 191-200.17. F. MartinMcNeill and Ellen Thro, Furgy ALogic: Practical Approach (New York:AP Professional,1994) p. 9.18. ArthurJafa, "69,"BlackPopular CultureNo. 8, 253 (1992).19. The basic invertedpendulumarchitecture isalso known as the cart-and-pole problem.A cartis fixed to a linearpath. Attachedto the cartis a pole. The object of the exerciseis tofree-fallingcreatea fuzzy logic engine that can calculatethepole angle,angular velocity,cart velocity,andcart position to keep the pole balancedwithin apredetermined angle. (This is a varianton theold spinning-the-dish-on-the-end-of-a-pole-on-your-nosetrick.)I was inspiredby a group ofundergraduate studentsat Rensselaer PolytechnicInstituteto use a modificationof this conceptfor the operationof thebookof ruins desire. and350 Pamela Narrative Structures for New Media Jennings, This content downloaded on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 04:41:13 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions