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Judy Malloy's Uncle Roger

Judy Malloy's Biography

With a literary and visual arts background that includes artists books, text-based installation art, and narrative performance art, and with experience as a computer programmer for early library systems, Judy Malloy is a poet who works at the conjunction of hypernarrative, magic realism, and information art.

Her work with nonsequential literature began in 1976, the year she started exploring nonsequential narrative in experimental artists books. In subsequent years, she created a series of card catalog artists books that were first exhibited as a series in the exhibition, "Judy Malloy 3X5," Visual Card Catalogs at Artworks, in Venice, California in 1979. The first artists book in her series of push-button electromechanical books was created for her installation, "Technical Information," at SITE in San Francisco in 1981. Then, in August of 1986, she began writing and programming the hyperfictionUncle Rogerwhich was first released on the BBS of Art Com Electronic Networkon the WELL in December 1986.

Her work has been exhibited and published internationally including the San Francisco Art Institute; Tisch School of the Arts, NYU; Sao Paulo Biennial; the Library of Congress, National Library of Madrid; National Library of Portugal, Lisbon; Los Angeles Institute for Contemporary Art; Boston Cyberarts Festival; Walker Art Center; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; University of Arizona Museum of Art; Visual Studies Workshop; the Electronic Literature Organization; Universite Paris I-Pantheon-Sorbonne; Eastgate Systems; E .P. Dutton; Tanam Press; Seal Press; MIT Press;The Iowa Review Web, and Blue Moon Review, among many others. Parts of her recent work, Paths of Memory and Painting, have been exhibited or presented at the Berkeley Center for New Media Roundtable, the E-Poetry Festival at the Center of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, and the University of California Irvine, as well as short listed for the Prix poesie-media 2009, Biennale Internationale des poetes en Val de Marne. In 2012, her work was given a retrospective at the Electronic Literature Organization Conference in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Her papers––including the original notebooks and programs for Uncle Roger and its name was Penelope––are archived as the Judy Malloy Papers at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University.

Judy Malloy has also been active in documenting the electronic arts and is the host of Authoring Software, a resource for teachers and students. She has been an artist in residence and consultant in the document of the future for Xerox PARC, taught as Visiting Faculty in the Digital Media program at the San Francisco Art Institute and is a member of the Electronic Literature Organization’s Literary Advisory Board. In fall 2013 she was named the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies at Princeton University, where she also teaches a seminar on Social Media: History, Poetics, and Practice. 

As an arts writer, she has worked most notably as Editor of the MIT Press book, Women, Art, and Technology, as Editor of The New York Foundation for the Arts’ NYFA Current, (originally Arts Wire Current) an Internet-based National journal on the arts and culture; and as an Associate Editor for Leonardo.

She believes that ideally print literature and electronic literature are parallel art forms where writers and artists in each medium understand each other’s vision and, as between poetry and fiction, sometimes move with ease between print and screen.
Versions of Uncle Roger

Version 1: "Serial Novel for the Net," published 1986-1987, Art Com Electronic Network (ACEN) on The WELL (Whole Earth ‘Lectric Link) and produced on topic 14 (conference system: Picospan)
1.1 A Party in Woodside (file 1), December 1, 1986-January 29, 1987
1.2 The Blue Notebook (file 2), July 1987

Version 2: "Interactive Narrative on the Net," published 1987-1988, ACEN Datanet onThe WELL (Whole Earth ‘Lectric Link) and programmed with UNIX Shell Scripts
2.1 A Party in Woodside, early 1987
2.2 The Blue Notebook, and Terminals (file 3), in 1988.

Version 3: "Boxed Version as Stand Alone Artists Software in Narrabase," programmed in AppleSoft BASIC, published 1987-1988, and sold through Art Com Catalog
3.1 A Party in Woodside, published in 1987
3.2 A Party in Woodside, updated and republished in 1988
3.3 All three works (A Party in Woodside, The Blue Notebook, Terminals) were packaged together and sold as a boxed work in 1988. There are two editions of this version of the boxed set, one with separate inserts and another with inserts in "accordion style" fold

Version 4: "Boxed Version as Stand Alone Artists Software in Narrabase," programmed in GW-BASIC, published 1988, and packaged  with all three works packaged on one floppy disk for exhibitions
4.1 Uncle Roger: A Party in Woodside, the Blue Notebook, Terminals

Version 5: "Web Version"
5.1 Created with HTML 2.0 and published in 1995, on  The WELL
5.2 Updated title page and introduction, in 2012
5.3 Updated metadata, in fall 2015

Version 6: "DOSBox Emulator Version"
6.1 Published in 2012, recreates the functionality of the database narrative found in Version 4.1 but with the content found in Version 5.2

Exhibitions (a sample):

Judy Malloy, Uncle Roger, Art Com Electronic Network, 1986-1988 (ACEN version partially funded by the California Arts Council and Art Matters; Documentation: Literary and Linguistic Computing,  2014).

Pathfinders: Documenting the Experience of Early Digital Literature. Dene Grigar and Stuart Moulthrop. 2015. http://scalar.usc.edu/works/pathfinders.

Pathfinders: 25 years of Experimental Literary Art. The Modern Language Association 2014 Conference. Chicago, IL. 9-11 January 2014. http://dtc-wsuv.org/wp/pathfinders/exhibit.

Judy Malloy, Retrospective. Electronic Literature Organization 2012 Media Art Show. University of West Virginia, 20-23 June 2012.

ARTWARE. A Space. Toronto, Canada. 6 April-6 May 1989.

Art Com Software. Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, 1988 (show also travelled to San Jose State University, the University of; Colorado, Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria, Carnegie Melon University) Ultimatum II, Images du Futur '87, Montreal, September 1987.


Judy Malloy Papers. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University

Telematic Connections, The Walker Art Center

Jean Brown Collection, The Getty

Franklin Furnace Collection, Museum of Modern Art, NYC

Museum of Modern Art, Special Collections, NYC

The Poetry Center, San Francisco; di Rosa, Napa, California, Media Archeology Lab, UC Boulder

Media & Microtext Center, Stanford University

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Research Library and Archives

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