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Interview with M. D. Coverley about "Califia"
These are video clips of the interview held at the Electronic Literature Lab with M. D. Coverley about her hypertext novel, "Califia"
This Interview of M. D. Coverley's Califia took place on Tuesday, March 14, 2016 in the Electronic Literature Lab. It was conducted by Dene Grigar, the lab's Director. Documentation includes seven video clips.
Interview with M. D. Coverley about Califia, Part 1The interview with M.D. Coverley starts off with Coverley talking about how she feels about Califia. She says that “it’s an event to see it,” and she feels a sense of joy because of how delightful it was to create the work, such as writing the text, taking the pictures, and going on excursions to the Indian caves. Coverley notes that the work also brings back memories of how fun it was to be involved with hypertext in the ‘90s. Grigar brings up how it’s like a utopian vision because of how new and fresh the media is even after 20 years. Coverley agrees and discusses that computer-based electronic arts keeps rapidly evolving compared to film, television, and radio. Next, Grigar asks where the inspiration for Califia came from and if Augusta’s voice is actually Coverley’s. Coverley answers by saying that she isn’t Augusta’s voice, but in some sense it is her voice. She also notes that she always thought of herself as a writer and was always interested in multiple voice narration and layering.
Interview with M. D. Coverley about Califia, Part 2The Q&A interview with Coverley continues. Grigar and Coverley discuss how hypertext worked better for the work than print would have. Coverley notes that she taught herself everything she could to do the work such as learning Photoshop and sound editing. Next, Grigar asks what Coverley is doing now with the new affordances, such as virtual reality. Coverley says that she sees all of the affordances as the same because they all have something in common than electronic literature does with print. The new technologies also still requires the same kind of vision and thinking to create art and a story.
Interview with M. D. Coverley about Califia, Part 3Grigar asks how many hyperlinks Coverley remembers making. Coverley answers by saying that there’s about over 90,000 links. Next, Grigar asks Coverley if she would’ve used a different tool to create this work. Coverley answers by saying that she started using Storyspace before switching to ToolBook. Coverley adds that ToolBook was a useful system for a database retrieval narrative authoring system, but by the time Califia was released, ToolBook was sold to another company, and the company didn’t have a backward compatible version of ToolBook; therefore, Coverley wouldn’t be able to resave her works.
Interview with M. D. Coverley about Califia, Part 4In this video clip, Coverley discusses her experiences with multimedia hypertext in the mid 1990s. She notes that when she first began Califia, she could only use 256 colors. Next, Grigar asks how Coverley planned out the work's schema. Coverley answers by saying she has been thinking about creating it for a long time. She mentions that stories that related to California inspired her to make Califia, such as those about gold and land speculation. Next, Grigar asks about the parting images of the moving footprints going out to the shore and how it relates to accepting the way things are. Coverley answers by saying that it represents making your own path, and that it was meant to be provide hopefulness.
Interview with M. D. Coverley about Califia, Part 5The Q&A interview continues and Coverley notes that people loved Calvin the most out of the three characters. Next, Grigar asks about the moon and the Big Dipper, and how the Western culture sees craziness involved with the moon. Coverley answers by saying that she associates Kaye with the Sun, moon, stars, and that Kaye has the new age of California wisdom. Next, Grigar mentions the colors associated with each of the three characters, and Coverley adds that each of the journeys also had a different color: the journey west is gold, the night of the bear is a dark purple, the journey east is a light purple, and the journey south is blue. Next, Grigar and Coverley discuss about the innovation with multimedia and having to re-think textuality and finding new ways to make things work.
In this video clip, Coverley notes that it is much harder to establish the authenticity of a voice in electronic media than it is in print because we already have a disbelief. She also notes that it was hard for her to distant herself from the characters as the authorial presence. Next, Coverley discusses how Deena Larsen influenced her writing and that she hopes that her own writing influences others. Grigar asks about having an audience reading Califia, and Coverley answers by saying that she was lucky to have sympathetic and supportive readers. She also mentions her smart and intuitive editor who made a lot of changes between the 2.2 and final version of Califia.
Interview with M. D. Coverley about Califia, Part 6
Interview with M. D. Coverley about Califia, Part 7In the final clip of the Q&A interview with Coverley, Coverley emphasizes that without Grigar’s lab and the Pathfinders project, she wouldn’t have been able to access the digital copy of Califia. Grigar notes that authors of printed works get to "cheat death," and that it’s harder for authors of digital works to do so unless they find a way to archive and preserve their works. Next, Coverley says that when she started using ToolBook to write Califia, she thought more people would be using it. She also mentions that both preservation and archiving need to be pursued. Grigar asks her last question to Coverley about how Califia, which relates to paradise and the bittersweet sides of California. Coverley answers by saying that one thing that she loves about California is that one hardly can go to there without hearing that they just missed out on paradise.
Reader Interview with Amber Strother about M. D. Coverley's "Califia"
These video clips document the Reader Interview with Amber Strother about her Traversal for M. D. Coverley's Califia
This Reader Interview with Amber Strother of M. D. Coverley's Califia took place on March 14, 2016 in the Electronic Literature Lab at Washington State University Vancouver. Conducting the Interview is Dene Grigar, the lab's Director and co-developer (with Stuart Moulthrop) of the Pathfinders methodology.
Reader Interview with Amber Strother about M. D. Coverley's Califia, Part 1Following the traversal, the cameras turn and Dene Grigar asks Strother about her reading experience with Califia and how it differs from reading other media-based works. Strother answers by saying that she could interact with Califia and choose her own story. She also saw Califia as more pleasure reading than research. Dr. Grigar mentions that electronic literature is a long-form writing and is on a desktop, and asks Strother if Califia was similar to a gaming experience than a literary experience. Strother says that electronic literature has more freedom and more of a “choose-your-own-adventure” than books do. Dr. Grigar asks about what inspired her to go in the direction that she did in the work and Strother says that she’s a completionist and wanted to click every link within the narrative to get every information to construct the characters. Next, Dr. Grigar asks if the pictorial maps gave her any idea of direction. Strother comments that the pictures were neat and liked how it brought in actual events and actual people, but she was more drawn to the text and wanted to know more about the story. With Califia being a long-form writing, Dr. Grigar asks how much percentage Strother thinks she has seen of the work so far. Strother says 3% of what actually exists and that there were a lot more to click on that she didn’t get to, and even though she was focused more on the characters, she notes that there’s a lot more to the story than just the three characters.
Reader Interview with Amber Strother about M. D. Coverley's Califia, Part 2In the last part of the interview with Anna Strother, Dene Grigar asks how her experience with reading the work on a vintage computer impacted her. Strother says that she remembers when no one had a computer and that when she graduated from high school in 1997, the Internet was a big, new thing. She also notes that her experience with using the computer was normal and that it took her back to when she used them in college. Dr. Grigar mentions Victory Garden by Stuart Moultrop and how the work was also created during the same time of the machine itself. Next, Grigar and Strother discuss the authenticity of reading Califia on a medium that it’s meant for and how different it would’ve been if it was available on other mediums. Next, Dr. Grigar asks what Strother thought of Califia being California as an island. Strother says that she didn’t process that thoroughly and how it seems like an alternative geography to her. The clip ends with Dr. Grigar noting that there are over 3,000 screens in Califia, and with Strother's final thoughts on Califia.
Reader Interview with Ryan House about M. D. Coverley's "Califia"
These are video clips documenting the Reader Interview with Ryan House about his Traversal of M. D. Coverley's hypertext novel, "Califia"
This Reader Interview with Ryan House of M. D. Coverley's Califia took place on March 14, 2016 in the Electronic Literature Lab at Washington State University Vancouver. Conducting the Interview is Dene Grigar, the lab's Director and co-developer (with Stuart Moulthrop) of the Pathfinders methodology.
Reader Interview with Ryan House about M. D. Coverley's Califia, Part 1
The interview with Ryan House starts off with House talking about his experience with Califia. He states that with Califia, he couldn’t tell where he was and it was very disorienting, but it still was a large, unique experience. Dene Grigar asks if he felt like the work was open-ended and House answers that the work was very open-ended. Dr. Grigar brings up her curiosity on what makes people click on the things they click on and what catches their eye while reading through electronic literature. House states that he used textual information by clicking on links that had the most relevance to the given path he was attempting to go on. Next, Dr. Grigar and House discuss about the pictorial metaphors in Califia and how much more there is to Califia that he didn’t get to go through. The clip ends with House noting that the sounds in the work adds characterization to the characters and the reading experience.
Reader Interview with Ryan House about M. D. Coverley's Califia, Part 2
The Q&A interview with Ryan House continues. Dene Grigar asks questions regarding reading Califia on a vintage computer and how it effects the experience. House states that he respects the medium and was delicate with the work. He also mentions that with current machines, we have lesser patience with it. Next, Dr. Grigar and House discuss the game-like experience and glitches in Califia. House notes that there was a lot of architecture in the work, including the Chinese theater. He also notes that he saw the beach as a dead end or a final resting place. Next, Dr. Grigar and House discuss what metaphor House would use to describe Califia and Dr. Grigar also brings up how difficult it is to use an authorial voice when writing a fictional story. The interview comes to an end with House’s final words about the work.