On Monday (November 16) at 6pm in MIT’s room 14E-310,
The Purple Blurb series of readings and presentations on digital writing will present a talk by
D. Fox Harrell
creator of GRIOT, a system that generates poetry and interactive multimedia narrative using his Alloy algorithm. Alloy uses an algebraic semiotics formalization of the cognitive linguistics theory of conceptual integration, also called conceptual blending.
Harrell’s generative poetic systems change elements such as theme, metaphorical exposition, emotional tone, or imagery based upon user input – exploring issues such as contingent and dynamic identities that challenge trite conceptions of identity based in binary oppositions of race, power, gender, and other normative categories. In addition to his work in interactive narrative and poetry, Harrell has completed a number of technologies for social identity representation under the umbrella of his Advanced Identity Representation (AIR) Project. The AIR Project represents a new transdisciplinary approach to designing computational identity technologies. The AIR Project results in new technology (e.g., virtual characters, avatars, and social networking profiles) and theory to allow users to create highly imaginative self-representations and to reveal how stereotypes, prejudice, bias, and other ills are built into current technologies. Dr. Harrell is Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the department of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He directs the Imagination, Computation, and Expression [ICE] Lab (icelab.lcc.gatech.edu) in developing new forms of computational narrative and poetry, gaming, social networking, and related forms, all with bases in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts. He is recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty, which includes a generous, five-year grant to support his research. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. He earned an M.P.S. in Interactive Telecommunications at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He also earned a B.F.A. in Art, a B.S. in Logic and Computation, and minor in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, each with highest honors. He has worked as an interactive television producer and as a game designer. He has completed a novel, “Milk Pudding Flavored with Rose Water, Blood Pudding Flavored by the Sea,” and is completing a book on an imaginative cognition- and computation-based approach to digital media, “Phantasmal Media.”