David Kolb

Writing Online and in Hypertext

Traversal of Socrates and The Labyrinth

The live Traversal of David Kolb’s Socrates in the Labyrinth took place on Friday, October 27, 2017, at in the Electronic Literature Lab. It was performed by the author who journeyed from Eugene, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington in order to participate in the event. The Traversal documentation includes a video of the pre-show event and introductory comments, three video clips of the performance, and three videos of the question and answers session that followed the performance.

Sprawling Places

In this project, I discuss negative criticisms of contemporary places as unreal, inauthentic, and commodified. I agree, in part, but propose a positive theory of place complexity that provides new norms and guides to improve contemporary suburbs and themed places.

The Tree and the Net

A short video defending electronic media against the charge of being unusually distracting.

Hegelian Buddhist Hypertextual Media Inhabitation, or Criticism in the Age of Electronic Immersion

Criticism of art and popular culture usually works from a stable theoretical platform removed from the work being criticized. But what happens when the work requires the critic to enter an immersive total experience. Distanced criticism “afterward” is always possible, but are there ways to criticize immersive works, virtual worlds, and the like, from within? This essay suggests several modes of criticism and intervention that take advantage of dualities and spacings inherent even in the most immersive virtuality or entertainment.

Mixed Company: Literacy in Print and Hypertext Together

Our time has been called “the late age of print” (Jay David Bolter), but the age of print seems in no hurry to end. Computer text and hypertext will coexist with printed books, and so our reading and writing skills need to become more complex as texts mutate and crossbreed. While more critical attention has been paid to hypertext experiments with narrative and poetry, hypertext can also change argumentative and expository prose, as these coexist differently with their print brethren. Hypertext can be used to make argument structures evident.

Aristotelian Spatial Hypertext

Philosophers often discuss the difference between theories that describe space as absolute (for example, Newton) or as relational (for example, Leibniz). Node and link hypertext creates a relational space, while most spatial hypertext either works with an absolute (background or container) space or combines this with Leibnizian link networks. There is, however, the third sort of space, which we might call Aristotelian, which is polarized and oriented.

Narrative Hypertext, on the Level

This essay discusses whether the standard narratological duality of syuzhet and fabula applies to narrative hypertext, and concludes that the hypertext writing complicates the use of those dual concepts.

Adaptive Hypertext Narrative As City Planning

This essay explores an analogy that might offer new ideas for the construction of adaptive hypertext narrative systems. The analogy is not with the production of a literary work but with city planning, in particular Christopher Alexander’s iterative model for gradual change. In this model, there is no overall plan for the city; instead, there are multiple local interventions guided by local insufficiencies and a library of spatial patterns.

Other Spaces for Spatial Hypertext and Aristotelian Spatial Hypertext

Two studies of the effects of adding polarities and privileged areas or directions to the usually neutral background for constructing spatial hypertext. Philosophers often discuss the difference between theories that describe space as absolute (for example, Newton) or as relational (for example, Leibniz). Node and link hypertext creates a relational space, while most spatial hypertext either works with an absolute (background or container) space or combines this with Leibnizian link networks.