New Release Books by Nick Montfort

Nick Montfort is the author of Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, second edition (2021), Golem (2020), "US" Poets Foreign Poets / Noi poeți "americani" poeți străini (2018), The Future (2017) and other 12 books.

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16 results found

Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, second edition

release date: May 18, 2021
Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, second edition
A new edition of a book for anyone who wants to learn programming to explore and create, with exercises and projects to help readers learn by doing. This book introduces programming to readers involved with the arts and humanities; there are no prerequisites, and no previous knowledge of programming is assumed. Nick Montfort reveals programming to be not merely a technical exercise within given constraints but a tool for sketching, brainstorming, and inquiry. He emphasizes programming's exploratory potential--its facility to create new kinds of artworks and to probe data for new ideas. The book is designed to be read alongside the computer, allowing readers to program while making their way through the chapters. It offers practical exercises in writing and modifying code and outlines "free projects" that allow learners to pursue their own interests.

Golem

release date: Dec 29, 2020
Golem
Shaped of silicon and animated by language, this slim computer-generated book seems at first to be built of increasingly complex progressions of similar, cycling sentences. Some of them, even though they are syntactical, seem so elaborate as to exceed human understanding. Nevertheless, the way each section is stamped out seems easy-at first-to discern. Is the text doing something other than shuffling about, dumb? What of the parts of it that are written in a script more arcane than English, in code? Even expert readers who have encountered extensive traditional, constrained, and conceptual writings may find much in this computational project to challenge them. They may also be surprised by what they eventually unlock

"US" Poets Foreign Poets / Noi poeți "americani" poeți străini

release date: Jun 11, 2018

The Future

release date: Dec 08, 2017
The Future
How the future has been imagined and made, through the work of writers, artists, inventors, and designers. The future is like an unwritten book. It is not something we see in a crystal ball, or can only hope to predict, like the weather. In this volume of the MIT Press's Essential Knowledge series, Nick Montfort argues that the future is something to be made, not predicted. Montfort offers what he considers essential knowledge about the future, as seen in the work of writers, artists, inventors, and designers (mainly in Western culture) who developed and described the core components of the futures they envisioned. Montfort's approach is not that of futurology or scenario planning; instead, he reports on the work of making the future—the thinkers who devoted themselves to writing pages in the unwritten book. Douglas Engelbart, Alan Kay, and Ted Nelson didn't predict the future of computing, for instance. They were three of the people who made it. Montfort focuses on how the development of technologies—with an emphasis on digital technologies—has been bound up with ideas about the future. Readers learn about kitchens of the future and the vision behind them; literary utopias, from Plato's Republic to Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland; the Futurama exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair; and what led up to Tim Berners-Lee's invention of the World Wide Web. Montfort describes the notebook computer as a human-centered alterative to the idea of the computer as a room-sized “giant brain”; speculative practice in design and science fiction; and, throughout, the best ways to imagine and build the future.

Stella and Combat

release date: Jan 10, 2014
Stella and Combat
The Atari Video Computer System dominated the home video game market so completely that "Atari" became the generic term for a video game console. This BIT examines the interplay between computation and culture in the Atari emulator Stella and the Atari VCS game Combat.

Number, Exclamation Point (#!)

release date: Apr 16, 2014
Number, Exclamation Point (#!)
Poetry. Media Studies. #! (pronounced "shebang") consists of poetic texts that are presented alongside the short computer programs that generated them. The poems, in new and existing forms, are inquiries into the features that make poetry recognizable as such, into code and computation, into ellipsis, into ways of representing ?, and into the alphabet. Computer-generated poems have been composed by Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville, Alison Knowles and James Tenney, Hugh Kenner and Joseph P. O'Rourke, Charles O. Hartman, and others. The works in #! engage with this tradition of more than 50 years and with constrainted and conceptual writing. The book's source code is also offered as free software. All of the text-generating code is presented so that it, too, can be read; it is all also made freely available for use in anyone's future poetic projects.

10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10

release date: Nov 23, 2012
10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
A single line of code offers a way to understand the cultural context of computing. This book takes a single line of code—the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 inscribed in the title—and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text—in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources—that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 computer.

Racing the Beam

release date: Feb 25, 2020
Racing the Beam
A study of the relationship between platform and creative expression in the Atari VCS. The Atari Video Computer System dominated the home video game market so completely that “Atari” became the generic term for a video game console. The Atari VCS was affordable and offered the flexibility of changeable cartridges. Nearly a thousand of these were created, the most significant of which established new techniques, mechanics, and even entire genres. This book offers a detailed and accessible study of this influential video game console from both computational and cultural perspectives. Studies of digital media have rarely investigated platforms—the systems underlying computing. This book (the first in a series of Platform Studies) does so, developing a critical approach that examines the relationship between platforms and creative expression. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost discuss the Atari VCS itself and examine in detail six game cartridges: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars' Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. They describe the technical constraints and affordances of the system and track developments in programming, gameplay, interface, and aesthetics. Adventure, for example, was the first game to represent a virtual space larger than the screen (anticipating the boundless virtual spaces of such later games as World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto), by allowing the player to walk off one side into another space; and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was an early instance of interaction between media properties and video games. Montfort and Bogost show that the Atari VCS—often considered merely a retro fetish object—is an essential part of the history of video games.

The Truelist

release date: Jan 01, 2018
The Truelist
Poetry. Art. THE TRUELIST is a book- length poem generated by a one-page, stand-alone computer program. Based around compound words, some more conventional, some quite unusual, the poem invites the reader to imagine moving through a strange landscape that seems to arise from the English language itself. The unusual compounds are open to being understood differently by each reader, given that person's cultural and individual background. The core text that Nick Montfort wrote is the generating computer program. It defines the sets of words that combine, the way some lines are extended with additional language, the stanza form, and the order of these words and the lines in which they appear. The program is included on the last page. Anyone who wishes is free to study it, modify it to see what happens, and make use of it in their own work.

2 X 6

release date: Oct 11, 2016
2 X 6
Poetry. Translation Studies. 2x6 consists of short "stanzories"—stanzas that are also stories, each one relating an encounter between two people. Appearing in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and Polish, the stanzories are generated by a similar underlying process, even as they do not correspond to one another the way a translation typically does to a source text. These sixfold verses are generated by six short computer programs, the code of which is also presented in full. These simple programs can endlessly churn out combinatorial lines that challenge to reader to determine to whom "she" and "he," and "him" and "her," refer, as well as which is the more powerful one, which the underdog. As John Cayley writes, "Gender is the chief generative obstacle here—making more than two times six—distributed across the natural grammars of these micro- dramas, with their psychosocial, vocational, and hierarchical narrative vectors."

10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1));:GOTO 10

release date: Jan 01, 2013
10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1));:GOTO 10
A single line of code offers a way to understand the cultural context of computing.

Riddle and Bind

release date: Oct 01, 2010
Riddle and Bind
Riddle & Bind is a book of poems to solve. The first section, "Riddle," consists of poems written as riddles the reader is invited to solve by guessing the subject of the poem. The third section, "Bind," is a selection of constrained poetry written using traditional and nontraditional poetic forms. The second section, "&," combines both approaches in a sequence of poems inviting the reader to guess how they were constructed.

Theoretical Perspectives on the Substance Preceding

release date: Oct 07, 2012
Theoretical Perspectives on the Substance Preceding
[out of nothing] is an electronic publication featuring new works in image, sound, text and the digital arts, as well as works located at the intersections between these media. [out of nothing]is published in online installments as well as occasional print editions, on an irregular but roughly semiannual seasonal basis that nevertheless remains chronically TBD. Each issue is theme-based, and is introduced by a special M.C.; or, emcee. [out of nothing] is edited by Lee, Janice, 1956–1984; Lindley, Eric, 1952 –1982; and Milazzo, Joe, 1932 –1972. email: shelling.peanuts@gmail.com. For more information, please visit: http://www.outofnothing.org/. [Anthology.] [out of nothing] #0: "theoretical perspectives on the substance preceding [nothing]." / [Various authors.] p. cm. 1. Literature, Experimental. 2. Literature, Modern —21st century. 3. Multimedia (Art). I. Baudrillard, Jean, 1929-2007. II. Benjamin, Walter, 1892-1940. III. Derrida, Jacques, (1930-2004). IV. Kierkegaard, Søren, 1813-1855. V. Title. PN6014 .O98 2012 808.8/0047 Copyright © 2012 [out of nothing]. Authors hold the rights to their individual works. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Generating Narrative Variation in Interactive Fiction

release date: Jan 01, 2007
Generating Narrative Variation in Interactive Fiction
Generating narrative variation in interactive fiction.

Twisty Little Passages

release date: Feb 11, 2005
Twisty Little Passages
A critical approach to interactive fiction, as literature and game. Interactive fiction—the best-known form of which is the text game or text adventure—has not received as much critical attention as have such other forms of electronic literature as hypertext fiction and the conversational programs known as chatterbots. Twisty Little Passages (the title refers to a maze in Adventure, the first interactive fiction) is the first book-length consideration of this form, examining it from gaming and literary perspectives. Nick Montfort, an interactive fiction author himself, offers both aficionados and first-time users a way to approach interactive fiction that will lead to a more pleasurable and meaningful experience of it. Twisty Little Passages looks at interactive fiction beginning with its most important literary ancestor, the riddle. Montfort then discusses Adventure and its precursors (including the I Ching and Dungeons and Dragons), and follows this with an examination of mainframe text games developed in response, focusing on the most influential work of that era, Zork. He then considers the introduction of commercial interactive fiction for home computers, particularly that produced by Infocom. Commercial works inspired an independent reaction, and Montfort describes the emergence of independent creators and the development of an online interactive fiction community in the 1990s. Finally, he considers the influence of interactive fiction on other literary and gaming forms. With Twisty Little Passages, Nick Montfort places interactive fiction in its computational and literary contexts, opening up this still-developing form to new consideration.
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