Grand Text Auto at the Beall Center, UCI

Grand Text Auto will be presented at The Beall Center for Art and
Technology, UC Irvine, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, 712 Arts
Plaza,Irvine, CA 92697-2775

OPENING RECEPTION: October 4th, 6:30pm-9:00pm
SYMPOSIUM: October 5th, 1:00-5:00pm
PERFORMANCE: October 5th, 6:00-8:00pm

Many blogs have become books - from The Baghdad Blog to Belle de Jour. But Grand Text Auto is the first blog ever to become a gallery exhibition. It opens October 4th and runs through December 15th. The exhibition features the work of Grand Text Auto members (CRCA Researcher) Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Mary Flanagan, Michael Mateas, Andrew Stern, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg, and their collaborators.

Grand Text Auto is a blog about the potential of digital media, from literary websites to experimental computer games. At the exhibition, the blog members will put these ideas into practice, showing a variety of cutting edge works. Some use the latest in artificial intelligence technology, such as Mateas and Stern's interactive drama Façade - of which The New York Times says, "This is the future of video games." The Beall exhibition will feature the first public showing of a life-sized "augmented reality" version of Façade, created in collaboration with Georgia Tech's GVU Center. Virtual reality is also on display, as with Wardrip-Fruin's collaborative work Screen, a literary game played with 3D text - never seen before outside of a research lab and presented with support from UC San Diego's Center for Research in Computing and the Arts. On the other hand, some works in the exhibition use decidedly do-it-yourself techniques, such as Montfort and Rettberg's Implementation, an experimental novel distributed around the world on mailing labels. Others are quirky, such as Flanagan's [giantJoystick], a replica Atari 2600 joystick so large that two people must work together to play (this has its North American debut at the Beall show).

In addition to the gallery show, the members of Grand Text Auto are working together with the Beall Center to present a live symposium and performance evening, both on October 5th. The afternoon symposium (1-5 p.m.) will discuss the power of collaborative blogging, new directions for computer games, and the place of language in digital media. The evening performance (6-8 p.m.) will feature the disturbing and humorous interactive cinema experience Terminal Time (which automatically creates outrageously biased documentaries of the past millennium) and a live performance of the award-winning hypertext novel The Unknown (which tells the tale of a rollicking cross-country book tour).

Further information:,
(949) 824-4339