Translation, transmutation, transmediation, and transmission in TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] : []



“Translation, transmutation, transmediation, and transmission in TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] : [],” Bibliothèque numérique Paris 8, accessed August 18, 2017,

This paper examines the operation of translation in the creation and dissemination of computer-generated digital literature through discussion of the web-based narrative dialogue, TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] (Carpenter 2011). In this discussion, the term translation is situated within a string of variables pertaining to the prefix trans- : translation, transmutation, transmediation, and transmission. TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] is a transmutation of The Two, a narrative text generator written first in Python and then translated to JavaScript by Nick Montfort in 2008. TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] performs the transmediation of texts from archival sources that have already passed across, beyond or through the code mediums of wires, switches, signals, air, ears, hands, and paper. TRANS.MISSION [A.DIALOGUE] is also a transmission. One JavaScript file which sits on one server attached to a vast network of hubs, routers, switches, and submarine cables through which this one file may be accessed many times from many places by many devices. The mission of the JavaScript source code is to generate another sort of script, a dialogue to be read aloud in three voices: Call, Response, and Interference. In the translation of born-digital texts from one code language to another, what precisely is borne across, beyond, or through?


 translation, transmutation, transmediation, transmission, computer-generated-text, programming languages, narrative, performance


12/06/2012 - 14/06/2012







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Temporal Coverage

XXIe siècle