The cube is a significant figure in the history of electronic literature, functioning as a 3D inscriptional surface that emphasizes the transition from the 2D surface of the printed page. (See also William Gillespie's Letter to Linus in this volume. In ELC1 see Mary Flanagan's [theHouse] and Daniel C. Howe and Aya Karpinska's open.ended.) Roulette is structurally comprised of three translucent rotating cubes that themselves contain a set of smaller rotating cubes, or dice, with one word on all six surfaces. The selection of a cube then alters the primary text, which is both narratological and poetic. Reading and play are not predictive per se, as befits the work's title, but there is a sense in which one can calculate probability and develop a reading strategy based on algorithmic and syntactical rules.


Author description:Roulette is a work of recombinant narrative that offers a novel interactive reading experience. As lines of text shift and fade in response to user manipulation of the 3-D interface, a fractured collection of stories is revealed, shifting in mood and meaning with each reading.

Instructions: Enable computer speakers or headphones for audio. Within the text, click one of the three large cubes and hold mouse down to select a word. Click the cube to return it to its original state.

Previous publication: New River Journal, Spring 2008. Built with the RiTa library for Processing. Sound samples from Autechre's LP7.

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