Reading ambient literature: immersion, distraction, and the situated reading experience

Spencer, A (2021) 'Reading ambient literature: immersion, distraction, and the situated reading experience.' Poetics Today, 42 (2). pp. 301-315. ISSN 0333-5372

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-8883276

Abstract

This article considers the experience and process of reading works of ambient literature, a form of situated literary experience delivered by pervasive computing platforms, responding to the presence of a physically situated reader to deliver a story. This form of situated digital work does not need to be bound by a material form, such as a printed book. Without such a framing device, and its position embedded in the physical world, this narrative form has boundaries that are often in flux. It can shift and respond to the presence of the situated reader, and its beginning and ending can become blurred. This article addresses the specifics of this fluid literary form, open to distraction and unpredictability for the reader, and examines the potential of a reading experience informed by pervasive and ubiquitous computing practices. In doing so, it draws on Ulrich Schmidt's notions of distraction and immersion in relation to the position of the reader. In particular, it addresses the idea that attention can dissolve in two opposite directions, toward a lack of concentration or toward an absorbed trance, a time of focused concentration and immersion, and explores how in ambient literature these become literary devices that lead and shape the reader's experience.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ambient literature, situated literary experience, ubiquitous computing practices, attention, distraction and immersion
Divisions: Research & Academic Management
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-8883276
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2021 11:43
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:56
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