Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project Wins Electronic Literature Organization’s 2016 Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature

Scott Rettberg accepts the 2016 Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature

Scott Rettberg accepts the 2016 Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature

On June 11, 2016, during the Electronic Literature Organization Conference at University of Victoria, Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project won the top prize for a creative work in the field of electronic literature, the Electronic Literature Organization’s 2016 Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature! The jury’s remarks from the awards ceremony:

The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature

“The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature” is an award given for the best creative work of electronic literature of any length or genre. Bestowed by the Electronic Literature Organization and funded through a generous donation from supporters and members of the ELO, this annual prize aims to recognize creative excellence. The Prize for “1st Place” comes a $1000 award, with a plaque showing the name of the winner and an acknowledgement of the achievement, and a one-year membership in the Electronic Literature Organization at the Associate Level. One prize for “Honorary Mention” is awarded and consists of a plaque showing the name of the winner and an acknowledgement of the achievement, and a one-year membership in the Electronic Literature Organization at the Associate Level.

Honourable Mention. Kate Pullinger, Andy Campbell, Chris Joseph, Ian Harper
Inanimate Alice: Episode Six – The Last Gas Station

Inanimate Alice, begun in 2005, tells the story of Alice, growing up in the near-future, as she moves around the world with her family. Episode Six: The Last Gas Station is a 3D storyworld as well as a series of additions to the tools the team creates for educators, including a downloadable package of teachers’ versions of the first five episodes.

One jurist wrote, “An excellent use of immersion and 3D to relay narrative to a variety of audiences. The rich media compels us further to experience the storyworld and build intimacy with the character, Alice.”

1st Place. Scott Rettberg, Roderick Coover, Daria Tsoupikova, Arthur Nishimoto
Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project

Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project is a 3D narrative cinematic experience that premiered in the affective sensory environment of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory’s CAVE2 at the University of Illinois Chicago. It gives voice to stories of abusive violence towards detainees during the Iraq war and the post-traumatic stress experienced by ordinary American soldiers who became torturers in the course of serving their country. Based on interviews of American soldiers conducted by Dr. John Tsukayama, the work takes viewers on a travel through the domestic spaces and surreal interior landscapes of soldiers who have come home transformed by these experiences, triggering their testimonies by interacting with objects laden with loss.

One jurist wrote, “A major achievement. Rettberg and Coover harness the power of digital technologies to tell a powerful story and in doing so go far in changing the audience’s hearts and minds about torture.”

Posted in Creative Works.

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