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Statement: Much like Andy Kaufman considered himself a “Song and dance man” rather than a comedian, I do not consider myself a novelist. I create stories with multiple mediums mixed together. Books, video, audio, street art, phones, etc. I have from time to time, dabbled in the form of the book, which I consider to be a unit of measure now, rather than a literal object, but that’s a discussion for another day. Below are some of my “print” works, some digital, some dead tree editions. A few of them were objects in bigger, more sprawling object oriented works. I am currently thinking about a word to use instead of “transmedia” to describe what I do. My method precedes both Transmedia and ARG Back when I started doing this kind of work (1986’ish), I called it “Living Book Process”. That had a ring of purity to it, a resonance of artistic integrity and even a little touch of “magic. However, if I’m honest I also owe a lot to the Transrealism movement (PKD, Ballard, et al.) so it is almost ironic that Transmedia has been applied as a term to describe the art, although I really doubt it is a call back to Transrealism. For lack of a better set of ideas right now, let’s just say that I build experience matrices .
For a comprehensive list of most of my print work (not including maga/zine articles) see this list on Goodreads.
All my works dedicated to the memory of my dearly departed friends: The members of The Formless Ocean Group – Nina Graboi, Elizabeth Gips, Paddy Long, Betsy Herbert, and Robert Anton Wilson. Also to my departed friends: Dave, DW Cooper, Dr. Hyatt (Alan) and humdog.
Beats In Time: A Literary Generation’s Legacy (Chapter 12 is my interview with Diane DiPrima)
Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat by Michael Kinsell – While clearly this is a book about my transmedia project it also includes a lot of things that I wrote as examples, so I include it here. Metamodernism, anyone?
Rebels and Devils: The Psychology of Liberation edited by Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D. introduced by S. Jason Black foreword by Nicholas Tharcher contributions by William S. Burroughs Joseph C. Lisiewski, Ph.D. Timothy Leary Ph.D., Robert Anton Wilson, Austin Osman Spare, Genesis P-Orridge, Aleister Crowley, Joseph Matheny, Peter J. Carroll, Israel Regardie, Jack Parsons, Phil Hine, Osho, and many others
Contributor YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts (more info here)
Contributor/Editor:This is Not a Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming with Dave Szulborski (Excerpt here )I edited and contributed to : “This Is Not a Game” which was included in the annual Tween market report that went to marketing executives worldwide in the toy, gaming and youth market industries. Also, I appeared as myself/in character, in person, in the “Catching the Wish” ARG by Dave.
Third Realm (The Yellow King)
Written and executed by me, produced in conjunction with Foolish People
My first foray into the True Crime arena. Formula: Just put up a single, spooky web page, that purports to be a recruitment drive for an organization whose actual existence is speculative at best and at worst is fiction presented as fact or paranoid, hysterical hand-waving in the interest of selling books and you will get all kinds of reactions. In all fairness, I think the theories mentioned read as good fantasy crime fiction and this was a conceptual attempt at that very thing. Apparently, it succeeded. The unnerving side of this was the equal amount of applications I received asking to join (Really? Join a group of underground serial killers? Really?) or outright death threats by people who really believe in such things. (Someone summed it up pretty well in this article from The Fenris Wolf)
El Centro & OMEGA
This was a ARG/Transmedia style story with occult/horror/conspiracy elements, started in 2004 and ended in 2006. It utilized Web, print (booklet), radio, phone trees, theater and news wire services. [A version of the doughnut shop scene from this story was used in Amsterdam production of Terra: Extremitas by Foolish People.] This project was done in collaboration my late friend Dave Szulborski. There’s a LOOOOOONG story about this project. So long in fact that it will take up at least three chapters in an future book.
Contributor: What Would Bill Hicks Say with Ben Mack, Amelia the Great and Soft Skull Press (along with Jeff Danziger and Martyn Turner; writers Neal Pollack, Robert Newman, and A.L. Kennedy; and Thom Yorke of Radiohead and others…)
Introduction, afterward and editing for Poker Without Cards– First Edition. I orchestrated the first release campaign for this book, with the main character becoming “real”on the Internet for a while. After the first few months I turned it over to the author. (statement regarding this work here)
GALT’S ARK: The Black Symphony, First and Second Movements
Produced by Cthulhu
The Players: Joseph Matheny, Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D.,
Father Daniel Suders & Nicholas Tharcher
Illustrated by S. Jason Black, Jonathan Sellers, Weirdpixie & MobiusFrame
(The Black Books are considered the workbooks for The Psychopath’s Bible, which I wrote an infamous jacket blurb for.)
The Incunabula: Ong’s Hat Project
[ Reviews | Interviews, etc. | Wikipedia | History] This was a ARG/Transmedia style story started in 1988 and ended in 2001. It utilized zines, BBS, early Internet, Web, CD ROM, CD Audio, DVD, print (book, graphic novel and magazine), radio, phone trees, fax, and news wire services. I gained and leveraged exposure in both the mainstream and alternative media to distribute over 2 million copies of CD ROM, ebook and print versions of the story combined. Story elements from Ong’s Hat were also included in the EA Game, Majestic which unfortunately ended prematurely due to 9/11. It was the subject of a full 4 hour show on Coast to Coast AM, been the subject of an article on the Weekly World News and been covered on many radio shows world wide, books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Links to media here.
Description: “…a bizarre Internet phenomenon: an “immersive” online experience—part mystery, part game, part who knows what—known as both the Incunabula Papers and Ong’s Hat. The Incunabula Papers/Ong’s Hat was, or is, a “many-threaded, open-ended interactive narrative” that ”weds an alternate history of chaos science and consciousness studies to conspiracy theories, parallel dimensions, and claims that computer-mediated environments can serve as magical tools…. the documents provoked a widespread “immersive legend-trip” in the late 1990s. Via Web forums, participants investigated the documents—manifestos—which spun up descriptions of brilliant but suppressed discoveries relating to paths that certain scientists had forged into alternate realities. Soon, those haunted dimensions existed in the minds and fantasies of Ong’s Hat’s many participants. That was evident as they responded to the original postings by uploading their own—all manner of reflections and artifacts: personal anecdotes, audio recordings, and videos—to augment what became “a really immersive world, and it was vast”. – The Chronicle of Higher Education—-
“Ong’s Hat was more of an experiment in transmedia storytelling than what we would now consider to be an ARG but its DNA – the concept of telling a story across various platforms and new media- is evident in every alternate reality game that came after.” – Games Magazine 2013
Though Ong’s Hat may not have set out to be an ARG, the methods by which the author interacted with participants and used different platforms to build and spread its legend has been reflected in later games. –Know Your Meme
The Incunabula Papers are arguably the first immersive online legend complex that introduced readers to a host of content, including what religious historian Robert Ellwood has called the “alternative reality tradition. – Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat
As a companion piece to understanding some of the history of the transmedia work that centered around Ong”s Hat you may also want to read Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat, reviewed here.
The Incunabula Papers CDROM was recently included in the BNF (Bibliothèque nationale de France) digital art collection.
Incunabula: The Graphic Novel Free ebook version here
Why DVD? (B and N Digital Bestseller)
Convergence 2000 (B and N Digital Bestseller) Free ebook version here
Also contributed a few articles to Bob and Arlen Wilson’s Trajectories.
Nina Graboi Interview, bOING bOING, Number 8 (written under my nom de plume: Michael Kelly)
I’ve contributed articles to AlwaysOn and Adotas. I’ve contributed book, music, and movie reviews to Gnosis and Magical Blend in the past as well as the old Boing-Boing print magazine and Fringeware Review. Note, in the interest of full disclosure, I’d sometimes contribute more than one article or review to a single publication and to avoid the appearance of saturation, I’d use the pen name: Michael Kelly for some of the articles.
(more added as I dig it up and dust it off)