New Media and Literature, 2007
Professor Jen Boyle, Hollins University

Hollins Community Installation

Interfacing Affect: The Hollins Community Project (Jen Boyle, Hollins U) is an experiment in new media that explores the ethics of new media interfaces through the emplacement of history, narrative, and embodied affect.

A collaboration with Virgina Tech Center for Human-Computer Interaction


The project combines writing/narrative; locative technology; and the physical spaces surrounding the trails at the margins of campus.

The trail is a remaining trace of two sides of Hollins institutional identity: creative, progressive women’s liberal arts institution with a strong community ethos, and the first chartered women’s college in southwestern Virginia possessing both prebellum and antebellum histories. The trail itself is a fascinating confluence of the real and the virtual. Along the trail one finds discarded cookware and turn-of –the-century glassware; old small foundations for dwellings; and the ruins of wood sculptures from the contemporary era.

The trail and the environment surrounding it have had many afterlives:
foot trail connecting members of the Hollins Community to the campus; a university dump site earlier in the 20th century; and a sculpture garden for Hollins art students.

Concepts informing the project

*How does the technological “interface” influence our relationship to physical space, history, and narrative?

*What is the relationship between the “topography” of writing and the topography of physical space? What about the “maps” of history?

*Do interactive technologies allow us to engage with history and narrative in different ways?


2 Responses to “Hollins Community Installation”

  1. […] in Uncategorized Read about the Hollins Community Project and Installation   Cloud from first exercise, narrative entries in the field: Word cloud from narrative excerpts […]

  2. […] groups for the project. Field sessions were conducted with students of Hollins University (see New Media and Literature, 2007). In each session, the participants meet at the edge of the campus in a borderspace located […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: