SETI-Lit: Decoding and Recoding through Digital Narrative

9 June at 9:00 am PDT / 12:00 EDT / 18:00 CEST
Duration: 90min

This 90-minute workshop hosted by Professors Scott Rettberg and Joseph Tabbi of the Center for Digital Narrative will explore the potentialities of electronic literature (e-lit) for the reception and interpretation of extraterrestrial communication.

The workshop will include inputs from four leading digital authors: Natalia Fedorova, Jason Nelson, Allison Parrish, and Rob Wittig. The workshop will conclude with the launch of a new “netprov” — a collectively written fiction that all workshop attendees can contribute to both during the workshop and after. 

We welcome up to 40 participants in the workshop.

The workshop has been rescheduled for the 9 June at 18.00 CEST.

During this workshop participants are going to use a free Discord channel, please click on the above button to join the channel.


Scott Rettberg

Scott Rettberg is Director of the Center for Digital Narrative and Professor of Digital Culture at the University of Bergen, Norway.

Rettberg was a co-founder of the Electronic Literature Organization.
He is the author/coauthor of novel-length works of electronic literature, combinatory poetry, and films including The Unknown, Kind of Blue, Implementation, Frequency, The Catastrophe Trilogy, Three Rails Live, Toxi•City, Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project and others.

Rettberg is the author of Electronic Literature (Polity, 2019), a comprehensive study of the histories and genres of electronic literature and winner of the N. Katherine Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature

Joseph Tabbi

Joseph Tabbi is an American academic and theorist who relocated to the University of Bergen in 2019.

He has made significant contributions to the field of experimental American fiction in both print and electronic media.

He is the author of Cognitive Fictions (2002) and Postmodern Sublime (1995). He edited The Bloomsbury Handbook of Electronic Literature (2017), and he continues to co-edit the scholarly journal electronic book review (ebr), which he founded in the mid-1990s with digital literary artist Mark Amerika and designwriter Anne Burdick.

In Bergen, he is a Principal Researcher for the e-Lit node in the Center for Digital Narrative.


Natalia Fedorova

Natalia Fedorova is a new media artist, writer, literary scholar and translator. Natalia holds a PhD in literary theory from Herzen State University (St-Petersburg).

She is an author of publications on avant-garde poetry, kinetic poetry, concrete poetry, hyperfiction, literary text generators and video poetry, as well as a curator and creator of VIDEO.txt, videopoetry festival in St- Petersburg. During 2011 – 2012 Natalia was a Fulbright guest researcher at the Trope Tank, MIT Natalia is an author of hyperfiction piece with multiple endings «7», and an interactive novel «Madame Ebaressa and a Butterfly», co-written with Sergeij Kitov, and a number of short prose fragments. In collaboration with Taras Mashtalir she founded Machine Libertine, a media poetry project («Snow Queen», «In Your Voice», «Machine Poetry Manifesto», «Whoever You Are», «Light Duty», «Memory»).

Natalia has been a SPIRE guest researcher with the ELMCIP group at the University of Bergen (Norway) and an editor of e-lit and new media writing column in Rattapallax magazine (NY).

Jason Nelson

Born in Oklahoma, seasoned in Queensland and live in Norway, Jason Nelson is a creator of wondrous digital poems and fictions, builder of art games and all manner of digital art creatures.

He is an Associate Professor of Digital Art and Writing at the University of Bergen in Norway. Aside from coaxing his students into breaking, playing and morphing their creativity with all manner of technologies, he exhibits widely in galleries and journals, with work featured around the globe at FILE, ACM, LEA, ISEA, SIGGRAPH, ELO and dozens of other acronyms.

There are awards to list (Paris Biennale Media Poetry Prize), organizational boards he frequents (Australia Council Literature Board and the Electronic Literature Organization), and Fellowships he’s adventured into Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Bergen, Moore Fellowship at the National University of Ireland, and numerous other accolades (Webby Award, Digital Writing Prize).

Allison Parrish

Allison Parrish is a computer programmer, poet, and game designer whose teaching and practice address the unusual phenomena that blossom when language and computers meet. She is an Assistant Arts Professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

According to Ars Technica, Allison’s work “delight[s] everyone.” She was named “Best Maker of Poetry Bots” by the Village Voice in 2016, and her zine of computer-generated poems called “Compasses” received an honorary mention in the 2021 Prix Ars Electronica. Allison is the co-creator of the board game Rewordable (Clarkson Potter, 2017) and author of several books, including @Everyword: The Book (Instar, 2015) and Articulations (Counterpath, 2018). Her poetry has recently appeared in BOMB Magazine and Strange Horizons.

Rob Wittig

Rob Wittig plays at the crossroads of literature, graphic design and digital culture. He co-founded the legendary IN.S.OMNIA electronic bulletin board with the literary and art group Invisible Seattle. 

Rob co-directs Meanwhile… Netprov Studio.  

His book Netprov: Networked Improvised Literature for the Classroom and Beyond appeared in Fall 0f 2021 from Amherst College Press.

This workshop is organized in collaboration with the Center for Digital Narrative.

Join us on the online (free) platform Discord, where the debate around decoding and interpreting the message is ongoing, with people from all over the world exchanging their thoughts while attempting to discover the signal's content.


Follow the conversation on