WONDER

All About Ergodic Literature

My exploration started with the discovery of Ergodic Literature. It is a term coined by Espen Aarseth. In his book, Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature, Aarseth challenges traditional notions of literature in order to position cybertexts in terms of literary theory. Ergodic means work path and describes a type of literature in which the reader must traverse a text through non-trivial effort. Basically what this means is that the reader must make choices within the text that have consequences that reveal and simulteanously conceal pathways through the narrative. While he talks about Ergodic Literature within digital text, he does make the argument that there has been examples of this type of Literature in the past. These texts required action from the reader in order to generate a literary sequence. The point of Aarseth's book was to discuss how technology was changing the way people were reading and writing, but also position digital texts within the historical realms of literary theory. 

I found these ideas to be very intriguing when connected to Graphic Design practices. A lot of terms came to mind that I wanted to explore further.

These were: Authorship, Storytelling, Determinism, Agency, Interaction, Human-Centered Design, Deconstructionism. 

Mainly what I wanted to ask was, what could we learn from Ergodic Literature? How could we connect this back to Graphic Design? Could this help designers evolve in their roles? 

Meagan Leigh Vanderhill