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Ambient Literature

Digital Cultures Research Centre

What happens when the place where you’re reading becomes the stage for the story? How can your location shape and alter the story you are hearing?

Made by

Tom Abba

Tom Abba is a writer and designer working with the form of digital and physical books. He is an Associate Professor of Art & Design at UWE, a Director of Circumstance, and teaches into Drawing and Print at Arnolfini.

Jon Dovey

Jon has recently been appointed to the new Faculty of Creative Arts at University of the West of England with a view to raising the profile of media research there.

Nick Triggs

Nick is the Research Manager at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, working closely with a diverse network of interdisciplinary academics and practitioners across UWE Bristol.

Kate Pullinger

Ian Gadd

Matt Hayler


Ambient Literature sets out to discover what happens when data aspires to literary form. We’re going to ask how situated literary experiences can be delivered through pervasive media systems produce new forms of literary experience, and the research looks at the history of the book to establish how the physical situation of the reader has effected the nature of the writing itself.

There are three commissioned works at the heart of this project. Three writers will take the findings from the desk-based research and public symposiums and combine that with the experience our technical parter brings and iteratively develop a grammar for writing Ambient Literature. By the end of the project, we hope to demonstrate that this is a robust form for creating narrative experiences. 

Ambient Literature is a two year research programme funded by the Arts & Humanties Research Council (AHRC) that will see UWE Bristol, and the Universities of Bath Spa and Birmingham investigate this emerging field.  

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