Big Other Reaches One Million Page Views!

One Million Dots (detail) / Robert Barry. 1968

Continue reading


Exits Are: An Interview with Mike Meginnis

“A conversation is a journey, and what gives it value is fear.” So says Anne Carson.

Exits Are is a series of text adventures conducted by Mike Meginnis published on Mondays and Wednesdays by Artifice Books and Uncanny Valley. So far, adventures from Blake Butler, Tim Dicks, and Matt Bell have gone up, and the list of forthcoming adventures keeps growing (but, at this point, includes Aubrey Hirsch, Nicolle Elizabeth, AD Jameson, Brian Oliu, Elisa Gabbert, and Robert Kloss). The site’s PLAY page has one of the better descriptions of the project I’ve come across: “Note that the games are designed to be occasionally very uncomfortable for both participants. If you’re not up for that, we probably shouldn’t play.”

I was intrigued by the form and the process, and asked Mike a few questions back in January (thus my boring talk of Zelda). He was kind enough to respond. Continue reading


Hi, Big Other. I’m new here, at least as a contributor.

My name is James Tadd Adcox. I’m kind of an aesthetics geek. I’m planning, over the next several weeks, to present a series of posts on aesthetic theory, tracing a certain line of aesthetic thought from classical philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Longinus) through the British Empiricists and German Idealists and on through till today, more or less. Along the way, there will be occasional detours for thinkers who seem important for this line of thought, even if they are not themselves primarily or even especially interested in aesthetics—particularly Martin Buber and Walter Benjamin.

While most of what I’m talking about is what you’d call theory, my interest here is ultimately practical. What are we doing as writers, as artists? Are we just prettifying political arguments and pop psychology? Is there something worthwhile that art and literature do that, say, a good argument or case study doesn’t? Continue reading

Printers’ Ball 2011

Artifice editor James Tadd Adcox, ready to dunk!

This past Friday was Printers’ Ball–a great annual tradition in Chicago at Columbia College put together by Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine with the Center for Book & Paper Arts, the Chicago Underground Library, Columbia College Chicago, and MAKE magazine–under the organizational energies of Fred Sasaki.

The event was covered by Amy Yee of The Economist, here, with comments from Sasaki, Zach Dodson of Featherproof, and Danielle Chapman, director of publishing industry programs at Chicago’s Office of Tourism and Culture.

The piece also features my torso as its lead photo, and a short discussion of the Busted Books: The Great Soak guillotine/dunk tank event, where attendees chose between dunking a book (usually a classic from the “dunking library”) or a Kindle.

Note: Kindles were dunked 70+ times compared to books, which were dunked 25+ times.  We stopped counting after 100 or so dunks, but the general proportion held up for the rest of the evening.