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Here is a wall of text about me. If you just want to get in touch, try crodley at gmail or DM me on Twitter


Hey. My name is Chris Rodley. I write things that write things, and sometimes write about things that write things, and other things too. If you’re on Twitter a lot you might know Magic Realism Bot, coauthored with my sister Ali. We’ve also built a philosophical robot which we previewed in December at this conference [pdf] and plan to launch later in the year. Another series of experiments in “e-lit” I did with new media artist Andrew Burrell explore the uses of social media content to tell stories. They include the chatbot BETTY, a homage to ELIZA that’s powered by the social web; the autogenerated “novel” Death of an Alchemist, populated by everything from Wikipedia articles to Tumblr gifs; the autogenerated play script Everything Is Going To Be OK, which mashes up Twitter conversations in real-time to create a narrative about young love; a public artwork that reimagined Yahoo Answers as sentient, created for the Australian Government as part of the launch of the ill-fated National Broadbank Network. I also do a bunch of other oddball side-projects at the intersection of creative writing and the Internet which live in my Twitter stream, on my blog, or on this page. Though increasingly they live on my desktop in a folder called Side Projects, which soon will need another folder for projects I’ve started while instead of finishing my side projects.

For me, writing is a bit like looking at the sun. If I try to focus on the task itself, its immensity and importance are overwhelming. So I need to approach it indirectly. I guess the common thread in all of this is the idea not of using new tech to tell stories, but of using tech to tell new stories. Specifically, stories that aren’t imitative of existing human genres, but different. I am in the latter stages of a PhD at the University of Sydney, where I’m researching the impact of social media and computational creativity on writing. Sometimes I teach in the digital culture and media courses at my uni and the Uni of NSW. I also freelance for BuzzFeed where I am lucky to be able to try out some new ways of conveying and sharing ideas. I’ve collected some of my articles on my publications page or visit at BuzzFeed or The Guardian directly. I like toast, derelict malls and modestly successful YouTube vlogs about nothing in particular. I have many ideas about the world that are probably wrong, which I publish on my blog or on Twitter. Probably-wrong-ideas expressed verbosely live on my site. I am a utilitarian, mostly, and a sentientist. This means I think averting suffering is really important.