Tom Abba

Associate Professor: Art & Design, Bristol UWE

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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 Bristol and a director of Circumstance. Tom works with writers and digital developers to make work exploring physical / digital hybrid books. Short Films for You and These Pages Fall Like Ash, the first two pieces in an ongoing series of such projects, were produced in 2012 and 2013. He is currently leading the Ambient Literature project, exploring the locational and technological future of the book.

Summary of work

Ambient Literature is defining a new field for storytelling that mediates a space between the written text and a narrative experience that surrounds and pervades its reader. While we are building on a heritage of situated writing, we are also establishing something new. We are curating a conversation with writers, technologists and publishers about new ways to write and experience story, and are working with writers who are approaching the creation of new work with their own specific interests and skills. The first commission arising from this project - It Must Have Been Dark by Then - will be available to experience at the ILS.

Summary of work to develop

I’m interested in what happens after the Ambient Literature funding is complete (May 2018). We have space and time to think, and the legacy of a UK-based project is uppermost in my mind. I’m starting to consider what activity can follow the main project. This will take several forms; a follow-on funding application to work with writers and develop the form; workshops with writers and publishers in the UK; a touring programme for work made during the project; and a push toward international writers and the specific challenges of making technologically mediated work outside of a western milieu.



Steps to a Digital Literature

Tom Abba from Ambient Literature on embracing, and adapting to, digital storytelling.




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