Flight Paths

Flight Paths:  3. Harriet Driving

24 June 2009 | Comments (0)


We hope you like the stories.  For more information about Refugee Week, go to

To view our first two stories, click on the images in the posts below.  To view 3. Harriet Driving, click on the image above or go to

Find more information about ‘Flight Paths’ here

Flight Paths   2. Yacub at the Airport

23 June 2009 | Comments (0)


We hope you like the stories.  For more information about Refugee Week, go to

To view our first story, Yacub in Dubai, go to or click on the image in the post below.  To view 2. Yacub at the Airport, click on the image above or go to

Find more information about ‘Flight Paths’ here

Flight Paths:  five new stories 1. Yacub in Dubai

22 June 2009 | Comments (0)

Last week marked Refugee Week here in the UK.  As our contribution to the ongoing discussion, Chris and I are releasing one brand new ‘Flight Paths’ story every day for the next five days.

These new mini-stories take five plot hotpoints, or flashpoints, to animate significant moments in the lives of the characters who have begun to emerge through the project’s history of discussion and collaboration.

Click on the image to view the first story.
For more information on ‘Flight Paths’ click here.

Line of Influence

18 May 2009 | Comments (0)

Next month, my work on ‘Flight Paths’ and other projects will be featured in ‘Line of Influence’, an online exhibition curated by Jeremy Hight and S.C. Nakatani on their site, ‘Binary Katwalk’. The current featured artist is Vuk Cosic; his version of the opportunity afforded by the exhibition is an elegant take on his influences down the years.  My iteration of the exhibition won’t be so comprehensive - I’ve written a bit about my digital evolution, and am featuring work by Caitlin Fisher, Renee Turner, and Christine Wilks.

The launch of ‘Line of Influence’ will coincide with the re-launch of ‘Flight Paths’.

Coping With Book Censorship in the Digital Age

1 May 2009 | Comments (0)

I’ve written a new blog post for the folks at Internet Evolution > Thinker Net, which they’ve called ‘Coping with Book Censorship in the Digital Age’ Last time I wrote a post for these people, it attracted a lot of interesting comment and discussion, so hopefully this time it will as well, though there’s a comment up already from, ahem, M. Hulot, which isn’t all that… well… serious, it seems to me.  Anyway, have a read.  Feel free to comment here, or over there, although to comment on Internet Evolution you need to register and open an account with them.

Flight Paths update March 09

24 March 2009 | Comments (0)

Thinking a lot about ‘Flight Paths’ at the moment and where-to-next with the project. As we get ready to relaunch it with the five new plot hotpoint/stories we’ve created, it is time to think about how to move forward as well.

We’ve had a patchy time with finding ways to encourage people to participate in the project.  We have had great luck with securing wonderful partners for the project, but it’s been tough to translate that into participation.  We have had a lot of fantastic contributions to the project to date, from new media works to pieces of text, photos, and discussion, but we want more, and we’ll be looking at finding new ways of encouraging people to contribute and/or participate.  But this aspect of the project hasn’t been, and never will be, easy. Socialising the other evening with three new media artists,  Randy Adams, Christine Wilks, and Chris Joseph, we spent a bit of time pondering the puzzle that is participation, mainly in terms of how difficult it is to come by. One of us wondered if, in terms of digital art and literature, it’s a bit of a red herring, a good idea in theory, but very difficult to actually pull off.

‘Flight Paths’ has participation at its heart; it’s been part of the process and purpose of the work since the beginning.  So we’ll continue to experiment with this aspect of the project, and to see how far we can get with it.

I’m also planning on doing a lot more writing for ‘Flight Paths’  over the next four months. Famous last words.

Line of Influence and Flight Paths

17 March 2009 | Comments (0)

flightpaths_logo_300dpismallJeremy Hight is currently curating an online exhibition where he is asking six artists to include a work of their own, plus a choice of works that have influenced them or that they, in turn, have perhaps influenced. He’s asked me to be one of the six artists; in turn I’ve asked Caitlin Fisher, Christine Wilks, and Renee Turner if we can include works by them.  I’ll post more information when I have it.

The exhibition kicks off shortly with the first featured artist - Vuk Cosic.  One month after that I’ll follow; my plan is for this to coincide with a relaunch of ‘Flight Paths’, based on the five short pieces, or plot hotpoints, that Chris and I have been working on for a while now. Four of these pieces are nearly finished; we are working on the fifth this week.

‘Flight Paths’ has been pretty much dormant since Christmas, and it will be good to get it back on track once again.

Flight Paths Story Two:  Yacub at the Airport

20 January 2009 | Comments (0)

Here’s another script from ‘Flight Paths’:

I told my family I was returning to Dubai.  I spent a long time over my good-byes.

My sister could tell that something was up, but I told no one my plans, not even her.  I found it hard not to cry.

At the airport, after passport control, I followed the instructions I had been given ?? for which I had paid ?? and found the unlocked door that led outside.

From the ground, the planes looked enormous, their lights blinking in the dusk.  The air stank of petrol and tyres.

I had less then fifteen minutes after darkness fell to find the correct airplane.
But I found it, and no one saw me, and I climbed up over the giant wheels and shimmied up the landing gear and folded myself onto the little shelf which was exactly where Aamer said it would be.

Flight Paths Story One:  Yacub in Dubai

13 January 2009 | Comments (0)

Chris and I have been thinking about how to make ‘Flight Paths’ easier for people to contribute to.  It’s clear that most people find the format we are currently using for the project a bit impenetrable and a little confusing.  It’s still remarkably hard to find a simple system for curating multimedia content online.  Our project at the moment is to create five hot spots, or plot points, from the beginning of the story, in the hope that people will be able to respond to these.  They will be little flash movies.  The texts you see here are first draft scripts for these five little movies; the texts are brief because they will play on a screen, accompanied by sound and image.  Send your creative responses, comments or thoughts to me at kate (at) flightpaths (dot) net.  I’m also posting these stories here on my blog, one at at time, and you can comment here too.


I went to Dubai from my home because I heard I could earn good money.

There was one man in my village who had been working in the UAE; he was injured on the building site when a section of scaffolding fell on his foot.  He had a lot of stories about what life was like in the workers camps, so I knew what to expect.

I liked the look of Dubai; I liked the idea of living somewhere where everything was new.

The plane to Dubai was full of men like me, all ages, although I was one of the youngest.

When we landed we were transported to the camp where we were to live ?? the conditions were not good, worse than at home ?? too many men.

But, I was happy, and when I got to the building site the next day - two hours by bus either way - I was happier still.  I wanted to work.  Now I had a job.  Now I would be paid.

Fiction and that 2.0 thing - ‘Networked’ and Turbulence

7 January 2009 | Comments (0)

Just before Christmas I submitted a proposal to;  they are commissiong five writers to contribute chapters to ‘Networked:  a (networked_book) about (networked_art)’.  Here’s my proposal:

‘Fiction and that 2.0 thing: what the network means to storytelling’

The concept of the networked book of non-fiction is not new and there is a long history of new media fiction works that include user-generated content.  But there are few fiction projects that from the earliest, research phase attempt to harness participatory media and audience generated content in the way that ‘Flight Paths: a networked novel’ is currently, and ‘A Million Penguins’, the Penguin/DMU wiki-novel, which Kate Pullinger led in collaboration with her MA students and Penguin UK, did in 2007. With that in mind, Pullinger would relish the opportunity to write a chapter for ‘networked’ that draws upon her considerable experience in this field.

Kate Pullinger is one of the only well established print novelists in the UK who is also involved with creating born-digital works of literature. She is closely involved with debates and discussions around issues to do with the future of the book, as well as writing and the internet. She helped set up the online MA in Creative Writing and New Media, the first degree of its kind, at De Montfort University in Leicester, where she is Reader in Creative Writing and New Media (a half-time post). At DMU she facilitated a collaboration between Penguin UK and a team of MA students to manage ‘A Million Penguins’, the Penguin/DMU wiki-novel; the wiki opened for contributions for five weeks in Feb-March 2007 and had over 1500 contributors and 80,000 readers. The success of this project, and the tremendous volume of debate it engendered, showed that participatory media is of huge importance to the future of both writing and reading.

Pullinger’s work on the multi-award winning ‘Inanimate Alice’, an on-going digital fiction in episodes, co-created with digital artist and writer Chris Joseph, has demonstrated that there is a desire for good quality interactive online story-telling among readers and educators. With ‘Inanimate Alice’, and the pedagogical community that is growing up alongside it, Pullinger has demonstrated her ability to reach large audiences across the world, covering a broad range of age and interest groups. ‘Inanimate Alice’ shows there is a deep hunger for involving stories, meaningful narratives, and content online that moves away from the promotion of consumer goods.

Pullinger’s other on-going fiction project, the Arts Council England funded ‘Flight Paths: a networked novel’, also co-created with Chris Joseph, attempts to explore the potential for writing, collaboration, reading and viewing online. ‘Flight Paths’ builds upon Pullinger’s established track record; while the world of traditional book publishing has been slow to respond to the opportunities afforded by the internet, ‘Flight Paths’ is a serious literary endeavour that seizes upon the possibilities for participation and inclusion that the network can provide.

Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph began working on ‘Flight Paths: a networked novel’ in November 2007, collecting and creating stories, fragments, ideas, RSS feeds, news items, videos, photographs, sound files, and memories through By opening up the research and creative process to this net-native participatory media project from the outset, they have invited, received, and curated a range of reader-generated contributions, while continuing to create content for the project themselves. ‘Flight Paths’ resides in and on the network; it has no true life away from the network and is as far removed from the traditional print novel as fully-featured instant messaging is from the fax machine.

However, Pullinger also continues to write books; her new book, ‘The Mistress of Nothing’, a historical novel set in Egypt in 1864, is coming out in the UK in July 09.

Pullinger has yet to have an opportunity to step back from her experience of these projects in order to reflect upon the act of writing fiction in a networked context. The commission to write a chapter for ‘networked’ would enable her to do that, within a net-native, transdisciplinary framework of peer-review and collaboration. She would examine her own experience as a writer who has made the transition from writing for print to writing online across the network while continuing to write for print; she would look at issues around copyright and curation that arise from participatory projects; she would look at what it means to create a project about refugees, immigration and asylum in the context of crowdsourcing and mash-up; and she would look at what the network can bring to the traditional art of prose fiction.

I have finished my weekly supermarket shop, stocking up on provisions for my three kids, my husband, our dog and our cat.  I push the loaded trolley across the car park, battling to keep its wonky wheels on track.  I pop open the boot of my car and then for some reason, I have no idea why, I look up, into the clear blue autumnal sky.  And I see him.  It takes me a long moment to figure out what I am looking at.  He is falling from the sky.  A dark mass, growing larger quickly.  I let go of the trolley and am dimly aware that it is getting away from me but I can’t move, I am stuck there in the middle of the supermarket car park, watching, as he hurtles toward the earth.  I have no idea how long it takes ?? a few seconds, an entire lifetime ?? but I stand there holding my breath as the city goes about its business around me until??

He crashes into the roof of my car.

From ‘Flight Paths: a networked novel’

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