We are a lab/studio. We develop new poetic practices and new understandings of digital media by focusing on the material, formal, and historical aspects of computation and language. The Trope Tank is a project of founder and director Nick Montfort.
The MIT Trope Tank is in room 14E-316, on the third floor of the east wing of MIT’s Building 14. It was established in 2007 as a research group in what is now Comparative Media Studies/Writing. The MIT Trope Tank has been a place for class visits, collaborative research, poetic and artistic work, and community meetings — to be specific, those of the People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction. One notable past project at MIT is Renderings, the first major effort to translate many computational literary works into English from other languages. During the pandemic MIT students conducted research and collaborative artistic practice online, and have been working on further developing Curveship, specifically Curveship-js.
The NYC Trope Tank facilitates work with community arts organizations, in recent times Babycastles and LiveCode.NYC. The NYC Trope Tank also supports the demoparty Synchrony. The physical profile of the NYC Trope Tank is a small workspace and a collection of computer-generated literary books. In recent months the NYC Trope Tank has allowed the director to develop Apple II and Commodore 64 BASIC programs and to present them online. It has also enabled bibliographic work using the computer-generated book collection.
The Trope Tank has hosted and hosts projects by people more far-flung. In the demoscene we manifest ourselves as the group TROPE. The Trope Tank has supported other distributed projects, for instance, writing of the collaborative book 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5 + RND(1)); : GOTO 10 — authored by ten people.