Program Guide for Figurski at Findhorn on Acid
Re-Imagined Radio presents the first ever radio adaptation of the comedic hypertext novel Figurski at Findhorn on Acid by Richard Holeton.
Three larger than life characters, Frank Figurski, The No Hands Cup Flipper, and Fatima Michelle Vieuchanger, converge at Findhorn, Scotland, a small fishing village and home to an intentional community of New Age eccentrics seeking one—perhaps two!—mechancial pigs of incalculable value while stewing in Spam, acid—yes, that acid—and wit-slathered repartee.
Already legendary. Coming soon to a radio near you! Featuring The Voices, our ensemble of voice actors. Special guest appearance by Richard Holeton, author of the original hypertext novel from which we re-imagine this radio adaptation.
Broadcasts and streams by our local, regional, and international partners. Archival recordings available for on demand listening below in two versions: one optimized for radio broadcast, the other enhanced for a superior listening experience with headphones wherever you are sitting comfortably.
Optimized for radio broadcast.
Enhanced for superior listening experience with headphones.
Sam A. Mowry as Frank Figurski
Heath Hyun as The No Hands Cup Flipper
Patt Blem as Fatima Michele Vieuchanger
Mago Weston as Shana
Devin James as Zed
Jeff Pollard as Preacher
Richard Holeton as Himself (the author)
Script by John Barber
Sound Design, Music, and Post-Production by Marc Rose of Fuse Audio Design
Social Media by Regina Carol Social Media and Photography
Promotional Graphics by Holly Slocum Design
Produced and Hosted by John Barber
This episode of Re-Imagined Radio is adapted from Figurski at Findhorn on Acid, a comedic hypertext novel by Richard Holeton, published on CD ROM by Eastgate Systems in 2001 using Storyspace software. Updated computer operating systems made the novel unavailable until it was republished using open Web languages in 2021 by the Electronic Literature Lab, Washington State University Vancouver, directed by Professor Dene Grigar, a leading electronic literature expert. Called by some "electronic literature too big for a single genre" this radio adaptation, made with Mr. Holeton's approval and participation, is part of the 20th Anniversary celebration for this pioneering work of electronic literature, one of 23 works included in the literary hypertext canon (Ensslin, Astrid (2007). Canonizing Hypertext: Explorations and Constructions. London: Continuum. p. 66.). LEARN more at the Figurski at Findhorn on Acid website.
Electronic literature uses the features and abilities of computers and their programming to present readers opportunities to interact with text beyond just reading along the linear pathways of the words as they appear on the printed page. One example is the hyperlink, the ability to click or tap a word or phrase and be transported to connecting or new information. By clicking hyperlinks readers can choose their own paths though a story.
For example, Figurski at Findhorn on Acid has three characters, three artifacts, and three settings. Combinations of one, two, or all three of these characters, with one, two, or all three artifacts, at one of the places provides 147 main narrative "story spaces" where the story unfolds. With an additional 147 Notes and 60 navigation screens, there are a total of 354 spaces in the novel. 2001 hyperlinks provide many ways to follow different paths through these spaces. One's destination is determined by the links chosen to follow. So, rather than an observer, one becomes a participant, helping to unfold the story.
Along the way one encounters dramatic dialogue, scientific writing, journalism, slang, heroic couplets, haikus, email, academic language, research culture, and pedagogical rhetoric, all parodied, satirized, and skewered in lively and entertaining fashion so to blur the boundaries between fiction and reality.
Figurski at Findhorn on Acid offers three larger than life characters: Frank Figurski, Nguyen Van Tho (aka The No Hands Cup Flipper), and Fatima Michelle Vieuchanger.
Frank Figurski spent twenty-one years in the Harvard PhD program in mathemtics without completing his dissertation concerning tridimensional harmonic equations. After killing his dissertation advisor, Figurski spent six years in prison for second-degree murder. He maintained the murder was justified by his mistreatment as a graduate student, refused psychiatric care, and claimed to enjoy prison. While in prison he wrote an unpublished memoir and made guest appearances on television talk shows.
Highly intelligent but a bit misogynistic and racist, Figurski also hates Canadians. He's intense, self-focused, socially awkward, irritable, generally annoyed by other people. He launches into rants, unheeding of others. He can be crude, and doesn't censor his perceptions or opinions. He has an empirical (as opposed to humanistic) world view.
Figurski is modeled on the real-life Theodore Streleski, and both are large, kind of hulking but un-athletic men. Another model is Theodore Kaczynski (a.k.a. the Unabomber and author of "Technological Slavery"). All three of them are committed, self-righteous, and socially maladjusted.
Nguyen Van Tho lost both hands as a young boy during the Vietnam War when he picked up booby-trapped cans of Spam made by the Viet Cong that had been intended for American soldiers. Tho immigated with his family to the United States where they settled in San Jose, CA. Tho worked odd jobs. He became a talented footbagger (Hackey Sack) then an acrobatic flipper of coffee cups at Casa de Coffee in San Jose, California. He worked on his own as a performance artist called The No Hands Cup Flipper. He stopped performing about age thirty to do more personal exploration, including travel, virtual reality, psychedelics, and pilgrimmages to Findhorn. Eventually he got a sophisticated prosthetic hand and hook and returned to the roadside attraction as a manager.
Nguyen Van Tho, Vietnamese-American, The No Hands Cup Flipper, is a survivor, resilient. He's small in stature but very coordinated and quick, like a martial artist, and he's quick on the up-take too.
Fatima Michelle Vieuchanger is a French-Moroccan writer and feminist activist. She is well-educated and widely traveled, savvy, adventurous, and enterprising. Her many disguises, in pursuit of interesting stories include as a man disguising himself as a woman with U.S. commandos in Iraq, as the girlfriend of a Yakusa kingpin, as a male Jewish tourist in Florida, as a Lebanese shopkeeper immigrant, and as a CIA agent code-named "Tanya." Publishing her account regularly she is always looking for the next story.
Vieuchanger, as a gender-bending fellow writer, sometimes speaks as, and/or is portrayed as, a kind of alter-ego to the novel's author, Richard Holeton. She makes meta-commentary on the novel, and, also like the author, she may speak directly to the reader. Unlike Figurski, Vieuchanger is politically a leftist and artistically or intellectually a postmodernist. A bit of trivia . . . Vieuchanger published riveting accounts of her/his forays into Baghdad with the American commandos, using the pseudonymous byline Michel Vieuchange, the real name of a real Frenchman who infiltrated a disputed region of southern Morocco disguised as a Berber woman in 1930.
Figurski at Findhorn on Acid unfolds across three exotic locations: the Holodeck, Shower-Lourdes, and the Findhorn community. The Holodeck may be seen/read as a metaphorical virtual reality experience, or a viewport into the psychedelic effects of ingesting lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, acid. Shower-Lourdes is the location of a mysterious appearance of an image of Jesus on the shower wall of a trailer in a Florida trailer park. The Findhorn Community is an intentional new age community in Scotland promoting spirituality, ecology, and summed up by the mantra, "Work is love in action."
Findhorn itself is a small fishing town in the Glenferness region of Northern Scotland. Situated on a finger of sand and scrub separating Moray Firth, a protrusion of the North Sea, from Findhorn Bay, the terminus of River Findhorn, the village of Findhorn was first established in the 17th century and was the major port along the Moray with vessels sailing to and from other ports in present day Baltic Countries. Shifting sands made the already narrow and shallow entrance to the Bay of Findhorn impossible for large ships to navigate and through the 18th, 19th, and most of the 20th centuries, Findhorn was a sleepy fishing village.
The Findhorn Community was founded in 1962 by Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorthy Maclean in a trailer park on the outskirts of the village of Findhorn. They agreed to use MacLean's purported contacts with nature spirits, she called then "devas," to help with growing food. Whether due to spiritual guidance, the unique Moray micro-climate, or the generous amounts of horse manure donated by a local farmer, reports of "exceptually large vegetables" attracted other spiritual speakers to Findhorn.
In the 1980s, tired of the meager shelter their travel trailers provided against the brutal Scottish North Sea winters, Findhornians began constructing several permanent buildings. The Universal Hall was hand-crafted of local stone and wood and stained glass, symbolically pentagonal, spiritually and astronomically aligned as an attractive landing site for extraterrestrials. Residents and visitors still gather there for Friday Night Sharing, an amateur talent show.
Figurski at Findhorn on Acid features mechancial pigs, sophisticated automatons, two of them. One, the original, designed and built in 1737 by veterinarian/engineer Guillermo Rosellini of Venice, the other, a near exact duplicate built by Dutch puppeteer Gilbert van Gelderschott in 1884. Both are operated by a complex and largely invisible system of hand cranks, gears, pulleys, and clock mechanisms said to comprise 147 moving parts. Both, if they exist, and could be found, would be of immeasurable value.
For this re-imagined radio adaptation we focus primarily on Frank Figurski, who meets the other two characters, The No Hands Cup Flipper, and Fatima Michelle Vieuchanger, at Findhorn Community, in Scotland, where they engage with both acid and (mis)adventures with a mechanical pig, or are there two?
We appreciate award-winning journalism about this exploit, like . . .
Produced by collaborator Marc Rose for inclusion in his own podcast series The Fusebox Show, these journal entries document, from a unique perspective, progress toward the finished episode Figurski at Findhorn on Acid. They also provide a nice cross-promotion effort. Thanks, Marc!
Listen to Episode 001, An Introduction to an Introduction, from Fusebox 183, "Sham-Pain and Crackkkers"
Listen to Episode 002, Shana and the Pig, from Fusebox 185, "Who Are We?" (Forthcoming)