Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of the Capilano Review

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"Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capliano Review is a work of electronic literature by J. R. Carpenter, curated by Kate Armstrong, commissioned by The Capliano Review. In February 2007 The Capilano Review published an issue dedicated to new writing and new technologies guest-edited by Andrew Klobucar. Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capliano Review is a personal, experimental and playful rereading of and response to these essays by J. R. Carpenter. In this work, Carpenter explores the formal and functional properties of RSS, using blogging, tagging and other Web 2.0 tools to mark-up and interlink essays and to insert additional meta-layers of commentary in order to play with, expose, expand upon, and subvert formal structures of writing, literature, and literary criticism. Over a four-month period Carpenter read and re-read the essays, parsing them into fragments, which she then annotated, marked-up, tagged and posted. Fed into an RSS stream, the fragments could then be re-read, reordered, and reblogged in an iterative process of distribution that opened up new readings of the essays and revealed new interrelationships between them. The result of this process-based approach is part blog, part archive – an online repository for the artifacts of re-reading and a stage for the performance of live archiving. Streams are both literally and metaphorically the central image of the work. Streams of consciousness, data, and rivers flow through the interface and through the texts. Through this process of re-reading and responding, this textual tributary feeds into a larger stream while paying tribute to the original source."

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Eric Dean Rasmussen