The Aesthetics and Practice of Computational Literature

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

While aesthetic practices in photography, film and music have undergone significant transformation due to the affordances of computational tools, the practice of creative and critical writing has remained largely unaffected. As programmable environments further populate the cultural environment it is increasingly important that we understand the ways in which those designed specifically for literary contexts may serve to challenge traditional notions of the writing endeavor. Our paper will provide a brief historical framework for the emergence of generative literary writing practices, a description of a new authoring environment (RiTa) for use in both the production and teaching of digital writing, and an analysis of specific concepts—including layering, materiality, authorial intent, constraints, and distributed creativity—that the use of this environment meaningfully engages.

(Source: Authors' abstract, 2008 ELO Conference)

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Scott Rettberg