E-Literature and New Media Art

Abstract (in English): 

The key focus for the Slovenian investigator of the ELMCIP research project was directed toward conducting fundamental research focused on the following areas:

• E-literature and algorithmic culture;
• The reading of e-literary texts—introducing the concept of text as a ride, which directs one toward a more complex experience of texts, including corporeal arrangements;
• E-literature and new cultural turns—in the sense of a turn away from discourse and decontextualized information theory to the field of biopolitics, interface culture, and the body;
• E-literature and the social (including economic implications).

Through this work, as well as through the arguments of Domenico Quaranta (2011) on the new media art world, the term “e-literary world” is introduced to refer to the particular social context in which e-literature is placed. Following these arguments, it is an existential requirement that the e-literary world, like other artistic groupings, is seen to consist of appropriate institutions, festivals, journals, book series, creative platforms, critics, theoreticians, educational courses, and, perhaps most importantly, a readership. Only a small number of e-literary works have a chance of being noticed outside of this field.

The common denominator of this research was the focus on an expanded concept of e-literature, which includes the field’s interactions with new media art and digital, software, interface, DJ, VJ, and algorithmic cultures. An additional requirement was the analysis of e-literary text as an area that includes the play of verbal and nonverbal signifiers. Although it often seems that autopoiesis and self-reference have an important role in e-literature, this practice is distinctly contextualized and embedded in contemporary society, which is why the term “eliterary service” is introduced in order to define e-literature’s performative and algorithmic nature. This implies a link with the service economy of post-industrial society. In e-literature, but also in the fields of contemporary and new media art, a number of fundamental things are happening at the intersection of different media, artistic practices, disciplines, genres, and forms (the importance of the “in-between” is also increasing). It is therefore no coincidence that the focus of the Slovenian ELMCIP seminar, in Ljubljana (September 22 and 23, 2011), was on E-Literature and New Media Art.

(Source: E-Literature and New Media Art by Janez Strehovec)

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Scott Rettberg