Literary Interaction in the Age of the Post-Digital

Abstract (in English): 

Simultaneously with the mainstreaming of digital text in the form of e-books and the parallel normalizing of participatory hypertext in the form of social media, we see a growing interest in alternative new forms of printing and book production, including artistic explorations of the book and its cultural historical forms. As part of what has been labeled the post-digital, artists and authors explore dominant and alternative models of digitization in combination with a renewed understanding of the materiality of the book (see e.g. Ludovico 2012, Cramer 2013, Lorusso 2013-, Andersen and Pold 2014). This post-digital literary interest can be understood as an interest in how the materiality of the book is transformed and reinvigorated because of the digital revolution, but also as a critical and media archaeological reflection of the current state of the digital revolution. In this way, the post-digital explores and questions what literary media are becoming after the hype of the digital revolution has passed. In short, it resets the hype before exploring the literary media again and allows us to begin exploring the qualities of the literary across and between media.

As part of such an exploration, this paper will based on both experimental and analytical approaches explore literary platforms such as Ink After Print (Fritsch, Pold et al. 2014) and experimental writing processes such as Datafied Research/Peer-reviewed Newspaper (Jamie Allen, Christian Ulrik Andersen et al. 2014) in order to develop a theoretical concept of literary interaction as a way to describe and conceptualize reading-writing related interaction and interfaces beyond immediate functionality and usability. The concept of literary interaction will be developed from reflections on three interconnected levels:

The media: How combinations of books, screens and online media relate to a post-digital media reflexivity.
The interface: How critical and physical, affective interfaces promote a social and performative reading.
The text: How the combinatory (“uncreative”) writing and the users’ active attempts at creating a syntagmatic reading from metaphoric, metonymic and phatic sign structures result in either meaningful moments where all three levels resonate with the text, or realisations of sheer seriality and randomly generated meaningless-ness, where the output is just the system.

We will aim to relate literary experiences from electronic literature and post-digital publishing to cross-disciplinary concerns around interfaces and interaction. In this way and in relation to the discussion of the changing conditions of digital text we aim to relate to the conference's theme of the end(s) of electronic literature.

(source: ELO 2015 conference catalog)

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Hannah Ackermans