Notes on the Voyage: From Mainframe Experimentalism to Electronic Literature

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Visiting Artist Talk presented by CE3C Lab at Alberta College of Art and Design, 7 February 2013.

JR Carpenter has been using the internet as a medium for the creation and dissemination of experimental texts since 1993. In this lecture she will explore much earlier works of Electronic Literature dating back to the 1950s, setting a critical and historical context for the vibrant and experimental field that we find today. She skilfully excavates layers of computer/ communication/network history to offer insight into contemporary practices. Through commentary, analysis, historical images, and examples new and old of computer-generated texts and other non-traditional forms of writing, speaking, and interacting, this talk takes a practice-led approach to navigating the ever shifting creative, critical, and political terrain of this fast-growing form of digital-expression.

Pull Quotes: 

What I really want to talk to you about today is the contemporary literary practice of crating and performing computer-generated narratives. But the word generation so heavily implies regeneration. It’s difficult to know where to begin. Text generation is the oldest form of literary experimentation with computers. A number of influential books, chapters, essays, and papers currently circulating in the emerging field of electronic literature begin this way. But I want to start a little further back than that, before the dawn of the computer, and outside the traditional realm of the literary...

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J. R. Carpenter