Written. Not Found. Not Generated. Not Random.

Abstract (in English): 

This presentation will be a self-critical analysis of the development and reception of the P.o.E.M.M. Cycle (Poetry for Excitable [Mobile] Media), a series of interactive touch text-works created by the author and his team from 2007–2014. The goal is to situate the project within my own trajectory experimenting with electronic literature, particularly in terms of how it integrates interests in writing, computation, design, visual arts, print-making, book-making, and performance. A further goal is to articulate a position on the question of “to what end electronic literature”, as well as the question of where the project is situated in the forming history of the field.

The PoEMM Cycle is a series of texts about making sense of crazy talk & kid talk, the meanings of different shades of purple, the conundrums of being a Cherokee boy adopted by Anglos and raised in northern California mountain country, and the importance of calling a sundae a sundae. The cycle consists of eight multi-model, multi-platform works, each in four versions: large-scale wall, tablet and phone touch surfaces, plus printed text-images. All of the works in the P.o.E.M.M. cycle engage the question of how we talk to one another, how we locate ourselves in wider cultural geographies, how we authenticate ourselves against our own expectations and that of others, and how matters that are once seen as so vital – so essential – can later be regarded as contingent.

The mobile app versions of the P.o.E.M.M.s were envisioned as being published in five successive versions, to explore different modes of authorship, collaboration and distribution: 1) Original Poetry: a personal text-work, written and designed by J Lewis; 2) Curated Poetry: five invited writers will write new texts for the same app; 3) Open Platform: the reader can choose any Twitter or RSS feed as the source text; 4) Shared Document: the reader can include texts of her own composition; 5) Open Source: the code for both exhibition and mobile versions will be released under an open source license. I will discuss why we were not able to publish all versions for all the apps within the context of the limits of electronic literature.

(Source: ELO 2015 Conference Catalog)

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Hannah Ackermans