E-Literary Text in Nomadic Cockpit

Abstract (in English): 

New mobile technologies shape the way, in which people communicate and perceive the reality. Our basic position is the nomadic cockpit (expression coined by the author of this paper) in terms of being armed with many of navigating and controlling mobile screenic devices (from cell phones and tablets to consoles, cameras, and various players). When we move around in our surroundings armed with such devices we perceive the data shown on the screen of such a device, meaning that both the visual and aural interfaces are integrated in our experience of walking or riding environment. Virtual data approaching from the remote context on the screen are related to and coordinated with our basic, non-mediated perception from the physical here and now, meaning that the digital technology, provoking one’s hands on controls activity becomes incorporated in the experience and understanding of our being-on-the-move. This paper aims to explore the way in which the present mobile culture enters some movements in new media art and e-literature that presuppose the interactions between the moving bodies and the words and images on the move. We are witnessing various projects in mobile and locative media that deploy mobile phones in order to broaden the presence of new media textual and non-textual contents and its experience. In this paper we refer to some examples of e-literary projects shaped for mobile screenic devices (e.g. Bauer's and Suter’s AndOrDada) as well as for new media ones, such as EDT’s The Transborder Immigrant Tool. The comparison between the use of mobile and locative media in e-literature and in new media art demonstrates significant differences between them with the regard to their tasks and applications. Rather than foregrounding the pure artistic (aesthetic) features the new media art refers first and foremost to activism, hacktivism, repurposing, tactical media, tactical biopolitics and to the use value of its projects as persuasively demonstrates The Transborder Immigrant Tool, which was created with the task of reappropriating wordily available technology to be used as a form of humanitarian aid. The Virtual Hiker Algorithm installed on the simple mobiles guides border crossers in the hostile desert condition toward the nearest aid sites (e. g. to the water and first aid points). When new media art project is displayed on the screen of one’s nomadic cockpit, we need to look at it not in terms of aesthetic practice but as the production of goals for the nomadic user to solve, puzzles that require it to enact its kinesthetic and proprioceptive features, in unusual conditions. On the contrary, e-literary projects formed in mobile and locative media are often about the demonstrations of technical advances in this field; they revolutionize the means of production, they invent the new genre in which the textual creativity is deployed (e. g. Aya Karpinska’s zoom narrative), they gain the importance in terms of avant-garde of the medium, but their tasks are not so transgressive and radical in terms of the social interventions. Unlike the new media art ones they do not enter the not-just-art (term coined by the author of this paper) in terms of an activity that seeks to change the very condition of life.

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Arngeir Enåsen