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Developing a Network-Based Creative Community: An Introduction to the ELMCIP Final Report

Abstract (in English): 

The introduction to the ELMCIP project final report, which includes all of the material formally required by HERA in the joint research project final report guidelines and additionally introduces the seminar reports and project reports that follow in the rest of the volume.

1.1           Summary

Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice (ELMCIP) was a 3-year collaborative research project running from 2010-2013, funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) JRP for Creativity and Innovation. ELMCIP involved seven European academic research partners and one non-academic partner who investigated how creative communities of practitioners form within a transnational and transcultural context in a globalized and distributed communication environment. Focusing on the electronic literature community in Europe as a model of networked creativity and innovation in practice, ELMCIP is intended both to study the formation and interactions of that community and also to further electronic literature research and practice in Europe. 

The ELMCIP project’s stated objectives were to:

  • Understand how creative communities form and interact through distributed media 
  • Document and evaluate various models and forces of creative communities in the field of electronic literature
  • Examine how electronic literature communities benefit from current educational models and develop pedagogical tools 
  • Study how electronic literature manifests in conventional cultural contexts and evaluate the effects of distributing and exhibiting e-lit in such contexts.

Project Themes and Outcomes

Within this broader frame, the themes ELMCIP investigated included: the formation of creative and scholarly communities of practice around different factors such as language, region, genre, platform, events, and institutions; different publishing models for electronic literature and the history of electronic literature publishing in Europe; pedagogical models for teaching, researching and institutionalizing electronic literature in different disciplinary contexts and in different institutional contexts; the connections between electronic literature and other modalities of digital arts practice; the applicability of traditional and contemporary literary theory and models of poetics to electronic literature; electronic literature as a performance practice; and models of curating, publishing, and exhibiting electronic literature in diverse contexts including books, online publications, live performance, and gallery exhibitions.

ELMCIP project outcomes included:

  • Case studies, reports, and research papers
    Scholarly outputs included special issues of journals:  Dichtung Digital, Performance Research Journal, Primerjalna književnost; and books: Remediating the Social, and Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice, and dozens of peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals. Major reports, such as an extensive report on electronic literature publishing venues, an ethnographic study of network art communities, and a technical white paper detailing the production of a digital humanities research platform, are also significant outputs of the project.

  • Series of public seminars and workshops
    The ELMCIP project organized seven different international conferences addressing specific research themes including Electronic Literature Communities (Bergen), Electronic Literature Publishing (Jyväskylä), Electronic Literature Pedagogy (Karlskrona), E-Literature and New Media Art (Ljubljana), Databases and Bibliographic Standards for Electronic Literature (Bergen), Digital Poetics and the Present (Amsterdam), and Digital Textuality with/in Performance (Bristol).
  • A major international conference including performances and an exhibition
    The Remediating the Social conference and exhibition including panels and public exhibition of peer-review commissioned electronic literature artworks and performances at Edinburgh College of Art and New Media Scotland. The event was thoroughly documented with a book / exhibition catalogue, full video and photographic documentation, and a documentary.
  • The Electronic Literature Knowledge Base
    An extensive open-access cross-referenced bibliographic and documentation research platform for the field of electronic literature, the ELMCIP Electronic Literature Knowledge Base: now includes more than 9000 records documenting authors, works, critical writing, events, publishers, organizations, archives, and teaching resources. After three years of development it is now the leading online research resource in the international field.
  • The ELMCIP Anthology of European Electronic Literature
    With the ELMCIP Anthology of European Electronic Literature: the project published 18 works of European electronic literature in 10 different European languages on USB drives (for archiving and Creative Commons-licensed sharing) and on accessible website, including pedagogical materials.
  • Video documentaries
    Richard Ashrowan’s ELMCIP Remediating the Social documentary: was released and distributed on the web in 5- and 12-minute versions. The documentary provides publically accessible documentation of the conference, exhibition, and events and a brief overview of the project as a whole. Talan Memmott’s feature-length video essay The Exquisite Corpus: Issues in Electronic Literature: includes a set of rapid-fire interviews with 17 authors and critics participating in the ELMCIP seminars in 2011 and 2012, and addresses both issues in electronic literature and in digital culture more generally.

(Source: Introduction to the ELMCIP Final Report by Scott Rettberg)

Full text in attached PDF.

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Scott Rettberg