Poetics in Digital Communities and in Digital Literature

Abstract (in English): 

Every new work of digital literature creates its own new genre, claimed digital poet Brain Kim Stefans. This may be so, but not every work in the hybrid new art form creates and invents its own poetics, too. Artists, communities, and individual works are positioned within, between, and opposed to existing art worlds, histories, and concepts. In this project we have explored the ambivalent position of the new, which has to find a place for itself in the old. Like authors who work in print, authors of e-literature need an institutional and artistic context in which their works can be credentialed and valued, economically and symbolically.

Three different approaches were used to consider the question of digital poetics: institutional, ethnographic, and textual. The conclusions that were drawn are presented in the first four sections of this chapter. The first two sections are centered around institutional questions: what is it that builds and binds communities of digital artists? Do artists collaborate, and how do they reflect on these collaborations? Can we say that communities are bound by a common poetics? Sections three and four concentrate on works from a textual angle. Emergent in the course of the project was a clear image of a fast developing art form that is characterized by a tendency towards affect and embodiment. On the other hand, the question of poetics led to a critical engagement with the works. Conclusions will be presented in the fifth and last section.

(Source: Poetics in Digital Communities and in Digital Literature by Yra van Dijk)

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Scott Rettberg