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  1. Teaching Digital Literature: Didactic and Institutional Aspects

    Digital media is increasingly finding its way into the discussions of the humanities classroom. But while we have a number of grand theoretical texts about digital literature we as yet have little in the way of resources for discussing the down-to-earth practices of research, teaching, and curriculum necessary for this work to mature. The book Reading Moving Letters, edited by Roberto Simanowski, Jörgen Schäfer and Peter Gendolla, addresses this need and provides examinations by nine scholars and teachers from different national academic backgrounds. While the first section of the book provides definitions of digital literature as a discipline of scholarly treatment in the humanities, the second section asks how and why we should teach digital literature and conduct close readings in academia and discusses institutional considerations necessary to take into account when implementing digital literature into curricula. The following text is the introduction to section two.

    Patricia Tomaszek - 14.09.2010 - 12:33

  2. Digital Poetics or On the Evolution of Experimental Media Poetry

    The academic and literature critical discussion on new media poetry or about digital texts swings to and fro, in method and conception between two poles: one is the 'work immanent' approach of structure description and classification, and the other the deduction of abstract media esthetics. At a tangent to this the communication on media, culture and media art has been more or less committed to the priority of technological reasoning since the nineties at the latest. The concern with technology remains a dilemma: Technology has to be taken into account when dealing with concrete structure analyses of works of digital poetry, but some traps lie in wait. Is the knowledge accounted for here really sufficient? I would say that few of those taking part in the discussion who do not actually work in the specific area artistically are capable of programming digital texts (the same may be said of some artists). Another problem is something I have casually termed a new techno-ontology: a ‘cold fascination’ for technological being (also of texts), which flares up briefly with each innovation pressing for the market in the respective field.

    Patricia Tomaszek - 14.09.2010 - 14:16

  3. A Four-Sided Model for Reading Hypertext Fiction

    I will not pursue the issue of a hypertextual competence (or a multimodal hypertextual competence) here. Rather I would like to take a closer look at literary hypertext and electronic literature itself, and the fact that electronic literature, just like print literature, prefigures different modes of reading. I will insist on the necessity of examining what mode of reading and what kind of responses are prefigured in hypertexts when we make conclusions about hypertext reading. I want to approach the topic by putting weight on how Megan Heyward’s Of day, of night (2002) prefigures the reader's response. The aim of this article is to explore some of the preconditions for reading Of day, of night, and to identify three modes of reading in this hypertext fiction. In addition to these three modes I will argue for a fourth mode of reading hypertext fiction. This mode can be identified in several literary hypertexts, but is less relevant for describing the preconditions for reading Heyward's text. Consequently I will make use of other work to exemplify this mode. Four modes of reading are identified and described. These are semantization, exploration, self-reflection and absorption.

    Patricia Tomaszek - 17.09.2010 - 11:09

  4. Distributed Authorship and Creative Communities (conference paper)

    In its requirement for both an author and reader art can be considered a participatory activity. Expanded concepts of agency, such as in actor-network-theory (Latour 2005), question what or who can be an active participant, allowing us to revisit the debate on authorship from a new perspective. We can ask whether creativity might be regarded as a form of social interaction rather than an outcome. How might we understand creativity as interaction between people and things, as sets of discursive relations rather than outcomes? Whilst creativity is often perceived as the product of the individual artist, or creative ensemble, it can also be considered an emergent phenomenon of communities, driving change and facilitating individual or ensemble creativity. Creativity can be a performative activity released when engaged through and by a community and understood as a process of interaction. In this context the model of the solitary artist who produces artefacts which embody creativity is questioned as an ideal for achieving creative outcomes. Instead, creativity is proposed as an activity of exchange that enables (creates) people and communities.

    Simon Biggs - 21.09.2010 - 10:49

  5. New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories

    New media poetry—poetry composed, disseminated, and read on computers—exists in various configurations, from electronic documents that can be navigated and/or rearranged by their "users" to kinetic, visual, and sound materials through online journals and archives like UbuWeb, PennSound, and the Electronic Poetry Center. Unlike mainstream print poetry, which assumes a bounded, coherent, and self-conscious speaker, new media poetry assumes a synergy between human beings and intelligent machines. The essays and artist statements in this volume explore this synergy's continuities and breaks with past poetic practices, and its profound implications for the future. By adding new media poetry to the study of hypertext narrative, interactive fiction, computer games, and other digital art forms, New Media Poetics extends our understanding of the computer as an expressive medium, showcases works that are visually arresting, aurally charged, and dynamic, and traces the lineage of new media poetry through print and sound poetics, procedural writing, gestural abstraction and conceptual art, and activist communities formed by emergent poetics.

    (Source: Publisher's description)

    Patricia Tomaszek - 21.09.2010 - 11:24

  6. Digital Literature in France (conference presentation)

    The presentation briefly retraces the history of electronic literature in France, emphasizing the various literary and aesthetic tendencies and the corresponding structures (groups, magazines, etc.). The focus then shifts to French electronic literature communities. The presentation notably provides an account of a study that Bouchardon did in 2004-2007 for the Centre Pompidou in Paris (study included in the book "Un laboratoire de littératures", He analyzed a "dispositif" (mailing list, website, meetings) called e-critures, dedicated to electronic literature, with the hypothesis of the co-construction of a "dispositif", a field and a community. The presentation concludes with the possible characteristics of electronic literature in France (which might not be specific to France), both from a literary and from a sociological point of view.

    Serge Bouchardon - 22.09.2010 - 07:50

  7. The ELO and US Electronic Literature in the 2000s

    The Electronic Literature Organization was founded as a literary nonprofit organization in 1999 after the Technology Platforms for 21st Century Literature conference at Brown University. Today, the ELO is one of the most active organizations in the field, central to the practice of literature in the United States and its establishment as an academic discipline. This presentation will briefly outline the history of the organization, the ways that its mission, profile, and focus of has evolved and changed over its first decade, and offer some tentative insights into the ways that an institutionally structured community can facilitate network-mediated art practice.

    Patricia Tomaszek - 15.10.2010 - 17:21

  8. The New Media Reader

    The new media field has been developing for more than 50 years. This reader collects the texts, videos, and computer programs—many of them now almost impossible to find—that chronicle the history and form the foundation of this still-emerging field. General introductions by Janet H. Murray (author of Hamlet on the Holodeck) and Lev Manovich (author of The Language of New Media), along with short introductions to each of the selections, place the works in their historical context and explain their significance.

    The texts are from computer scientists, artists, architects, literary writers, interface designers, cultural critics, and individuals working across disciplines. They were originally published between World War II (when digital computing, cybernetic feedback, and early notions of hypertext and the Internet first appeared) and the emergence of the World Wide Web (when these concepts entered the mainstream of public life).

    Patricia Tomaszek - 11.01.2011 - 14:22

  9. German Net Literature: In the Exile of Invisibility

    German net literature had an early and very public start through competitions organized in 1996-8 by the major newspaper Die Zeit and IBM, but was declared dead or stillborn immediately afterwards. Consequently, net literature became a subject of controversy between artists, theorists, and literary critics from which not only a strong community evolved but also a literary system. In this system, competitions served as public, peer-reviewed mediators for net literature and became an important feature of “post-processing.” Since the end of the 90s however, German net literature became slowly invisible. The lack of public awareness of net literature is common to many countries. Post-processing is a key for public visibility and according to Siegfried J. Schmidt et al. an important component in a literary system. In search of reasons for the state of invisibility of German net literature, I analyze mechanisms of post-processing in our community, which I regard as a literary system. This descriptive synopsis is the first paper in an upcoming series that opens up questions towards the role of peer-review, public reception, and artists' community-building.

    Patricia Tomaszek - 12.01.2011 - 17:15

  10. The ELMCIP Knowledge Base and the Formation of an International Field of Literary Scholarship and Practice

    The paper provides an introduction to the HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) collaborative research project ELMCIP: Developing a network-based creative community: Electronic Literature as a model of creativity and innovation in practice, and in particular details the Knowledge Base component of the project. The Knowledge Base is a new platform for developing and sharing bibliographic records about works, critical writing, events, publishers, organizations, and authors in the field of electronic literature, with a particular emphasis on the European context. The paper further introduces the collaborative activity of CELL: an international Consortium for Electronic Literature organized by the Electronic Literature Organization.

    Scott Rettberg - 12.01.2011 - 20:04