41 | 2012

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 11 of 11
  • Article
    A Short History of Electronic Literature and Communities in the Nordic Countries
    Rustad, Hans Kristian (2012-09-11)
    While literary hypertexts and the research field were still in an early stage, Nordic researchers laid their eyes on the literary potential of hypertext technologies. Some Nordic researchers (e.g. Aarseth 1994; Koskimaa 1994; Liestøl 1994), I would claim (perhaps in a moment of patriotism), contributed significantly to a research field still in its infancy. Still, after almost twenty years, it is hard to discover a specifically Nordic community for electronic literature. Those scholars conducting research on electronic literature in the Nordic countries are usually associates of international communities like the Electronic Literature Organization, Digital Fiction International Network and Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice. Similar communities in the Nordic countries are not that easy to spot, but we might say that they exist, although as rather small-scale projects and communities. This does however not imply that they are insignificant. On the contrary, as this article will show, the communities have been important for distributing and archiving electronic literature in the Nordic countries, for making works available to a broad audience, and for improving the conditions for writing electronic literature in a Nordic language.
  • Article
    Developing an Identity for the Field of Electronic Literature Reflections on the Electronic Literature Organization Archives
    Rettberg, Scott (2012-09-05)
    The Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) was founded as a literary nonprofit organization in 1999 after the Technology Platforms for 21st Century Literature conference at Brown University. Along with Jeff Ballowe and Robert Coover, I was a co-founder of the ELO, and served as its first Executive Director from 1999-2001, and have served on its board of directors in the years since then. Today it is one of the most active organizations in the field of electronic literature, central to the practice of e-lit in the United States and its establishment as an academic discipline. This essay briefly outlines the early history of the organization, the ways that the mission, profile, and the focus of the organization evolved and changed in its first decade, and offers some tentative insights into the ways that an institutionally structured community can facilitate network-mediated art practice. The discussion is based on archival materials, including notes taken prior to the incorporation of the Organization. By revisiting these materials and recounting the process by which the organization took shape, I will describe aspects of the iterative and deliberative process through which a collective institutional identity took shape. Although certain aspects of the organizational structure have remained stable since its formation, its mission, scope, programs, and constituency have changed and evolved a great deal during the period. Taking into account, for instance, that the organization was initiated during the final stages of the 1999 dot com boom primarily as an artist-based organization and has evolved ultimately into a professional academic organization with successful programs including an ongoing series of conferences and publications, it is useful to consider the organization as an evolving community. Even the shifts that took place between the time that the organization was initially conceived and its incorporation are instructive for understanding how a nascent creative community-based organization can change and evolve during its gestation. The decisions about composition, mission, and programs of the Electronic Literature Organization have been non-trivial in their effects, contributing in a large degree to the conception of electronic literature and the discourse models of the field more generally. The widening breadth of the genres of electronic literature, the professionalization of its academic discourse, and to some degree the credentialing of creative practice have been facilitated by programs of ELO.
  • Article
    Digital Literature in France
    Bouchardon, Serge (2012-09-05)
    In this paper, I first retrace the filiations and the history of digital literature in France, emphasizing the various literary and aesthetic tendencies and the corresponding structures (groups, reviews). Then I focus on French digital literature communities. I notably give an account of a study that I did in 2004-2007 for the Centre Pompidou in Paris: I analyzed a socio-technical device (discussion list and website) called e-critures, dedicated to digital literature, with the hypothesis of the co-construction of a socio-technical device, a field and a community. I conclude on the possible characteristics of digital literature in France.
  • Article
    Distributed Authorship and Creative Communities
    Biggs, Simon; Travlou, Penny (2012-08-30)
    In its requirement, for both an author and reader, art can be considered a participatory activity. Expanded concepts of agency allow us to question what or who can be an active participant, allowing us to revisit the debate on authorship from alternate perspectives. 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. In his book Creative Land anthropologist James Leach describes cultural practices where the creation of new things, and the ritualised forms of exchange enacted around them, function to “create” individuals and bind them in social groups, “creating” the community they inhabit. Leach’s argument is an interesting take on the concept of the gift-economy and suggests it is possible to conceive of creativity as emergent from and innate to the interactions of people. Such an understanding might then function to combat an instrumentalist view of creativity that demands of artists that their creations have social (e.g.: “economic”) value. In the argument proposed here, creativity is not valued as arising from a perceived need, a particular solution or product, nor from a “blue skies” ideal, but as an emergent property of communities. This paper seeks to articulate these issues, identifying a set of core questions and describing the context within which they will be addressed, indicating how these questions are at the centre of the pan-European Electronic Literature as a Model of
  • Article
    Editorial: Electronic Literature Communities, Part I
    Rettberg, Scott; Tomaszek, Patricia (2013-03-25)
  • Article
    Electronic Literature Seen from a Distance: The Beginnings of a Field
    Rettberg, Jill Walker (2012-09-05)
    This paper outlines the development of the hypertext fiction community that developed in the United States of America from the late eighties and onwards. This community was separate from the interactive fiction community (and largely thought of its works as different from “games”) and largely revolved around the use of Storyspace, a software tool for creating electronic literature, and later, around Eastgate, a publisher of hypertext fiction and the company that developed Storyspace. While some work was written and published in Hypercard and other systems, the technology of a dominant software authoring tool and of the mechanics of distribution (diskettes sold by mail order) formed the hub of the electronic literature community during this period. There was little or no communication with other communities, such as the IF community or digital art communities. With the advent of the web, new authoring and distribution channels opened up, and this hub gradually lost its dominance. The transition from this relatively centralised and explicit community to the networked communities and scattered individuals of the Web is an interesting one to explore. I will base this research on historical websites and articles published at the time, as well as on interviews.
  • Article
    From OULIPO to Transitoire Observable The Evolution of French Digital Poetry
    Bootz, Philippe (2012-09-05)
    The paper presents the evolution of French digital poetry. Each digital culture is based on a founding general paradigm, non-digital by itself, that orients perception and creation of works. In France, this paradigm is generation. It is greatly relativized today, due to cultural exchanges, networks and a certain degree of cultural globalization, but it remains a pertinent paradigm to understand most of French actual digital poetry. The paper first introduces the general concept of generation as a particular case of programming. Then, the paper distinguishes two periods: the original period of “text generation” and the second period of “animated generation”. It presents the different movements and collectives of each period, both in their functioning and their conceptions. It notably shows the role of the technical context and of general aesthetics influences of Max Bense’s variational art theory and concrete and sound poetry in the evolution of the conceptions. The groups OULIPO and A.L.A.M.O. are associated with the first period, L.A.I.R.E. and Transitoire Observable with the second.
  • Article
  • Article
    sc4nda1 in New Media
    Moulthrop, Stuart (2012-09-11)
  • Article
    The Flash Community: Implications for Post-Conceptualism
    Leishman, Donna (2012-09-11)
    Complimenting a broader international research paradigm shift, Electronic Literature scholars and practitioners alike have expressed a desire to expand the field to include deep collaborations with other disciplines. In achieving such a goal any original indigenous ideologies and aesthetics may be challenged. This dialectical tension between striving to be niche/identifiable/original in a mixed discipline economy faced with contemporary descriptors of ‘human experience’ such as Baumanr’s Liquid Modernity (2000), Antonelli’s Elasticity (2008) or even Turkle’s “life mix” (2011) remains key to facing this challenge. Using new interviews, emergent theories and archival resources this paper argues that the Flash community has already faced the issue of contemporary homogeneity driven by our on-going context of rapid technological change, and can be regarded as an exemplar of post-conceptual experimentalism. After a comparative analysis between the Flash Community and Electronic Literature the paper goes on to explore other new insights and considers the implications of being post-conceptual as a future opportunity and/or risk for Electronic Literature.