"Why," Serafina Aquilino asks, "is Internet literature so popular in China, compared to other countries?" The answer may be found in the Chinese "unique literary production." Print, nothing less, is responsible for China's world leadership in e-Lit. An unexpected emergence that Aquilino describes in her "brief history" of e-Lit in China, from Cai Zhiheng’s The First Intimate Contact (1998) to the present rise of Chinese literary forums and literary websites.
Rob Wittig and Scott Rettberg discuss the pioneer times in digital writing and electronic literature, a time long ago, in a Galaxy far away, when the audience at literary events did not have a clue about hypertext and links.
Rob Wittig and JT Johnson – a digital artist and writer – chat on the beginnings of Netprov, design of fictional worlds, and talent shows.
Image: DALL·E 2023-03-02 20.01.05 - "electronic literature can only exist up to a certain point, and then it dissolves itself as it becomes a discipline."
Rob Wittig and Johannah Rodgers – an independent scholar and a digital writer – discuss the collaborative and community-building nature of Netprov.
Image: DALL·E 2023-03-02 19.55.13 - "a group of people writing collectively a novel on financial crisis."
Rob Wittig and Jean Sramek - a playwright and netprov contributor – discuss how netprov as networked collaborative writing has changed since one of its earliest instance, Grace, Wit & Charm.
Image: DALL-E, at a prompt: “A group of people, plants and animals collaborating on digital platforms to write a poem”
Rob Wittig and Claire Donato - a writer, a multidisciplinary artist, and a netprov contributor – discuss how a sense of performativity linked with playfulness and joy of collaborative improvisation constitute the very core of netprov.
Image: DALL-E, at a prompt: “A futuristic image of a group of people and AI improvising a theater play”.
Riderly waves of networked textual improvisation: an interview with Mark Marino, Catherine Podeszwa, Joellyn Rock, and Rob Wittig.
Anna Nacher chats with Mark Marino, Cathy Podeszwa, Joellyn Rock, and Rob Wittig—artists, designers, and new media theorists all—to discuss the impetus and impact of their long-running netprov collaborations (communal and improvisational creative writing conducted online). Interview conducted October 2022.
United Forces of Meme in Spontaneous Netprov (or how many tweets it takes to transform #Kaliningrad into #Kralovec)
Anna Nacher explores the emergence and spread of the viral hashtag "Kralovec," a satirical Czech language meme protesting the Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory in September 2022. In discussing the social and political impact of memes as collaborative sites of making meaning through media, Nacher analyzes the "creative frenzy" that emerges when protest becomes memetic.
As a follow up to the series of interviews with Ben Grosser in February and March 2021 (published later that year in ebr), we include here a more settled, post-pandemic set of reflections. In the interviews, Grosser noted how "the realities of the pandemic necessitated back then," and maybe still does, "a degree of vigilance about new information": is there anything new that we need to know? The flood of information, however, has been less about knowing and acting on that knowledge than it is about keeping us engaged, and returning us daily, hourly, and minute by minute to our digital doomscrolls. For this newly produced populace that is largely stuck online, Grosser here discusses a net art / e-lit project of his own, an alternative software interface called The Endless Doomscroller.