Taking recent writings-of-internet as test cases, Stuart Moulthrop demonstrates the folly of deploying modernist compositional models, even avant-garde theories of citational and conceptual poetry recently popularized by Kenneth Goldsmith and the Flarf poets, to read born-digital writing. Though it may be fun, it's ultimately futile to interpret the contingent output of an "interface in process" as a poem existing in a fixed, terminable state. Perhaps, then, interfacing with databases is becoming integral to not just electronic literature and digital poetics but all forms of literary study and practice?
In the fall of 1997, with the launch of ebr version 2.0, ebr editors Anne Burdick and Joseph Tabbi introduced a weaving metaphor to describe the journal interface. Three years later, Burdick sent in the following proposal for ebr 3.0, an entirely new version that enacts the metaphor using database technology.