Can a corporate-dominated Web become an environment conducive to literary activity? The novelist, essayist, and cultural critic Curtis White is skeptical. Responding to criticisms of his account of the devolution of literary publishing and reflecting on the prevalence of market-driven values in online exchanges, White doubts whether literature can distinguish itself in the noisy new media ecology, which he likens to a high-tech prison house.
Jussi Parikka interviews artist Zoe Beloff about her relationship to the emerging set of interdisciplinary theories and methodologies known as media archaeology. In way of response, Beloff discusses some past works, including: Lost (1995), Shadow Land (2000), Claire and Don in Slumberland (2002), Charming Augustine (2005), The Somnambulists (2008), and The Dream Films (2009).
In The American Epic Novel, Gilbert Adair presents a "State-of-the-Empire address" that interrogates the epical form in a time where authors no longer talk of writing "The Great American Novel." As Joseph Tabbi finds, such an exploration goes beyond expanding the canon and presents "a new, compelling context for 'the literary' itself."
Allison Hunter shows how an artist can be fully contemporary without digitizing, streaming, or projecting imagery. Presenting jacquard looms and punch card technologies from the 1950s, difference engines and magnetic core memory stacks, silicon chips in wood housing and digital code on 18th-century woven fabric, Eve Laramee manipulates history like a medium.
Steve Shaviro reviews Tomorrow Now by Bruce Sterling, a book that (for an eminent cyberpunk novelist) is perhaps too sane and sensible.
Tim Luke takes on the business of online learning.
Eric Zimmerman whips "four naughty concepts" into disciplinary shape.
Johanna Drucker counters hands-off poetics with practice.