Circularity, performativity, authorial intervention, digressions, interruptions, collage, segmentation, prolific examples, line breaks and humor: Hazel Smith brings each of these approaches and stances to bear on Charles Bernstein's poetic essays and essayistic poetry. In the spirit of which, Smith presents her own essay in parallel sections. The main column advances her critical argument, while the second discontinuous column presents a "Deep Text" generated by Roger Dean, who applied the computer platform Python to word sequences from Smith's first column.
image: Charles Bernstein
A look at experimentation with crypto-machinic codes in Star Foster’s and David Ravipinto’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
image by flickr artist Art Hakker
The authors speculate why some are bored by the goal of computational generation of "human-like" text. Inspired by Italo Calvino's alternative, minor strain in "Cybernetics and Ghosts," they argue that this kind of text generation provides an opportunity to destabilize as well as refine our sense of the differences between human and machine cognition.
Bouchardon and Mayer in this essay question the narrative model of personal identity – the idea of the self as a story – in light of contemporary forms of electronic literature.
Pold and Erslev explore third-wave electronic literature -- a practice situated in ¨social media networks, apps, mobile and touchscreen devices, and Web API services” (Flores). At the next conceptual level, however, literary practices of this kind unavoidably take part in representing and reconstructing the metainterface - a space of data collection, standardization, commodification and redistribution that, for better or worse, is our context for a contemporary data realism.
Taking his cue from the first line of Lady Mary Wroth’s 17th Century sonnet sequence, “In this strange labyrinth how shall I turn?” Corey Sparks locates readers in a contemporary, procedural sonnet at the intersection of electronic literature, digital edition creation, gaming, and literary poetics. Sparks includes a photo of a reconstructed medieval labyrinth, taken at St. Fin Barre's Cathedral in Cork, Ireland during his attendance at the 2019 Electronic Literature Organization conference.
Torres and Tisseli ask, isn't it ironic how, as we build machines that mimic thought and language in ever more persuasive ways, the very energy that fuels those machines is making us ever more stupid? Further, by resisting the proprietary technologies commonly present in 3rd generation e-literature, the co-authors advance the notion that being peripheral may actually be the role of e-literature.
Annie Abrahams reflects on the right classification of her own ... what, exactly? Hypertext work? Net Art, electronic literature, digital art, intermedia art, computer fine arts, internet art, interactive writing experiment, computer art, poetry, flash art, animation, hypermedia, lecture, digital print, performance, opera, sound piece, contemporary art, video art? Rather than settle on tags that were mostly based on technology and didn't say anything about what was experienced through the work, Abrahams now profers a behavioral art that considers human/machine interactions somewhat in the way behavioral science in the 1970s "studied monkey behavior in a cage."
Alex Saum-Pascual on e-lit's relocation to platforms with massive user bases, and the beauty of meh.
Like many of the "Artistic Reflections" featured in the Cork 2019 e-lit conference, Carpenter's opens out from her own web based works to a "post-digital world, in which invisible layers of data inform our daily thoughts and actions; a post-human world, of vast oceans and ceaseless winds."