In this contribution to her co-edited collection, [Frame]works, Saum brings to the digital humanities both makers and theoreticians, gnosis as well as poiesis, school teachers as well as research professors.
Rettberg and Saum introduce a collection of essays, presented at the Summer 2019 [Frame]works conference at the University of California, Berkeley, that bring literary criticism and creativity (equally) to bear on the digital humanities.
Returning to his 2010 essay, “Electronic Literature as World Literature,” Tabbi extends those arguments in light of community built scholarly databases that have since emerged and in contrast to an uncritical tracking of “views, citations, downloads and occasional shared themes” (not to mention an increased precarity of authorship, where one’s scholarly work is basically given away).
For digital practices to be literary, Tabbi argues, our selections need to circulate within various institutional, academic, curatorial, and cultural structures – each of which is devising its own set of relations to the digital. This essay aims to initiate those ongoing conversations and evaluations in the field of born digital, electronic literature. In so doing, Tabbi suggests how acts of close reading can bring scholars into closer contact with one another and also activate the databases where e-lit archives are presently stored, read, curated, and mined for verbal and perspectival patterns. (Which have been described, in broad outline as a kind of distant reading.)
On the database itself as a cultural and textual artifact, a site where reading and interpretation combine with quantitative methods.
Gardening E-literature (or, how to effectively plant the seeds for future investigations on electronic literature)by Anna Nacher
In the course of her wide ranging review of Scott Rettberg's Electronic Literature, Anna Nacher offers a glimpse into "semi-peripheral avant-gardes" that are more open than other fields of digital culture to decolonization and not restricted to the Anglophone world.
Berens asks: Should the e-literature community include third-generation works in collections, syllabi, databases, prizes? A related question: do third-gen makers have a role in “decolonizing” e-literature? Who or what “colonizes” e-lit? E-literature, like earlier avant gardes, began as a coterie and has become a scholarly field. Using the comparison of a field versus a walled garden, the essay examines critiques of e-literature and variations on field definitions. It ends with two ideas about how to "decolonize" e-literature; about how equity and inclusion work in tandem with decolonization, but are not the same thing; and why decolonization efforts are urgent in the context of pandemic and protests supporting Black lives and racial justice.
After a programmatic attempt to taxonomize the genre of biographical fiction, Lackey's actual interviews with the genre's representative authors tend to uphold the willfully untamable nature of fiction.
Image by Joanna Portelli
Whilst reading Stéphane Vanderhaeghe’s dystopian fiction and touching on Bernard Stiegler's Age of Disruption, Greg Hainge explores the world that now reads us via a universal digitisation.
A comprehensive summary of a career that, unlike those of Warhol, Lichtenstein, Katz or most other contemporaries, lets us recognize Joe Brainard as an antecedent of our current, dispersed and all-embracing digital arts practices. As Nathan Kernan argues in 2019, our multimodal online habitus “looks more and more like a Joe Brainard world.” Wojciech Drąg takes us further into Brainard's lifelong refusal of artistic grandeur. An aesthetic of visual attention that purifies objects and pieces of writing where Brainard wonders if he can ¨get by without saying anything.¨
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
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.
By now, Cultural Ecology, Ecocriticism, and Environmental Humanities can tell us all we need to know about climate change. What's still needed, however, is for authors and artists to reconceptualize environmental issues as social and human questions rather than mere technical ones.
On feminist futures of electronic literature (and interactive narrative, more broadly construed).
Elaborating on interspecies and translab experimentation. Escaja's interactive digital arts projects reclaim the notion of “transhumant,” a single term for nomadic practices that are shared by both the livestock and its shepherd. Both projects, Negro en ovejas (ovine poem) and Emblem/as, prioritize dislocation and nomadic multiplicity, which constitute a basis for resistance to and reconsideration of monolithic notions and canonical impositions.