Giorgio Agamben has identified the “State of Exception” as the emergent principle of governance for the 21st Century. Parallel to this crisis in politics, there is the increasing currency of the term emergence in literary criticism, media theory, and cultural studies to describe the general state of change. In this paper, Heckman considers electronic literature in the "state of emergency," as both a laboratory for formal innovation and a site of critique. Specifically, this paper takes into account the relationship between literacy, law, literature and criticism through a reading of Sandy Baldwin’s New Word Order, a work that reimagines poetry in the context of the first-person shooter game.
Excerpted from Water Writing - an essay; presented as part of the ebr Critical Ecologies thread; concurrent with a literary Festschrift in honor of Joseph McElroy's lifework.
John Tynes argues that it took the novel two hundred years to gain cultural capital; film, forty years; rock and roll, fifteen. Given this increasing velocity and the fact that it's been three decades since Colossal Cave Adventure, interactive storytelling should have gained a much higher level of respect than it has. Tynes argues that games should eschew escapist fantasy for more timely "engagist" settings that would allow the player to reflect on contemporary life and politics.
Eric Dean Rasmussen explores Lynne Tillman's "cognitive aesthetic," suggesting that her work is powered by the generative disconnect between asignifying affect and signifying emotion. He argues that her 1998 novel, No Lease on Life, examines the role of affectively sustained universal values in responding politically to the neoliberal city.
Every crank has an idea. Every American is a crank. Philip Wohlstetter is an American, therefore - well, you get the idea.
In this feature essay from the spring of 1996, Michael Bérubé claimed that left intellectuals have little choice but to sell out, if they want to make a difference in the culture they critique. But which way is out? And who gets to go public?
The WTC attack considered as a conflict between open and closed systems, a one-system people and a many-system people.
Bennett Voyles' retrospective on the apolitical Nineties, and the fate of democratic electronic activism without content.
A discussion of net.activism, net.tactics, and strategy featuring Bruce Simon, Geert Lovink, Chris Carter, and Ricardo Dominguez.
Steve Shaviro reviews Tomorrow Now by Bruce Sterling, a book that (for an eminent cyberpunk novelist) is perhaps too sane and sensible.