ELO 2012 Conference & Media Arts Show June 20-23

ELO 2012
Electrifying Literature: Affordances and Constraints

June 20-23, 2012
Morgantown, WV

ELO’s 2012 conference is fast approaching, and the schedule of readings and performances is now available online.  The conference, Electrifying Literature: Affordances and Constraints will be held June 20-23 in Morgantown, West Virginia, home to WVU, a sponsor of the event.  Pre-conference events on the 19th include and open mic/open mouse.

In addition from presentations from an international gathering of digital literature artists and scholars, the event also features a Media Arts Show, which presents an exciting collection of new works.  This juried gallery was curated by Sandy Baldwin and Dene Grigar and features cutting-edge works in digital literature.

Conference details
Conference schedule
Media Arts Show (and Gallery)

For more information, contact conference chair Sandy Baldwin: elit2012 [at] gmail [dot] com

New Article Covers History of ELO

In the latest issue of dichtung digital, Scott Rettberg, co-founder and Vice President of ELO, reviews the history of the organization from its inception.

According to Rettberg, the article attempts “to provide a relatively comprehensive history of our accomplishments from 1999 to date.” Recounting its development from its early days at Brown University to its current HQ at MIT, the article offers an important review of the evolution of the organization into its current international community of artists and critics.

The issue, co-edited by Rettberg and Patricia Tomaszek focuses on e-lit communities and is the first of a two-part series. Rettberg and Tomaszek work together on the research project Developing a Network-Based Creative Community: Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice (ELMCIP).

The international collection of authors include Simon Biggs and Penny Travlou, Philippe Bootz, Serge Bouchardon, Donna Leishman, ELO-President Nick Montfort and Emily Short, ELO Director Stuart Moulthrop, Jill Walker Rettberg, Hans Kristian Rustad, and Rob Witig.

The articles cover the histories of communities ranging from the print literary world to IF to works of Flash and beyond. This first part of the series offers a key collection of histories for any student of electronic literature.

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CFP: Translating E-Literature (3/15, 6/12-14/12)

A number of ELO’s recent initiatives, including our participation in the CELL consortium, have focused on strengthening the network of artists and critics across national and linguistic boundaries.  As translation becomes THE question for a truly global community of electronic literature, consider the following call issued by Yves Abrioux.

International Conference

Translating E-Literature

Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, June 12-14, 2012

Call for Papers

The first international conference on translating E-literature will take place from 12 to 14 June at the Universities of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis and Paris 7 Diderot Denis. The conference is organized by OTNI: Objets textuels non identifiés (UTO: Unidentified Textual Objects), a research project into the evolution of textuality in the digital age. It is supported by the Electronic Literature Organization.

E-literature is an emphatically global phenomenon. Its authors are of many different nationalities. Sometimes they write in a form of global English. The reception of E-literature nevertheless raises issues which are far from being exclusively discursive in nature. It also involves criteria that are visual (screen display, graphics, color…), dynamic (screen animations) or kinetic (reader/players’ actions and movements). These dimensions extend far beyond the competences traditionally required of readers of literary works on paper. They are often highly culture-specific. A new semiotics, a new rhetoric and a new poetics are needed if the analysis of these aspects of E-literature is to progress properly. It is impossible to translate works of E-literature without paying detailed attention to them. Thus, translation does not simply provide materials for research into E-literature. It is a research activity in itself – a form of theoretical practice.

The conference will explore a wide range of questions concerning the translation of works of E-literature. It welcomes proposals relating to:

  •  globalized English and vernacular languages;
  •  transposing screen displays from one culture to another;
  •  the cultural specificity of dynamical figures;
  •  technology and gesture in local cultures;
  •  digital technology as a medium of translation and/or transformation;
  •  …

Read more CFP: Translating E-Literature (3/15, 6/12-14/12)

ELO at MLA12

In addition to the galleries and e-lit reading at MLA12 in Seattle this weekend, a number of ELO Board members will be presenting papers. Here is a handy list.

Dene Grigar

532. Reading Writing Interfaces: Electronic Literature’s Past and Present
Saturday, 7 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 613, WSCC
“Early Authors of E-Literature, Platforms of the Past”

730. New Media Narratives and Old Prose Fiction
Sunday, January 8, 1:45-3:00 p.m. in 310, WSCC
“Contrasts and Convergences of Electronic Literature”

Carolyn Guertin

301. Reconfiguring Publishing
Saturday, January, 7, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Grand A, Sheraton
Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Information Technology
Presiding: Carolyn Guertin, Univ. of Texas, Arlington; William Thompson, Western Illinois Univ.

Margie Luesebrink

532. Reading Writing Interfaces: Electronic Literature’s Past and Present
Saturday, 7 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 613, WSCC
“Seven Types of Interface in the Electronic Literature Collection Volume Two”

Nick Montfort

730. New Media Narratives and Old Prose Fiction
Sunday, January 8, 1:45-3:00 p.m. in 310, WSCC
“Computing Language and Poetry”

Rita Raley

301. Reconfiguring Publishing
Friday, January, 6, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Grand A, Sheraton
Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Information Technology

410. Reconfiguring the Literary: Narratives, Methods, Theories
Saturday, January 7, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 608, Washington State Convention Center
Program arranged by the Association for Computers and the Humanities

Stephanie Strickland

532. Reading Writing Interfaces: Electronic Literature’s Past and Present
Saturday, 7 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 613, WSCC
“Seven Types of Interface in the Electronic Literature Collection Volume Two”

Joe Tabbi

730. New Media Narratives and Old Prose Fiction
Sunday, January 8, 1:45-3:00 p.m. in 310, WSCC
“New Media: Its Use and Abuse for Literature and for Life”

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E-lit Exhibit and Performance at MLA 2012

E-lit MLA LogoElectronic literature will take center stage at the 2012 Modern Language Association conference in Seattle thanks to Board Member Dene Grigar, Lori Emerson, and Kathi Inman Berens. The exhibit, the first of its kind at MLA, will feature over 160 works, including ELC I & II. Also featured in this collection, celebrating its 25th anniversary: Invisible Seattle, the database novel written by The Invisibles in collaboration with the people of Seattle. Kathi Inman Berens has curated an additional exhibit of e-lit works created for mobile devices.

In conjunction with these collections, Lori Emerson has organized an evening performance of electronic literature at the Richard Hugo House. The readings will feature Jim Andrews, Kate Armstrong, Ian Bogost, John Cayley, Erin Costello, Aaron Angello, Marjorie Luesebrink, Mark Marino, Nick Montfort, Brian Kim Stefans, and Stephanie Strickland.

Exhibit Location and Time
“Electronic Literature” takes place in Seattle, WA, at the Washington State Convention Center in Room 609. Exhibit times are:

Thursday, 5 January, 12 noon to 7:00 p.m.
Friday, 6 January, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 7 January, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

E-Lit Reading
Friday, 6 January, 8 p.m to 10.30 p.m.
Richard Hugo House 1634 11th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122-2419

MIT Welcomes ELO

The crowd at the ELO Welcome event
The crowd at the ELO Welcome event watches one of the evening's presentations.

Electronic literature artists and enthusiasts gathered at MIT’s new Media Lab Extension building on Monday, Sept. 19 to celebrate ELO’s move its new home at the Cambridge, Massachusetts campus. The “Open Mic/Open Mouse” saw artists from MIT and abroad showcasing their work, from interactive poetry from ELO board members Fox Harrell and Robert Kendall to a series of web pages telling the tale of life at MIT – from the perspective of a student’s cat. John Cayley and his students from Brown University made the trek up to Cambridge from Rhode Island for the event.

Read more MIT Welcomes ELO

MIT to Host the Electronic Literature Organization

[Official Release]
MIT has long been a premier center of technological innovation. On July 1, a new locus for literary innovation will be added to the mix: The campus will begin hosting the headquarters of the Electronic Literature Organization (http://eliterature.org).

The Electronic Literature Organization, or ELO, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization composed of an international community that includes writers, artists, teachers, scholars, and developers. The Organization’s focus is new literary forms that are made to be read on digital systems, including smartphones, Web browsers, and networked computers.

ELO is coming to MIT with the support of MIT’s world-renowned Comparative Media Studies (CMS) program. CMS, which has an undergraduate major, a graduate program, and several large-scale research projects, is committed to the art of thinking across media forms, theoretical domains, cultural contexts, and historical periods. The program considers media change and the rise of new forms of writing in different eras, including our current one. ELO’s supporting and collaborating organizations at MIT include the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies; the Council for the Arts at MIT; Hyperstudio; the Literature Section; and the Singapore/MIT GAMBIT Game Lab.

There is already a great deal of work in electronic literature ongoing at MIT, including that being done by ELO President Nick Montfort and ELO Director Fox Harrell, who are both on the MIT faculty. The Boston area is home to several other ELO directors and to a great deal of digital art activity, thanks to organizations such as the Boston Cyberarts Festival, Turbulence.org, the AXIOM Gallery, the Upgrade! Boston series, and the People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction.

“ELO and MIT have already been successful in advancing the state of the art in electronic literature,” said Montfort. “Now, by working together, we have a chance to sustain ELO’s core operations and projects and to further MIT’s existing commitment to electronic literature. ELO’s coming to MIT will be an chance to find new opportunities for collaboration, here in Cambridge and beyond.”

ELO was founded in 1999 by novelist Robert Coover, electronic author Scott Rettberg, and Internet business leader Jeff Ballowe. The Organization was operated from an office in Chicago until it moved to UCLA in 2001. In 2006, ELO’s headquarters came to the University of Maryland’s Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities (MITH). “ELO’s relationships with its academic hosts have been extremely productive for the organization,” said Montfort. “We’re very grateful for the ways that UCLA and MITH have helped us to accomplish our mission, sustain and add projects, and develop as an organization. With work from ELO’s directors, members, and collaborators, we’re now going to try to establish a long-term home for ELO at MIT that will allow the organization and the campus to continue to benefit from their collaboration for many years.”

ELO’s main projects are currently a biannual conference, the Electronic Literature Directory, the Electronic Literature Collection (the second volume of which was released this past Spring: http://collection.eliterature.org) and the eliterature.org site.

Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 2 Launches

Announcing the publication of The Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 2.

ELO is excited to announce the publication of its 2nd collection of electronic literature. With its wide ranging forms, Volume 2 picks up where ELC1 left off, offering a diverse anthology of works from an international group of authors in a variety of languages and forms.

The independent board of editors for the second collection included Laura Borràs, Talan Memmott, Rita Raley, and Brian Kim Stefans, key e-lit artists and critics in their own rights. Their deep knowledge of the field helped them gather works that represent the breadth and variety of e-lit. Also, the addition of Borràs allowed the team to review works in Catalan, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The new collection includes 63 works drawn from (and extending beyond):

  • Countries: Austria, Australia, Catalonia, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Israel, The Netherlands, Portugal, Peru, Spain, UK, US
  • Languages: Catalan, Dutch, English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Formats: Flash, Processing, Java, JavaScript, Inform, HTML, C++

Like ELC1, the collection can be browsed by author, title, or keyword.

ELC2 speaks to both the continuity as well as the bright future of electronic literature. The works include many of the emerging categories of e-lit: mash-ups, geolocative, codework, as well as “traditional” and evolving forms such as hypertext, chatbots, and interactive fiction. The authors list presents readers with both veterans and newcomers to the field.

As with Volume 1, the editors have published a hard copy of the collection, though this time on a DVD rather than a CD. However, they have also added works that can only be viewed on computers with Internet access, such as Senghor on the Rocks, which uses geodata from Google Maps.

ELC2 is published under a Creative Commons license, which means the collection can be freely shared, non-commercially, between individuals, libraries, and schools, provided that appropriate attribution is maintained and the works are unmodified.

ELC2 is ready for your syllabi and reading list. As a complement to our Electronic Literature Directory, and a continuation from Volume 1, this collection offers an anthology of works that pushes through the boundaries of literary forms, creating new kinds of experiences for interacting readers.

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New Scientist Discovers Electronic Literature

Members of the Electronic Literature Organization no doubt remember the first time they heard about electronic literature. That exhilarating moment wrapped around a sense of possibility and a desire to get their hands on either the tools of creation or the mind-blowing creations or both. Over the past month, the popular science journal New Scientist has been publishing posts marking its discovery of electronic literature in a series called Storytelling 2.0.

The posts mention ELO and ELO co-founder Robert Coover along with works by Jay Bushman and others. There’s even a mention of ELO-President Nick Montfort, alluding to his work on his IF platform Curveship.

Check out the posts and join the conversation as New Scientist readers discover e-lit.

The posts:

Electronic Literature Videos

Bringing electronic literature artists and critics into your classroom can be as easy as a quick jog through YouTube or Vimeo.

Here is the beginning of a playlist of videos of varying lengths discussing electronic literature. Please send us links to videos you nominate for the list.

Currently we are featuring:

  • E-literature Explains, Mark Marino, a very short introduction to the idea of e-lit (87 secs)
  • Exploring Interactive Fiction, Nick Montfort, introduction to the literary form of IF (6 minutes)
  • N. Katherine Hayles, herself, extended interview on electronic literature (30 minutes)
  • Dr. Fox Harrell at the UBC Centre for Cross Faculty Inquiry, himself, discussion of emergent storytelling forms (9 min.)
  • “The Time of Codework,” Rita Raley, discusses codework and e-lit. (8 minutes)
  • “Regards Croisés: Perspectives on Digital Literature,” Sandy Baldwin, introduces his collection of essays digital literature, co-edited with Philippe Bootz (5 min.)
  • “Noah Wardrip-Fruin,” NWF introduces his perspectives on software objects in Expressive Processing (8 min, but part 1 of 4)
  • “The Gameshelf #8: Modern Interactive Fiction ,” Jason McIntosh, introduction to contemporary IF

These titles represent just an initial list.

We are also compiling lists of videos of readings/performances of works and walk-throughs. If you have any favorite videos of or about electronic literature, please refer them to us via email or Twitter @eliterature or #elit_videos. We also encourage you to make them and tag them e-lit.

This is just the beginning of a growing set of resources we are building to facilitate incorporating electronic literature into your classroom or the many informal educational spaces online. Stay tuned.