‘Broken Saints,’ a new DVD out this month

Edward Picot has provided a review of Broken Saints, by Brooke Burgess, Andrew West, and Ian Kirby. Broken Saints is an epic 24-part 12-hour-long Flash-animated comic book, which has been visited on the Web by more than five million people, and has sold almost 10,000 copies on DVD. A new DVD version, distributed by Fox, is published this month. The review appears on The Hyperliterature Exchange for August 2006.

Picot says this about Broken Saints: “Senecan tragedy is a useful point of reference for Broken Saints because it shares the same preoccupation with bloody violence, particularly violence within the family. At the end of Broken Saints a deranged father pulls out one of his daughter’s eyes, wires up her brain to the Internet and hangs her on a crucifix made out of computer monitors as part of his attempt to achieve world-domination: a climax so lurid and grotesque that even Seneca might have found it hard to outdo.” To read the whole review, go to http://hyperex.co.uk/reviewbrokensaints.php . The Hyperliterature Exchange is an online directory and review of new media literature for sale on the Web. More than 120 works are now listed. Please visit and browse at http://hyperex.co.uk.

Upgrade! Boston: Robert Kendall + Michael Sheridan, Sept. 26, 7:00 PM

If you are in the Boston area on September 26, 2006, be sure and try to attend UPGRADE! BOSTON, where ELO board member Robert Kendall will be one of the two main speakers. Full details follow.

WHEN: September 26, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Art Interactive, 130 Bishop Allen Drive, at the corner of Prospect Street, Cambridge. Free parking in the lot on the corner or take the T to Central Square and walk 1 block.

ROBERT KENDALL

Robert Kendall has been writing electronic poetry since 1990. He is the author of the book-length hypertext poem “A Life Set for Two” (Eastgate Systems) and other electronic works published at BBC Online, Iowa Review Web, Cortland Review, Eastgate Hypertext Reading Room, Cauldron & Net, and other web sites. His electronic poetry has been exhibited at many venues in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia, and he has given interactive readings of his work in many cities. Kendall has taught electronic poetry and fiction for the New School University’s online program since 1995. He runs the literary web site Word Circuits and the Electronic Literature Organization’s directory, and is co-developer of Word Circuits Connection Muse, a hypertext tool for poets and fiction writers.

MICHAEL SHERIDAN

Michael Sheridan’s videosonic art and documentary films deal with themes of survival, sustainability, and the tipping point between order and chaos. His interest in these issues arises from his experiences of families, institutions, and societies teetering on the verge of collapse or recovering from conflict and disaster. Sheridan’s artwork has been exhibited at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Boston CyberArts Festival and the GASP gallery in Boston. His work on documentaries has appeared on PBS, The Learning Channel, The Discovery Network and National Geographic TV. Sheridan has received numerous awards including those from the National Education Media Network, the Columbia International Film and Video Festival, the United Nations Association Film Festival, and EarthVision.

Upgrade! Boston is curated by Jo-Anne Green for Turbulence in partnership with Art Interactive. It is one of 22 nodes currently active in Upgrade! International, an emerging network of autonomous nodes united by art, technology, and a commitment to bridging cultural divides. If you would like to present your work or get involved, please email jo@turbulence.org.

Logozoa – the birth of textual organisms

ELO board member, Robert Kendall, is currently working on an exciting new project that seeks “to disrupt the conventional role of words in their day-to-day life.” Keep your eyes open for Logozoa living near you, and to learn how you can participate in this project, read the full description below.

Logozoa

Logozoa.com is a collaborative Web site intended to disrupt the conventional role of words in day-to-day life. It disseminates aphoristic texts as downloadable stickers and showcases photos of these stickers in unusual contexts from all over the world.

We put labels and signs on things to tame them — identify, categorize, explain, instruct, proclaim ownership. What if instead the labels could liberate the everyday world from the literal, proclaim rather than cover up the mysteries? What if they could become Logozoa — textual organisms that infest the literal with metaphor and give impetuous life and breath to meaning?

Logozoa (textual organisms, or word animals) take the form of aphorisms, anti-aphorisms, maxims, minims, neokoans, sayings, left-unsaids, proverbialisms, poemlets, microtales, instant fables, and other varieties of conceptual riffs. More than 375 of these creatures reside at Logozoa.com where visitors can download them in PDF format for printing onto standard label sheets.

The Logozoo at Logozoa.com provides a natural-habitat preserve and showcase for photographs of Logozoa stickers. Currently the Zoo holds over 475 photos contributed by numerous photographers from around the world.

And there’s more. An E-Dopt-a-Zoa feature allows you to paste an ever-changing virtual sticker onto your own Web site, and a pair of oracles provide Logozoa in response to your questions.

http://logozoa.com

Conjoined twin birth announcement: HALF LIFE, by Shelley Jackson

ELO member Shelley Jackson, author of “Skin,” and The Melancholy of Anatomy, has published her first novel, Half Life. The novel tells the story of Nora and Blanche, “a two headed woman in a world where conjoined twins have their own subculture, slang, and self-help books.” When Nora decides to pursue a service called “The Divorce” in an effort “to take back her birthright: the first person pronoun,” only one person stands in her way: Blanche.
For more information on Half Life, visit http://www.ineradicablestain.com/half_life.html

Professor Neil Fraistat Appointed Director of MITH (ELO’s New Home)

Professor Neil Fraistat has been appointed as Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) beginning July 1, 2006. Fraistat is a Professor in the Department of English specializing in the Romantic era, textual scholarship, and digital studies. A recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Keats-Shelley Association and the Fredson Bowers Memorial Prize from the Society for Textual Scholarship, Fraistat is well known internationally for his scholarly editions of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poetry and for his work as co-founder and co-general editor ofRomantic Circles , an award-winning scholarly Website, now celebrating its tenth anniversary, that is published by the University of Maryland and devoted to the study of Romantic-period literature and culture.

Beyond his work on Romantic Circles, Fraistat has been an active and highly visible presence in the field of Digital Humanities, creating electronic resources, publishing on such topics as electronic editing, MOOs, and computer gaming; giving talks and running numerous sessions at major conferences; and sitting on the advisory board of several major electronic projects and journals, including Literary and Linguistic Computing, the premier journal in the field. He has just begun a second five-year term on the Executive Council of the Association for Computers and the Humanities, the field’s key professional organization. Neil has also served on an impressively large number of committees at every level within the university. He has been associated with the Dean’s Task Force on New Technologies and the Humanities (1993), with ARHU’s Committee on New Technologies, 1994-1996, and 2002-2004 (as Chair), and with MITH as both Chair of its Internal Advisory Board (1999-2005) and as Acting Director this past year.

Since its founding in 1999 through a major Challenge Grant from the NEH and under the directorship of Martha Nell Smith, MITH has become one of the most dynamic and exciting units on campus, as well as one of the most renowned institutes of its kind in the world. The coming year provides an auspicious start to Fraistat’s tenure: MITH will become the new headquarters of the Electronic Literature Organization, the premier professional organization for scholars and authors of born digital literature; it will add as Resident Fellows Merle Collins and Angel David Nieves, both working on fascinating multimedia archives involving African culture and history; and it will have as its new Networked Fellow the acclaimed hypertext fiction writer and conceptual artist, Shelley Jackson, who will be working on Skin: A Mortal Work of Art.

new forms review invites submissions to the Where We Create Project

The newly-built new forms review, a net art and digital literature portal/future peer-reviewed journal founded by Jason Nelson, invites submissions to its first major initiative, the Where we Create Project.

The Where We Create Project “is designed,” says Nelson, “to connect digital artists and writers (and analog creators as well) through a website featuring photos and descriptions of where artists/writers create. Our geographies and external landscapes are instrumental in altering and forming the creatures we create.”

To contribute to the project, send the following to Where We Create:

1. An image or two, 300 pixels X 300 pixels jpg, of where you create. This could be your office, your backyard, some coffee shop–whatever image depicts the physical space(s) where you work;

2. Some text about the place and its meaning to you, your work, your life, or whatever you feel represents the world in which you create; five to seven sentences maximum;

3. Your name, any other brief biographical information, and where the places you are talking about are geographically located;

4. A few urls so people can see the work you create in that place.

Shelley Jackson at University of Maryland, College Park

The John and Bebe Petrou Foundation, the Department of English, and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) are very pleased to announce the 2006 Bebe Koch Petrou Lectures on NEW MEDIA STORYTELLING at the University of Maryland, College Park. There will be two speakers associated with this event, coming to campus on separate days. All events are free and open to the public.

The first will be SHELLEY JACKSON on Monday, April 17th. She will present “Shelley Jackson’s Interstitial Library” at 3:30 in Susquehanna Hall 1120. There will also be a more casual colloquium discussion at MITH (McKeldin Library, B0131) earlier in the day at 11:00, which all are welcome to attend. Jackson is an internationally recognized writer, electronic artist, and theorist and practitioner of new performance media. Her work includes Patchwork Girl (published in 1995 by Eastgate Systems, it is a hypertext refashioning of Frankenstein, told–in part–from the vantage point of the female monster). “Perhaps the true paradigmatic work of the era,” writes Robert Coover, “Shelley Jackson’s elegantly designed, beautifully composed Patchwork Girl offers the patient reader, if there are any left in the world, just such an experience of losing oneself to a text, for as one plunges deeper and deeper into one’s own personal exploration of the relations here of creator to created and of body to text, one never fails to be rewarded and so is drawn ever deeper, until clicking the mouse is as unconscious an act as turning a page, and much less constraining, more compelling.” More recently, Jackson has gained notoriety for “Skin,” a short story “published” as individual words tattooed onto the skin of hundreds of willing participants. She has written experimental Web-based texts, including “My Body–a Wunderkammer” (available at http://www.altx.com/thebody/) and “Stitch Bitch” (http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/papers/jackson.html). She is also an illustrator of children’s books. Jackson teaches at the New School.

SCOTT McCLOUD will visit on Tuesday, May 2. Watch for further details.

MITH Announces Spring Speakers Schedule

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park—ELO’s host institution as of July 1, 2006—is pleased to release its Spring Speakers Schedule. Between our weekly seminar series Digital Dialogues and a variety of special guests we are bringing to campus in partnership with other campus units, we are able to offer speakers and events in the digital humanities and electronic literature every week of the spring semester.

Alongside of showcasing a diverse array of current research by MITH’s Fellows and College Park faculty, MITH will host or co-host talks by such distinguished visitors as Jerome McGann and Johanna Drucker (University of Virginia), Alan Liu (UCSB), Joseph Tabbi (UIC), Scott Rettberg (Richard Stockton College, and co-Founder of the Electronic Literature Organization), Shelley Jackson (author of Patchwork Girl and Skin), and Scott McCloud (author of Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics).

MITH is located on the basement level of McKeldin Library. Unless otherwise noted, all talks are Tuesdays at 12:30 in the MITH Conference Room and are free and open to the public.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Creates Center for Digital Research in the Humanities

The new Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln aims to advance “collaborative, interdisciplinary research in the humanities by creating unique digital content, developing text analysis and visualization tools, and advancing knowledge of international standards and their implications for humanities computing.”

Co-directed by Kenneth M. Price and Katherine L. Walter, the CDRH will support research faculty fellowships, a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, and the Nebraska Digital Workshop to showcase and improve digital humanities work for outstanding early-career scholars.

The inaugural workshop will be held September 22-23, 2006. The CDRH invites proposals for presentations from advanced graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and pre-tenure faculty. Selected scholars will receive full travel funding and an honorarium, and will have the opportunity to present their work to senior scholars in the humanities. Deadline for application to participate in the first Nebraska Digital Workshop is May 1, 2006. Visit the CDRH for additional information, or contact workshop committee Chair William G. Thomas, III.

Agrippa Files Site Launch

http://agrippa.english.ucsb.edu

Agrippa (A Book of the Dead) appeared in 1992 as a collaboration between artist Dennis Ashbaugh, author William Gibson, and publisher Kevin Begos, Jr.

The Agrippa Files is a scholarly site that presents selected pages from the original art book (with the permission of the publisher); a unique archive of materials dating from the book’s creation and early reception; a simulation of what the book’s intended “fading images” might have looked like; a video of the 1992 “transmission” of the work; a “virtual lightbox” for comparing and studying pages from the book; commentary by the book’s publisher and scholars; an annotated bibliography of scholarship, press coverage, interviews, and other material; a detailed bibliographic description of the book; and a discussion forum. Read more Agrippa Files Site Launch