Electronic Literature Excites at MLA 2012

(above: the MLA 2012 Electronic Literature Exhibit promo video)

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the first session at the MLA on electronic literature, and, fittingly, the ELO was a strong force at this year’s conference this past January.

A number of projects were showcased, making use of multiple platforms, including desktops (curated by Dene Grigar), mobile devices (curated by Kathi Inman Berens) and live performance (curated by Lori Emerson).

The stories told this year made an impact on all who came to see them. The exhibit was covered by electronic literature experts from around country—Laurie N. Taylor, Digital Humanities Librarian at the University of Florida said “The E-Lit Exhibit is an excellent example of making scholarship count in terms of impact, return on investment, engagement, and all of the other work that scholarship ideally endeavors to achieve.”

The exhibit was featured in Digital Humanities Now, and got a shout-out in HASTAC’s article on the MLA conference, called “Once More with Feeling”: How the MLA Found Its Heart. References to the exhibit made their way into scholarly databases, and even new scholarship and creative output was generated by people involved with the exhibit.

You can find more on the MLA exhibit here, and can view videos of the performances here

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SUNY Buffalo E-Poetry Gallery & Events (11/17-2/18/12)

SUNY Buffalo hosted the 10th anniversary of E-Poetry earlier this year, and this past thursday, opened the Digital Poetry Exhibition at the UB Art Gallery. With its Electronic Poetry Center and new journal, Emerging Language Practices, SUNY Buffalo has established itself as one of the premier U.S. centers of electronic literature. The exhibit covers a trajectory of electronic poetry from its precedents and influences to today.

Visual Poetry Through Its Changing Media
November 17, 2011- February 18, 2012
UB Art Gallery
University at Buffalo

From the announcement:

The Digital Poetry component of Language to Cover a Wall, curated by Loss Pequeño Glazier, extends the traditions of visual poetry into present day digital poetics with an emphasis on visual, sound, video, interactive, and computational language practice, investigating digital media materiality through a variety of platforms. This part of the exhibition shows new works alongside rarely exhibited historical works crucial to the field, and presents an international range of digital poetry.
Read more SUNY Buffalo E-Poetry Gallery & Events (11/17-2/18/12)

Calls for Works: ELO 2012 Gallery (11/30; 6/13-23/12)

In addition to the call for presentations at the ELO 2012 conference Electrifying Literature: Affordances and Constraints, to be held in Morgantown, WV (June 20-23, 2011), the conference organizers have put out a call for works of electronic literature for a juried gallery show.

Organized by ELO Vice President, Dene Grigar, the show will run the 10 days through the end of the conference. Below is the call:

In conjunction with the Electronic Literature Organization 2012 Conference, a juried Media Arts Gallery Exhibit will be held from Wednesday, June 13 – Saturday, June 23, 2012 at The Monongalia Arts Center.

Read more Calls for Works: ELO 2012 Gallery (11/30; 6/13-23/12)


by Stephanie Strickland, Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo, and Paul Ryan. slippingglimpse is a verbal-visual collaboration between a poet, programmer, and videographer. Each of the ten parts consists of a video of moving water associated with a poetic text that can be conventionally read in split-screen format as it scrolls upwards. (The “scroll text” view enables conventional reading only in the sense that the words are stable and the small window has a verso-recto format; otherwise the layout and lineation invites reading on both the horizontal and vertical axes.) One of the central themes of the poetic text is the materiality of writing and image-producing technologies, ranging from stained glass to C++. This theme echoes the mechanics of the text itself, which in broad terms is algorithmically generated in relation to the movements of the water.

Experience the piece

Featured in the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 2

Wordscapes and Letterscapes

by Peter Cho. Letterscapes is a collection of twenty-six interactive typographic landscapes, encompassed within a dynamic, dimensional environment. Wordscapes is a collection of reactive one-word poem landscapes, one for each letter of the alphabet.

These two sets of 26 works each operate at the nexus of typography, animation and interactivity making modest claims for each, but in combination completely sui generis not to mention the nexus of reference (text), representation (image) and abstraction (number). Among the many approaches one could take to these works are considerations of “negative” space the yin/yang interaction between inky darks and untouched whites in Asian art in a pictorial realm dominated by gestalt switches between solids and voids, and dominated by color.

Experience the piece

Featured in the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 2


by K Michael & Dirk Vis. Ah articulates a simple paradox of reading animated digital literature, which is that the eye, and by extension the mind, often has no sense of the future of a sentence or line of text and, more importantly, is not given the chance to retread an already witnessed word or phrase. Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industry’s Dakota is a perfect illustration of this principle. In Ah, the central object of rumination is Einstein, but just as the physicist pondered the numberless variations between the presence of a “1” and “0,” this Flash animation brings us back and forth between clever articulations and the ambiguous expressivity of single letters and syllables.

Experience the piece

Featured in the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 2