Chat Transcript: January 7, 2001
The Last PageProgram chat--Alan Sondheim and Talan Memmot

The Last Page stems out of the Book/Ends conference held this summer in Albany, New York.

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Session Start: Sun Jan 07 2001 21:00

editor's note: the log joins an ongoing discussion

Dominic Fox says, "Reviews of Derrida tend to emphasize "frantic", "hectic", "wordplay", etc.

Alan Sondheim says, "On a sociological basis, of course, the book's not ending at all; the question is whether it's function as a substrate for literate culture is becoming problematic. But in a passive sense, Dominic - things always already written; Joyce makes the point that electronic text is a continuous writing."

Talan Memmott says, "I agree it is problematic . . . But, it is only problematic by intentional contrast . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "But what I've been wondering - if the model we might use would be one from oral discourse, or those "other"histories such as the symposium, rather than the book, which relates to the permanency of inscription."

Dominic Fox says, "It's as if rather than switching substrate, the change were one between having a substrate, a material substrate, and lacking a substrate."

Alan Sondheim says, "I think for example of Assyrian walls with what's called the "standard inscription"for the emperor."

Alan Sondheim says, "Which established both the fetishization of the text and the monument; and even when I was younger, people here were speaking of "The Great American Novel."

Helen says, "Hello all."

Barry says, "Hi Helen."

Helen says, "Have we started? It's not the hour yet."

Barry says, "Hi Isabel."

Isabel says, "Hi Barry, everyone."

Deena says, "Hi Connie and Cheryl, we are talking with Alan Sondheim and Talan Memmott about the Last Page."

Talan Memmott says, "Dominic -- There is a huge substrate in the network, very thick protocol . . . it is a difference of material OBJECT and other forms of.jectivity (to borrow a term from Alan)"

Chery Ball says, " Isabel says, "Was the Great American Novel as is the Great Australian Novel - an excuse for not doing as much writing as we thought one ought?"

Alan Sondheim says, "It was the idea that one might write a monumental novel fixed for all time."

Helen says, "Have you already talked for an hour Alan?"

Helen says, "It's just the start time now . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Even technically continuous - with screen refresh - but also in the sense that one can change a text on a continuous basis, even a text offered for epublishing (publishing on demand say) or as part of Beehive."

Alan Sondheim says, "There's nothing inherently static in online discourse; on the other hand, off-line, there's a huge market in first editions for obvious reasons -- whereas obviously online it's discursive - like this - or like the constant transformation of a text, or flash or hyperlinking or collaborative work."

mez^ says,"elloh all:)"

Alan Sondheim says, "Hi mez."

Talan Memmott says, "mez!"

Helen says, "Alan . . . this won't make sense to anyone unless you start officially . . ..would you like to start us off officially by introducing the subject?"

mez^ says, " alan, talan:)"

Alan Sondheim says, "Well, we can back out Helen; it's about 5 after 4 here - "

Helen says, "Why not bring us up to speed?"

Alan Sondheim says, "What I was talking about, or starting on, was the idea that online - no, for five minutes - "

Helen says, "Oh good! hate to miss toooooo much! Deena? do the honours?"

mez^ says, "Alan and talan, do u think this expectation has changes? isn't it is a latent goal for most writers/creators to make a permanent work, in terms of its economic value and its prosperity quotient?"

mez^ says, "changes=changed even"

Deena says, "We are talking with Alan Sondheim and Talan Memmott about The Last Page--Alan Sondheim and Talan Memmott"The Last Page--Online approaches to books."

Alan Sondheim says, "Mez doesn't that go back to almost a gene-driven imperative to leave a mark, no matter what field of operations one's in?"

Alan Sondheim apologizes for jumping the gun

Helen says, "Were you discussing whether the book is the only way to leave a permanent record of your writing?"

Isabel says, "How about posterity quotient?

Dominic Fox says, "TalanM - yes, but you might have to think differently about what a substrate is in order to take account of the /overlapping/ of protocols in the network - the substrate is already a text then."

Talan Memmott says, "As it is in a book as well . . . sub as text . . ."

mez^ says, "even on online galleries, sites, e-zines, the thematically driven "complete"work is given documented preference over the fragmented, the ethereal text . . .."

Alan Sondheim says, "No, we're discussing the idea of an orality inherent, I think, in online work."

Deena says, "Could you start with a description of the conference you went to?"

Connie Makled says, "Within a seven mile radius of me, demographics indicate that people spend $5.4 million on books."

Alan Sondheim says, "As for substrate - there isn't one online - there are numerous substrates, protocols, even tcp/ip has seven layers and is replaced on part of the routing by atm etc."

Dominic Fox says, "There isn't one. Plus d'un, if I can talk Derridean for a sec . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "There are confluences of substrates, all sorts of layers ranging from machine language through assembly, low-level; there are more and more specialized languages both script and otherwise for writing code; what we see as new media work online is a surface residue with roots of problematic length."

mez^ says," Alan>>snap on the makers mark idea, the auteurial illusion . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "We have to be clear about total unclarity here . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "I think you've hit something, mez - there were all those discussions in the 70s about auteur theory in film, directorial theory. And I think that might be applicable online, coupled with notions of discourse and discursive formations which are leaky in a way -"

mez^ says, "..I also think its the frantic need to capture and collate artistic output, rather than letting it glide b-tween/amongst mediums . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "You could also talk about signatures re: maker's mark".

Alan Sondheim says, "For example, what's a poem, particularly when it's dynamic, moving on the screen?"

Talan Memmott says, "When we access an online work we are creating a volume in the form of an application, the protocols to this manufacturing are part of the text of the work as is the manufacture of the book as form . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "but what if the protocols change, talan, as happens with Netscape 6 trying to read a lot of older DHTML?"

mez^ says, "but most ppl don't seem to realise this talan, would u agree?"

Isabel says, "Surely the same things (substrates) could be said about the development of any language in itself? The most critical bit is not how something is said/written rather how something is heard/read?"

Dominic Fox says, "The book", the old fashioned kind, is already an object of diverse manufacture."

Alan Sondheim says, "And who knows when or where the changes? Even Opera reads entirely differently."

Connie Makled says, "Are you saying that the internet will eventually replace books?"

Alan Sondheim says, "But Isabel, one can interpret within a language; with the Net, there are dynamic issues all over the place."

Talan Memmott says, "Codex to volume . . . the book form has changes as well . . . From wool thread to create the binding to nylon thread . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Nothing will replace the book, I think. Just as nothing replaced painting, even though people were saying painting is dead, all the way back in the mid-60s before for example neo-expressionism."

Deena tries to sort out the tangled threads of conversation. We are going in a lot of places at once.

Talan Memmott says, "Agreed."

Isabel says, "One can interpret with a language but one does not try to interpret within all the languages that went into the development of that particular one."

mez^ says, "ahh deena, the sorting is a symbol of the linear, yes?"

Alan Sondheim says, "that's true - Isabel - reminds me of cuneiform."

Alan Sondheim says, "Here's something, I was talking to someone at School of Visual Arts who was involved with ThePalace, which is now pretty much defunct. He said people are going to straight text chat after all, ICQ and AOL messenger, and the graphic, GUI moos, are being more or less left behind again."

Helen says, "So we have already decided that the book is not dead . . . which of the current technologies will persist alongside it, or will none of them?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Helen, typing, speaking, listening, looking - think of it in terms maybe of sensory input and output rather than technologies."

Bob Zwick says, "No the book is not dead, neither is the typewriter. It's one medium."

Shirley, Scott Rettberg , and Bob have joined in.

Deena says, "Hi Shirley and Scott Rettberg and Bob, we are talking with Talan Memmott and Alan Sondheim about the forms and fates of books and online media."

Alan Sondheim says, "This is fascinating, pointing again to a kind of orality here."

Wes Chapman says, "What is a current technology?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "I just read an editorial in "Technology and Learning" where the author claimed he/she will never let go of his/her paperback books."

Alan Sondheim says, "Damn Michele, I would have liked them!"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "The texture of the paper and all that."

Connie Makled says, "By virtue of its tactile appeal and its effect on the imagination, its portability, etc."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Curling up in your bed . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "Can't beat ASCII for portability."

Helen says, "Orality . . . how do you define that in the context of this non-oral medium?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Accessibility I guess."

Talan Memmott says, "Considering the Book . . . During the roundtable, in response to Peggy Kamuf -- Derrida said there have been no books -- the world wide web is a REAL book . . . (I have this on tape) . . . any thoughts here . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Somehow I missed that Derrida remark but since he said also that no books have been written since before Heidegger, I'd tend to take that with a grain of salt -"

mez^ says, "Alan>>this x.plains partially y i am steering bacl to the n.clusivity of text as in my email performances . . ."

Isabel says, "O don't read a book because of the texture of the paper - I might be more reluctant to give it away having read it."

Deena says, "Yet the online medium seems to be more self-reflective, we talk much more ab out the medium on line."

Alan Sondheim says, "For me, the typewriter definitely is dead; word-processing produces a much more fluid way of writing and reading for that matter."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Burns great in the fireplace."

Helen says, "The roundtable, Talan . . . that was at the Book Ends conference last year? Can you tell us a bit about that conference?"

Alan Sondheim thinks "Salt?"

Deena hands around fireplaces and marshmallows

Talan Memmott says, "Since the typewriter -- writing has become a percussive act."

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan, not necessarily on my keyboard, anymore than with the ten it was a sliding/tearing act."

Shirley Maiden says, "Let's talk about the reader where is she he?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "mmm."

Stephanie/Nick/Noah has joined in.

Deena says, "Hi Stephanie/Nick/Noah, we are talking about the Book Ends conference Talan and Alan attended last year."

mez^ says, "this curling up in yr. bed with a bed is a socialization thang, isn't it? a comfort notion that would have been tre foreign b4 the advent of the book . . .i think we can find equivalents here, s.pecially with the techne becoming more accessible and user oriented . . ."

Bob Zwick says, "Alan- understandable for you and me, but there are still great writers that use the typewriter. My point is "preference of medium."

Alan Sondheim says, "Yes, but you can also curl up with a pocket pc - Bob, I agree."

Connie Makled says, "But it doesn't access as easily."

Dominic Fox says, "Derrida - "no books," until now. Like that science fiction story - they create the super-AI, then ask it if there's a god - it says, "there is now."

Wes Chapman says, "It's interesting that we cannot talk about the advantages of books without lapsing into parody . . ."

Isabel says, "I once had a critic who claimed to hear the clack of typewriter keys behind a long poem. As this was the most enthusiastically received of all, I don't mind!"

Alan Sondheim says, "The pocket pc is tiny, runs for hours on batteries, you can set the font, background page color, and just read away."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "I remember saying the same thing about the newspaper about 10 years ago."

Alan Sondheim says, "Newspapers off-line are losing circulation; at least in NY they're in trouble."

Wes Chapman says, "And get headaches, Alan, in my case anyway . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Wes, I think there are ways around that, but it depends on screen refresh, what colors you're using - stuff I've talked about before - adjusting very carefully what the screen looks like, what kinds of lighting are surrounding it."

Connie Makled says, "The papers I work for just went on line for the first time."

Alan Sondheim says, "The post office is in great trouble here."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Of course now I read the headlines online everyday!"

mez^ says, "talan>>can u describe how the great D n.capsulates the idea of the net being a "real"book?"& don't you think that comparisons between the book and other reading technologies are mostly missing the point?"

Helen says, "Here the post office delivers all those books bought at amazon. I think the greatest market opening is in delivering things bought on the Net!"

Isabel says, "I have stopped buying newspapers for the lack of content - I can get all they give in TV bites."

Deena says, "Do we need to talk about the end of the book? Is the book the best model for what we are doing online?"

Chery Ball says, " But off-line newspapers have been losing subscribers even since before the internet as we know it now . . .

Michele Stafford-levy says, "That's the point, I think. You will have to drag some of us kicking and screaming into the 21st Century"

Talan Memmott says, "Getting major headspin here . . ."

Bob Zwick says, "Access, curling up, softpaper, audio tape are all personal preferences as to how to enjoy the message. The message is the key."

Stephanie/Nick/Noah says, "We're using a system here that is modeled on the scroll rather then the book."

Deena says, "Right, how does the medium influence the message?"

Alan Sondheim says, "The point was, at the conference, that the book was mourned as the cornerstone of the humanities. That the book had a monumentality that was missing from online work - that online work might literally "flood"the book, deliver a world without origin, without history, etc."

Talan Memmott says, "It is a move from the tactility of a physical book toward a 'textility' or 'techtility' . . ."

Wes Chapman says, "The "end of the book"is surely a misnomer . . .we're talking about not being a dominant medium, nothing more."

Deena says, "Alan, why would the message be without an origin or history?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Yes, there's something uncanny about a screen with temporary inscriptions."

Dominic Fox says, "Monumentality - the loss of it - has been a theme in, say, poetics for a long time now."

Helen says, "Did that point about mourning the book get carried at the conference?"

Talan Memmott says, "To a certain extent I think it is time to let the book rest . . ."

Bob Zwick says, "Deena - each person is influence most by the medium that suits them. Authors and publishers need to take that into account and provide all medium possible."

mez^ says, "Deena, I don't think the book is the best metaphor . . .we r constantly referring back 2 the printed, rather than the screenic . . .3D games, tv cultures, cinematic presentatory conventions should all b x.amined as well . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "No more monumental poems, no more constructed, completed, "finished"works."

Alan Sondheim says, "Because every message is equal online, there are no signs of wear, no way of dating, pages are irretrievably lost, protocols change and things don't work, there are 404s all over the place."

Helen nods at mez.

Scott Rettberg Rettberg says, "Something about that seems a litle silly -- after all the book hasn't really been a dominant medium for the last fifty years or so."

Connie Makled says, "Most people in the world don't own computers. What about them? Will they get left behind?"

Isabel says, "What is temporary about the CD's I have which are equivalent to 30 feet of filled bookshelf?"

Wes Chapman says, "Is not a 404 a sign of a history, in a sense?"

Alan Sondheim says, "It has for academic discourse, Scott Rettberg."

Helen says, "I saw Trajan's column in the summer -- now THERE's monumental!"

Deena says, "What expectations do we want to take from other medium (TV, book, orality) into the online media?

mez^ says, "yes wes, it is:)"

Alan Sondheim says, "Most people in the world will probably get computers in the next 50 years - just as literacy took a while to spread."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Socrates was the first Luddite."

Stephanie/Nick/Noah says, "CDs are temporary in that they only last about five years or a decade."

Alan Sondheim says, "CDs last about 20 years, depending on the chemical dye."

Deena says, "Helen, could you point us to Trajan's column?"

Barry says, "Being a lay person the thing that I notice about stuff I read on the web is that a lot of it hasn't gone through any process of editing, it's straight out of people's heads and on to the screen."

Connie Makled says, "But 70 percent don't even have access to electricity.".

Michele Stafford-levy says, "They will always dwell among us."

Margaret has joined #trace

Deena says, "Hi Margaret, we are talking about the longevity of media."

Alan Sondheim says, "But there are newer dyes that promise to last a lot longer; it's more a question, I think, of the lifetime of the readers."

Bob Zwick says, "Alan - an online message may not be equal to a blind person or an audio tape to deaf person."

mez^ says, "purrsonally deena i'd like to hi.jack the notions of the flit and grind of personallised meaning x.traction . . .."

Alan Sondheim says, "And a lot of webstuff is heavily edited; it depends - you could look at any html editor, and revising and re-revising."

mez^ says, " . . .as in we process the screenic in a diffferent way 2 the printed, absortion is a whole different ballgame . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Bob, could you elaborate?"

mez^ says, " absorption even:) "

Deena says, "Mez, if we hijack these notions, how will we approach literature?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Isn't all meaning personal? Meaning is intended; there's nothing abstract about it."

Bob Zwick says, "Connie - good point - I'm working on a project to get literature to people in India who only have access to a 50 cent am radio in their community."

Dominic Fox says, "I think meaning can be abstract-ed, depersonal-ized."

mez^ says, "well, literature is a language in itself, and it will respond in a flight or fight syn][palan][dromic way . . .or continue to revolve rather than evolve . . .."

Helen says, "Tell us more, Bob."

Deena says, "We have a lot of issues here: accessibility, longevity, reading expectations."

Alan Sondheim says, "Bob, how much would it cost to get two-way transmission with a web device? The retail price of these is dropping rapidly."

Connie Makled says, "Bob- yes- We tend to take that for granted, don't we?"

mez^ says, "Alan>> i think it depends on yr categorisation of awareness . . .."

Wes Chapman says, "Dominic, can meaning be abstracted without being decontextualized?"

Dominic Fox says, "No, but meaning has to be able to be decontextualised."

Dominic Fox says, "Otherwise it couldn't survive."

Alan Sondheim says, "Mez, how is literature (is there such a thing) a language in itself? It would seem to me there are literatures and languages, and these are indicated by families of usages, there's nothing specific here."

Bob Zwick says, "Alan - I'm saying there is no perfect medium for any place or any person."

Isabel says, "Bob, what literature are you trying to give to persons in rural India?"

Elizabeth says," Dominic maybe it only has to be able to be re-contextualised??"

Alan Sondheim says, "What is decontextualized meaning? Can you give an example?"

Scott Rettberg Rettberg says, " I'm not sure that what's occurring to academic discourse in electronic media is replacing the book. More of what's done practically speaking is replacing the journal maybe, but I don't see the 'monuments' of academic discourse -- major crit volumes, biographies, etc. moving entirely from paper to screen anytime soon."

Wes Chapman says, "Dominic, you're making a kind of iterability argument here?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Meaning is always already an extension."

Dominic Fox says, "Yes, iterability."

Dominic Fox says, "No context is ever final."

Bob Zwick says, "Alan - 2 way satellite is now down to ~ $60 per month."

Alan Sondheim says, "But Scott Rettberg , I think at least some of them are - I read a lot of ancient Asian texts (in translation) and they're all coming online now."

Sue runs in and says, "Hi, sorry I'm late."

Deena says, "Hi Sue, we are talking about meaning and approaches in online literature vs books."

Elizabeth says," That's not the same as saying contextlessness is possible."

Alan Sondheim says, "Elizabeth is right here."

mez^ says, "wot about n.herently directed meaning and an open ended approach? in terms of linearity, narrative, etc . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Hi Sue."

Dominic Fox says, "No, contextlessness isn't possible; but removal from any given context is always possible."

Talan Memmott says, "Scott Rettberg -- I think most of those texts are better suited for paper . . . Unless the academic essay is allowed to take advantage of electrate qualities of the media/um . . . which is currently just not the thing to do . . ."

mez^ says, "talan>>only in accepted academica . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Directed meaning is always open to interpretation; otherwise there'd be just one reading of a book, and no possibility for discussion or critique at all!"

Deena says, "Talan, all, what do you see as the advantages of electrate qualities?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan, there are so many physics papers online, though, for example. It's changing rapidly. You can always print. A lot of stuff is.pdf."

Bob Zwick says, "Isabel - starting with public domain classic, then anything else I can get license for."

Wes Chapman says, "A dangerous argument, IMO, Dominic. How is precision of meaning possible without precision of specifying a (fictional) context?"

Dominic Fox says, "Dangerous?"

Deena says, "We have to carefully distinguish between online as a delivery mechanism for linear work (PDF) and online using these electrate qualities."

Isabel says, "$US60 per month = approx $A100 = half weekly income for low income earners."

Dominic Fox says, "If you're too specific, the meaning dies with the moment."

Wes Chapman says, "In the sense of leading to inherent contradictions . . ."

Scott Rettberg Rettberg says, "The types of things which are more practical in electronic media will move over -- i.e. this kind of real-time discourse, translations of ancient texts that would cost a great deal to print for a small audience, but that's not the end of the book."

Deena passes out electrates to all along with a second round of Guinness. Helen claps.

Connie Makled says, "I think on-line media is a great addition as a compliment to contemporary literature, providing additional access. I think that is the intent, not to be compared to or replace."

Dominic Fox says, "Which, sometimes, it does."

Alan Sondheim says, "I'd like to return for a second to the idea of orality or discussion=based philosophy or literature here, rather than the monumentality of the book."

Isabel says, "Bob, you mean European based literature?"

Bob Zwick says, "Isabell - I mean "The Classics " more than any other based literature."

Talan Memmott says, "PDF . . . is not exactly what I mean by electrate . . . I mean a change in the critical apparatus to allow for noology and inferability over some overt readability . . ."

Bob Zwick says, "Isabell - wait Microsoft will come to the rescue :)) They are sponsoring the DiskNetwork."

Deena says, "Connie, right, we don't argue that sculpture replaces painting . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Because it seems to me that a book is a kind of impediment as well; it creates or works within a canon."

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan, can you translate from Ulmer? Thanks -"

mez^ says, "and hwo do u se this as e.vent][ing][uating talan?"

Elizabeth says," Dominic meanings should be allowed to die?"

Elizabeth says," meant to say Perhaps . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "And that the canon becomes institutionalized and things suffer as a result."

Talan Memmott says, "BRB . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "But they should also be allowed to live-on, sur-vive."

Alan Sondheim says, "It's harder to do this with the slippage online, no matter how much we want our writings or art here to "endure." How do meanings die?"

mez^ says, "Alan>>new media is in the process of canon creation itself it seems . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "I don't think so mez - which is why there was that mess over Christy's work at"

Deena says, "Wait, we are getting a canon within the online world as well. Nick and Noah are working on an edition of hypertext writing before 1994."

Dominic Fox says, "Well, meanings would die if they depended on a particular personality; because people die."

Isabel says, "That which people from within an ancient Indian culture con sider classics?"

mez^ says, "u disagre with a canon developing online, Alan?"

Alan Sondheim says, "I think people would love a canon here, but I don't see it in formation. There are probably well over a billion webpages now; who knows what on earth will survive and in what form - even to read ASCII, you need specialized software!"

ReinerStrasser has joined #trace and changes his name to Reiner

Deena says, "Hi Reiner, we are talking about developing cannons online vs in books."

Alan Sondheim says, "I do, although I see people like mouchette vying for one."

Barry says, "do 'we' write to survive? to have something that survives?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Antiorp as well - people combining publicity with their work, trying to harden positions."

Connie Makled says, "I don't think meanings die, rather languages die and therefore the particular understanding of it dies, like early Greek language."

Dominic Fox says, "Perhaps one's name - renomme, renown, the iterability of the name."

Wes Chapman says, "The selection of a Yahoo or a Voice of the Shuttle isn't a form of canonization?"
Editor's note: I assume that Yahoo refers to Yahoo daily picks

Deena passes around cannon fodder..

Bob Zwick says, "Isabel - I suppose I mean whatever is classic in nature and public domain in legality. That would include global literature."

Isabel says, "Bob - my line of undercurrent thought is that the world is already sufficiently subject to US / European domination of thought - might be nice to leave some preserved patches of cultural differences."

Reiner says,"Alan, I don't mean a canon in terms of the overall structure of the diversity of information presented on the net, rather the artistic conventions/production and correspond][ance][ing dynamic."

Alan Sondheim says, "cannons online! a kind of armed postmodernism (I've been writing about this recently). It's a temporary canonization, Wes. I was poet of the week on - so what?"

Scott Rettberg Rettberg says, " I think you're right about the slippage occurring more slowly in book-canons, though they change as well. TS Eliot's canon was different from Bloom's is different from yours or mine. The canon is always already contested."

Dominic Fox says, "I've been writing about canons recently!"

Deena says, " On Sun 17 we will talk with Marjorie Luesebrink, who has selected 40 authors in Jumpin' at the Diner . . . Is this the start of a canon?"

Alan Sondheim says, "But the convention is dependent on who or what, mez - there are again family of usages, that's about it . . ."

Wes Chapman says, "Give those same forces time and institutional backing, and you've got something longer-lived, I think."

Connie Makled says, "Shall we invite Chuck Heston to this conference? He likes canons. :-)"

Alan Sondheim says, "But we can at least TALK about a canon, Scott Rettberg , re: books; it's a lot harder online."

Deena says, "Does the physical form of the media affect the canon?"

Sue says, "Usually a canon is originated by academics - I think it's important that in this new medium the ARTISTS keep control."

Dominic Fox says, "Some of the artists are also academics."

Sue says, "Yes dom, but a hell of a lot of them aren't."

Wes Chapman says, "Sue, how would that be possible?"

Helen says, "The trAce Alt-X prizes should be partially supporting development of a canon . . ."
Editor's note:
I made links tot he main pages here, as they are more stable.

Alan Sondheim says, "I hope to god it's not the start of a canon - and yes, Isabel, a canon for who, from what nation, etc."

Dominic Fox says, "And vice versa."

mez^ says, "its more flexible Alan, nut the c][anon][rustification seems m.merge.ent . . ."

Scott Rettberg Rettberg says, "There's a definite advantage for artists working in this period of canon-less-ness in emedia."

Sue says, "Agreed, Scott Rettberg."

Isabel says, "Yet again, as soon as I posted that thought, I recalled that the sub-continent produces some of the world's best and most prolific programmers."

Alan Sondheim says, "Deena, yes; a canon is dependent, I think, on the static formation of a medium - and the book is a good example."

mez^ says, "sue, x,act][ing][ly . . ."

Bob Zwick says, "Isabel - I totally agree - but people who are totally illiterate need ALL types of literature."

Talan Memmott says, "Canonless . . . maybe even lawless."

Connie Makled says, "Amen, Bob."

Elizabeth says,"What about the notion of a canon of works, not a canon of authors?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Maybe I'm blind to the canonization, mez, or just don't believe in it here; it's certainly open to question. I'd canonize the whole nettime list for example!"

Deena says, "Why does the canon depend on physical formations?"

Dominic Fox says, "There are on-line discussion groups dedicated to "the canon."

Dominic Fox says, "Very conservative."

Helen says, "Let's not say a canon (I don't believe in that anyway) but the start of a platinum collection (the golden age is over apparently!)"

mez^ says, "lol Alan, they've done it themselves quite nicely i think:)"

Dominic Fox says, "The irony would appear to be lost on them."

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan, the only laws would be those of the protocols! If you can't get it "here"where there's no here here here, then you're back to print (or something)"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Electronic Ages."

Stephanie/Nick/Noah says, "The Canon AE-1 was the first SLR to have a CPU. Does that make it new media?"

Deena sends in the dwarves to carve platinum statues and cannons.

Alan Sondheim says, "Helen, that's even worse. Personally, I'd say more of a copper collection."

mez^ will brb, preparing for an rt interview in 20 mins.

Wes Chapman says, "I aspire to lead myself . . ."

Deena says, "Stephanie/Nick/Noah, could you define SLR?"

Scott Rettberg Rettberg says, " Though it will go on before too long -- spent some time this week looking at webs of people teaching electronic lit, and academics tend towards wanting to teach what other people are teaching."

Alan Sondheim says, "Stephanie, I don't think we could define new media? Single lens reflex camera."

Talan Memmott says, "Canon ae-1 ---- how about the talking viewmaster."

Connie Makled passes a plate of cookies around.

Alan Sondheim says, "The ae1 was neat!"

Stephanie/Nick/Noah says, "Single-lens reflex."

Helen says, "I'd like to think we could send new readers off to a selection of good works in the new media . . . by a lot of the people here, for a start!"

Alan Sondheim says, "Oh you've got way before that all those analog sound synthesizers . . ."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Scott Rettberg , any good resources?"

Deena says, "Since this will be archived and folks look for the links, could you add your URLs to what you would consider to be the canon?"

Bob Zwick says, "I think we need a search engine dedicated to electronic literature . . ."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "What about an e-literature database?"

Bob Zwick says, "Michelle - a single database would be to large to manage. An indexing service for certified lit would be a better way to go."

Alan Sondheim says, "Bob, isn't there such a thing at eliterature?"

Stephanie/Nick/Noah says, "The ELO directory."

Scott Rettberg Rettberg says, " Yeah, I'd plug the ELO directory -- I hope that this year we'll put together some collection of teaching resources on the ELO site."

Helen says, "More the elo showcase surely? Anyone can get in the directory?"

Bob Zwick says, "Alan - most sites have searches of their pages or the entire web. We need search engines to be able to search meta data on web pages for "electronic literature."

Barry takes a cookie and thanks Connie.

Connie Makled says, "Anytime, hon. Help yourself

Helen says, "trAce/alt x shortlists."

Editor's note: this refers to the trAce/alt x media contest. trAce/ELO will chat with the winners and the shortlist authors on February 4th, 2001.

Alan Sondheim says, "Or people elsewhere, Helen; what always surprises me about online is the amount of new work."

Talan Memmott says, "Amount of new work --- INCREDIBLE!"

Deena says, "Talan, Alan, how do you approach literature differently online than in other media?"

Sue says, "What about work outside the US, UK and Oz?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Canons do worry me, though - if people insist on that (largely I'd think for money/academic reasons), the Net will have failed in a way."

Dominic Fox says, "Since canonisation presumably requires a community of some sort - a critical community, for instance - then you can see the discursiveness of on-line forums as very conducive to canon-creation. People can sit around talking about their favourite books . . ."

Talan Memmott says, "Approach --- heavy pre-mediation."

Alan Sondheim says, "Dominic, you're right, but hopefully there are so many communities online and so many critiques and discourses that most everything will leak through or not . . ."

Connie Makled says, "I think a small percentage of people are e-literate."

Sue says, "Also Carolyn Guertin's assemblage."

Helen says, "oooh . . . Assemblage is a great resource!"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Janet Murray would say MUDS and MOOs too in that database."
Editor's note: See the chat with Janet on beyond the Holodeck . . .

Alan Sondheim says, "I'd agree with that (re Moos and MUDs)."

Talan Memmott says, "BeeHive . . ."

Deena says, "Jumpin' at the Diner and Dinner Party . . ."
Editor's note: see ELO chat with Marjorie Luesebrink on the Dinner Party on February 23, 2000

Sue says, "and frAme."
Editor's note: trAce/ELO will chat with frAme 5 authors (Digital Labour, For Love or Money?) on February 18, 2001

Wes Chapman says, "Much of Eastgate's line, to go off-web for the moment . . ."

Margaret says, "I think there will be canons but they will be genred canons, cultural canons, political canons as distinct from academic canons."

Scott Rettberg Rettberg says, "Hopefully we can look at it more as a treasure hunt than a canon-formation. Give us fifty years, then you can start building canons."

Helen says, "Let's face it, how many people care about the canon compared with how many people like to read a good book. I know which group I'd rather appeal to!"

Dominic Fox says, "Imagine a Leavisite seminar across several continents."

Alan Sondheim says, "Leavisite?"

Dominic Fox says, "F. R. Leavis - the idea of the university as a critical community - but a very closed and elite one. (I'm being slightly unfair to him here, but you get the idea.)"

Helen says, "To look for good elit you need to use portals -- ELO and trAce are prime examples, we both aim to do that."

Talan Memmott says, "Meta-data --- that is dependent upon the author of the doc, to make it searchable in this regard . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "I find I've been having great luck with for just about anything. People can put up their own meta-tags saying electronic literature for example."

Isabel says, "I also give the guernsey."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Like Dog Pile?? Something like a Meta crawler as someone had suggested?"

Connie Makled says, "Knowledge belongs to those in power. Canons are destructible in that case."

Stephanie/Nick/Noah says, "Have you noticed the computer game CDs now included in cereal boxes? That's how we need to distribute eliterature."

Deena hands out cereal box tops to get great lit."

Elizabeth says," Deena: 'How do you approach literature differently . . .' There aren't bookshops. There aren't (ate there??) orgs who stand to make money by assembling and selling e-lit. Thus, yes, treasure hunt for the readers.

Alan Sondheim says, "I get sent a lot of URLs; there are a lot on webartery, poetics, etc., 7-11, etc. All over the place."

Deena says, "Given all these resources, how do we approach literature differently online? Is it just creating a canon?"

Dominic Fox says, "Elite-rature?"

Dominic Fox says, "Like liquidating - placing sous rature - the elites?

Alan Sondheim says, "There are also combinations - publish-on-demand, gotta book coming out that way, available online and offline, and saving trees at the same time

Deena says, "Actually, that is a great idea. AOL hands out cds in newspapers, magazines . . . we should hand out the Little Magazine and more than way."

Talan Memmott says, "Online/offline --- transmediation is going to be key soon . . ."

mez^ is re.turning][point][

Alan Sondheim says, "transmediation?"

AndrewOldham has joined #trace

Scott Rettberg says, "Projects in multiple media."

Deena says, "Hi Andrew, we are discussing ways to identify works online and get others to recognize them.."

Bob Zwick says, "Michell - that's the idea."

Talan Memmott says, "Hypermediated, pdf, palm, reader, print . . . making work applicable and acceptable in more than one format . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "As with SGML: documents can be rendered any which way."

Andrew Oldham says, "About time, all literary work or non literary work should be acceptable in many formats."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "I just sat in with a group (Pt3) and we're going to create a database on the Digital Divide."

Alan Sondheim says, "That might only hold for more static work, Talan - I'd think of this as cross-platform, but it's interesting, as soon as you have dynamic, there are corporate considerations right from the beginning."

Margaret says, "Canons to a certain extent depend upon people agreeing to hype books. Now what you seem to be doing is to find a way of hyping elit that you personally like."

Deena says, "Right Margaret, how can we hype these works and show what is out there?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Federal Funds."

Alan Sondheim says, "Not only the protocols, but also, for example, video codecs, other compression technologies."

mez^ says, "i find it n.teresting that the m.ulation of tradition marketing techniques, tool, etc still obsess us . . .n.stead of using the potentialities we still run back to the economic rationalist model . . .wot about furthering the openness of the distribution idea?"

Scott Rettberg says, "Though I think it's important to think of each format as a different thing, otherwise you start making the same mistakes as people who are now doing e-books."

Alan Sondheim says, "So you're entangled in problematic interoperabiltiies . . ."

Connie Makled says, " pays $20 for articles. They bought one from me. What do you think about those types of companies?

Deena says, "How do the business models of books translate online to hyping electronic literature?"

Alan Sondheim says, "But what constitutes a format? Is Opera a different format than Netscape 6 different from Netscape 5? etc."

Andrew Oldham says, "E-books have been over hyped and badly designed, it means a total rethinking of the way we use words."

Dominic Fox says, "E-books works for O'Reilly, technical manuals. You want something searchable the way you can search a CD-ROM. I want to be able to browse the reference for the language I'm coding in in an Emacs buffer next to my code."

Connie Makled says, "What is the future of media in the hands of those kinds of companies?

Deena says, "I think we should flood those kinds with reviews of electronic literature."

Alan Sondheim says, "Connie, they're not paying as much as offline . . . that's part of the problem; I'm getting $350 for a review for example for an offline magazine. The Internet economy is dubious - and also something to consider here."

Connie Makled says, "I can get $150 for a writing a software review w/ Oakland Press. That says something about the paper media I think, as opposed to online."

Isabel says, "Just an observation - overall there is an underlying optimism for the future here that would not have happened thirty/forty years ago at which time there was an underlying assumption/acceptance there would/might not be any future."

Deena says, "Isabel, are you talking about society in general or about the literary community?"

Isabel says, "Deena - society in general - had always thought the literary community were included in that?"

Deena says, "Sure, just wondered if everyone was as optimistic :)

Dominic Fox says, "Maybe cross-reference my own comments to the manuals . . ."

Talan Memmott says, "I agree Scott, but meta-authorial consideration could/should(?) be given to this sort of transmediation and how what works in one format doesn't in another, and how to optimize the output so the experience is acceptable in each . . . it is a challenge . . ."

mez^ says, "andrew>>[icians][es as text, text as m.mage, swapping the polarities b.tween, amongst . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Andrew, I remember Metz talking about that in the Language of Cinema for example - and why not? I'd think that new media are literate . . ."

Deena says, "Mez, do you have a URL for the Language of Cinema?"

Alan Sondheim says, "It's Christian Metz, not Mez - a theorist who wrote on film - (Books!)

Deena blushes furiously.

Bob Zwick says, "Michelle- I'd like to stay informed on your Digital Divide project. Is there a URL ?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, ""

Alan Sondheim says, "It does, and about the fragile nature of online culture, community, business, at the moment."

Andrew Oldham says, "It's about time we conceptualised literature beyond the written, kids that I work with are becoming more visual in their approach to text."

Margaret says, "Isabel - I think that is a temporary thing- we will soon realise the threats are still there - its the ability to annihilate not who is doing the annihilating that is the real danger."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "I think the operative word here is EXPERIENCE. How we are experiencing the art form is soooo 3 dimensional . . ."

Wes Chapman says, "And perhaps less textual in their approach to text, too . . ."

Isabel says, "Andrew - that's called comics."

Dominic Fox says, "Comix."

Dominic Fox says, "I've been reading a lot of Grant Morrison lately."

Deena passes out Understanding Comics and thinks about Scott McCloud.

Andrew Oldham says, "What about the use of images as text?"

Talan Memmott says, "My definition of text includes image."

Connie Makled says, "In editorial terms, text is words."

Talan Memmott says, "Not comics! That disregards that the interface, the window is an IDEOGRAM itself . . ."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Forcing us to think differently. Books are so LINEAR. E lit is so 3dimensional that the reason people read them is to EXPERIENCE this art . . .

Michele Stafford-levy says, " from so differently. Like no other human beings have ever experienced lit before."

Connie Makled says, "Images are images. Its symantacs."

Reiner chimes in {my definition of image includes text}

mez^ says, "not any more connie"

ShirleyMaiden has joined #trace

Deena says, "Hi Shirley, we are talking with Talan Memmot and Alan Sondheim about approaching electronic literature."

Deena says, "I'd like to get back to orality again, how do we show text in new media?"

Alan Sondheim says, "I want to get back to something just for a second - the notion of a book or text encapsulating orality - thinking of the commandments in the bible, or god creating this and that through speech - you also get this in the upanishads for example. We find something very satisfying in the relationship of magic, chant, ritual, rite, and creation."

Andrew Oldham says, "No not necessarily, how does one express emotion on the stage, words don't have the power to express true anger or love, a simple action or visual is more powerful we only have to look to the dominance of advertising since WWII."

Alan Sondheim says, "The book seems to bring this home, becomes a manual for this . . ."

Isabel says, "Margaret, how about when it is ourselves collectively who are doing the annihilating? We no longer need a bomb. we just need to continue gross consumerism."

Dominic Fox says, "Orality "literally"speaking is mostly absent on-line, purevoice notwithstanding. One thing people don't "really"do is talk."

Alan Sondheim says, "Online on the other hand is literal creation, performative - you click on something and something happens which is very different from touching a word on the page, for example."

Talan Memmott says, "What defines the voice online?"

Alan Sondheim says, "I'm using Orality in the large sense of chat, email etc. Dominic."

Wes Chapman says, "I dunno, isn't this closer to talk than to print? What we're doing now?"

Deena says, "What is the relationship between orality and interactions?"

Talan Memmott says, "Alan, yes . . . Something I call User Narrative."

Margaret says, "Why do comics have such a bad press? We only concentrated on alphabets for so long because drawing took longer to execute. Now that we can mass produce it as easily we can work on the aesthetics."

Andrew Oldham says, "The reader becomes part of the internet, a controller, rather than a viewer."

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan, maybe what Merleau Ponty called the speech-stream, which doesn't have to be spoken; it's thinking through the symbolic in communication."

mez^ says, " ahh that o' bugbear n.turr.activity . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "I say, Dr Seuss was underrated, when it comes to improving literacy via visuals."

Dominic Fox says, "The "large sense"of orality = a kind of displaced sense, tho'."

Alan Sondheim says, "or what maturana called the mutual orienting of cognitive domains - think of this as dynamic."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "It is not passive."

mez^ is ponderous about the interactive utopian dream.

Deena says, "Margaret, I think that is a key point in the electronic literature as we merge visual images and sound."

Connie Makled says, "Comics are a great form of expression. Long Live DC! ;-P"

Bob Zwick says, "Words can draw pictures, words can make you hear sounds - words are text."

Alan Sondheim is the interactive utopian dream."

Talan Memmott says, "Alan -- good, what I was thinking . . . which makes ORALITY more, or different in the online environment . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan, it's maybe the grain of the voice."

Dominic Fox says, "Being in or out of earshot."

Andrew Oldham says, "Ah where would we be without DC, taking the old myths and making them into great comics, the hero travel etc.?"

Connie Makled says, "Now there are comics on disc, a concept which totally eludes me.

Deena says, "How are we merging symbols in the communication?"

Alan Sondheim says, "I wrote about this in relation to net sex - what happens after it leaves online, goes to the first phonecall."

Dominic Fox says, "Where "earshot"is; proximity at a distance."

Wes Chapman says, "And "when"earshot is..proximity in time . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Barthes wrote of course about the grain. You're hearing the other's body breathing, it's no longer a mapping, indexical, but ikonic."

Dominic Fox says, "I agree with (I think Alan) that it is a real proximity, on-line."

Shirley Maiden says, "What about interactive drama online, bringing reader and writer together?

mez^ says, " Deena>>using a phonetic, audio-dependent n.flection is 1 way of creating a text that merges the controller with the controlled . . .audience and creator . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "It's in some offline stuff I wrote for a magazine . . ."

Talan Memmott says, "an approximate proximity . . . suspect . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "But you can surrender to it. You don't have to suspect it, although you always can."

Talan Memmott says, "Which means you've been seduced."

Andrew Oldham says, "Imagine comics on disc with an interactive element that builds literacy skills targets individuals to read beyond the internet medium, not enough people read books, in fact books are becoming a pariah . . .shame."

Barry goes off to read a good book (smiling)

Alan Sondheim says, "hearing breathing is something entirely different - you feel the physiology at work, and yes, there's surrender, and the lag plays a role - all sorts of projections/introjections occuring there

mez^ says, "..making the voices and n.tent less distinct"

Deena wonders what we are surrendering to?

Connie Makled says, "Would you say that the imagination is somehow auditory? You read words, and hear them in your mind."

Scott Rettberg says, "I want to see more of that interactive drama -- seems like that's one of the barely-explored forms."

Dominic Fox says, "So - seduction at a distance also."

Alan Sondheim says, "I find myself "in general"seduced more by books than online work - in that sense . . ."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "The Common Place MOO: Orality and Literacy in Virtual Reality is at is at "

Andrew Oldham says, "Do you hear words in your mind or do you see images?"

Connie Makled says, "Both."

Alan Sondheim says, "Connie, I'd agree - it's as if you're being spoken too . . ."

mez^ says, "a mixture andrew . . ."

Talan Memmott says, "Seduced by the apparatus, the sup-substrate . . ."

Elizabeth says," Neither?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Moos and MUDS are that proximal voice in the distance"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "In a virtual setting."

Andrew Oldham says, "But don't words become a visual element?"

Isabel says, "For inter-active drama - join the police force?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Einstein spoke about writing mathematical formula - that they were written only after the fact - that he was actually feeling he was moving."

mez^ says, "grey blurs around a space app][lication][arat][netizens.r.][us"

Deena says, "We had said earlier that we are moving more to text than to graphic MOOs and MUDs, how do you see text as a proximal voice?"

Connie Makled says, "Yes, that's right"

Alan Sondheim says, "Textuality in some ways is literally an afterthought.

Scott Rettberg says, "Who do the police in voices?"

Andrew Oldham says, "exactly, Alan n.dded."

mez^ says, "Alan, agreed:)"

Deena says, "How do we approach text as an afterthought?"

Dominic Fox says, "An afterthought that retroactively posits the thought."

Connie Makled says, "You have to think it before you can write it."

Deena hands out nightsticks and a third round of Guinness.

Isabel says, "Scott, you have lost me."

Dominic Fox says, "How can I know what I think until I see what I say?."

Scott Rettberg says, "what's the police."

Isabel says, "Are you joking, Scott?"

Scott Rettberg says, "Bad wasteland joke, sorry."

Isabel says, "right, ok"

Deena hands Scott Rettberg some demob papers

Andrew Oldham says, "It just happens, it's one of those things, text is the final thing in the process, first comes the image, the story, the words."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Texuality is the vehicle to the afterthought."

Alan Sondheim says, "It's a proximal voice to some extent on chat, and will be more so of course as bandwidth increases. Right now we're talking about a "hinge." When it appears on one side as if we're fully present or have the idea of such presence - but that will happen in the future, when Deena can literally hand out Guinness . . . like taking the medium of fiction and rerouting it thru dynamic situations . . .like taking a chat multilogue and using it as raw material for a email text performance . . ."

Wes Chapman says, "exactly, Dominic!"

Bob Zwick says, "Are we getting close to a decision . . . Is the Book Dead?"

Margaret says, "I lose myself more easily with reading, I am prepared with a book to be passive but online I need to be active - mere reading there is insufficient."

Talan Memmott says, "Proximal, as in translocal . . . (a term from cris cheek)."

Andrew Oldham says, "I think there is room for the book."

Stephanie/Nick/Noah says, "We'll add our cry of lamentation for the book, and depart. Good talking with you. Alan Sondheim says, "The book isn't dead, nothing's dead; I'd think the metaphor is in need of being dropped - it reminds me of Toynbee . . ."

Wes Chapman says, "Yes, Alan, MUCH too sweeping."

Dominic Fox says, "Wordsworth disliked books because he thought they were already dead."

mez^ says, "the absolutism of the book is dead argument unnerves me . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "We want to produce pieces that run the gambit of being used on the page, on the screen, on a CD, can be interacted with, like those old Kit Williams puzzles."

Bob Zwick says, "Andrew - interesting. Sounds like the book has become secondary to you."

Talan Memmott says, "Yes, like I said -- the book should probably be allowed to be the book . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "We murder to dissect" . . ."come out [from your books] into the light of THINGS etc."

Scott Rettberg says, "But apocalyptic rhetoric is always exciting."

Deena says, "Yes, we aren't saying painting is dead."

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan, I wanted to ask you sometime about these terms; how necessary do you think they are? In a way they might create more of a division than analysis? (I'm thinking of Ulmer here)."

Shirley Maiden says, "The book is only dead if you think it dead."

Elizabeth says," But Andrew you throw away working with particular media then?"

Deena hands out dead books and paintings and shudders to think what would happen if she could really do that.

Andrew Oldham says, "That's the dream, to allow writers not to be pigeon holed and marketed into one area."

Connie Makled says, "My kids read themselves to sleep every night. They don't have laptops."

Alan Sondheim says, "So that Williams idea of "no idea but in things"needs heavy revision here."

Andrew Oldham says, "Take Michelangelo, what was he?"

Isabel says, "Just thought of a different form - long running version printed on toilet paper - replaces newspaper of old."

Margaret says, "The book is for when I want to rest my back back and retreat from the world - the computer is for when I want to crouch forwards and take part."

Alan Sondheim says, "Sometimes I read myself to sleep on the laptop . . ."

mez^ says, "Alan>>I've written about this b4, that arelaince on this x.clusive terminology may be d.tree.mental . . ."

Wes Chapman says, "The claim that "the book is dead" is a deliberate exaggeration intended to bring new media to life, IMO."

Talan Memmott says, "Some of Ulmer's terms are divisive by design . . . There are a few I appreciate and find applicable and useful -- electracy is one of them . . ."

Connie Makled says, ":-D "

Scott Rettberg says, "Sometimes I email myself to sleep."

Andrew Oldham says, "Brave new world."

mez^ says, " connie>>wot about yr kids kids?

Connie Makled says, "LOL "

Deena says, "I agree, Margaret--it is a question of social i nteraction. Do we react to the same text differently in different media?"

Dominic Fox says, "Books aren't exactly alive, are they?"

Alan Sondheim says, "I agree Talan. I wonder also about Deleuze and Guattari - where the neologisms become real divisions, a kind of cant-analysis."

Sue laughs at Scott 's e-mailing himself to sleep.

Connie Makled says, "11 and 8.

Andrew Oldham says, "They are in your head."

Deena says, "How do we approach the book, and how do we approach reading online?"

Dominic Fox says, "Foolsss - you cannot kill what doesss not live!", as Judge Death used to say."

Alan Sondheim says, "Books seem alive, just as cats seem like babies . . ."

Bob Zwick says, "Good one Margaret."

Deena sends out automatic e-mail lullabies to everyone.

Talan Memmott says, "I enjoy D&G very much precisely because of this . . ."

Deena says, "Talan what is D&G ?

Talan Memmott says, "(Deleuze and Guattari) "

mez^ hands out "Long Live D&G!" stickers."

Talan Memmott says, "With D&G the only response is to be creative . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan I enjoy them - but not their followers."

Alan Sondheim says, "Or you cannot kill what does not die! Dominic."

Andrew Oldham says, "How do we get over the fact that people still don't read the computer screen but print it out?"

Deena says, "Tape record dying trees?"

Dominic Fox says, "Books are undead."

Connie Makled says, "I read my friends book on line ---he couldn't get it published elsewhere. It was difficult to read. I prefer having it in my hands, so to speak."

Connie Makled says, "The book, I mean."

Alan Sondheim says, "And the same with Derrida - but as you know, that's not what happens later on . . ."

Scott Rettberg says, "Let birkerts worry about the dying book. Aint our job."

Elizabeth says," Michaelangelo didn't reformat his sonnets into paintings into sculpture -- the work were media-specific, no? (God this is going fast!)."

Shirley Maiden says, "Why do we take ourselves so seriously, we are only as good as the words which live in our readers minds . . .or don't ?"

Isabel says, "Shirley, some folk can only have fun when they take themselves seriously and the more seriously taken the greater the fun."

Bob Zwick says, "Does revenue determine whether books are dead ? How much will publishers and authors make on dead trees this year?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "We'll have to bury them, Andrew."

Andrew Oldham says, "That's the problem, because writers are pigeon holed, often publishers won't take them on."

Alan Sondheim says, "One thing about books, their vulnerability - one can mark them up, go back and look at the markings much later, they develop histories."

mez^ says, "connie>>isn't it a process of relearning, reorientation in regards to reading a comp screen?"

Deena says, "Right. Our job is to find ways to approach electronic media--I still want to know what people see as the advantage to electrates."

Alan Sondheim says, "Bob, with publish on demand this won't be an issue - but disposing of dead computers still will be."

Talan Memmott says, "I think the Derrideans at Book/Ends had a problem with themselves being Derrideans . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Oh Talan I think they were quite happy with that! THE MASTER WAS THERE!"

Dominic Fox says, "I've got a lot of Derrida books, including the one that starts, "This, therefore, will not have been a book".

Deena says, "Yes, we can't separate the business aspects from the lit aspects . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "Derrideans are people with a lot of Derrida books."

Connie Makled says, "Revenue has a LOT to do with it. I'm having a h@#$ of a time opening up my bookstore."

Deena says, "How do we relearn and reorient to the comp screen and its corresponding orality and interaction?"

Alan Sondheim says, "We develop the screen technology so it's easier to read . . ."

Wes Chapman says, "I don't know that we need to, Deena. They will shape us."

mez^ says, "Deena>> by looking at its n.herent physical as well as actual properties and catering for info absorption via these attributes . . ."

Bob Zwick says, "ALAN -POD just shifts the $$ to different pockets."

Alan Sondheim says, "Bob, it saves trees a lot."

Scott Rettberg says, "We'll end up with lots of great stories about people accidentally deleting entire directories, like maids throwing manuscripts into the fire. And fools like me will have forgotten to back it up."

Connie Makled says, "What a nightmare."

Alan Sondheim thinks we have an enormous amount to say disappearing into the log here . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Writers will always print up their work."

Alan Sondheim says, "Andrew, I don't - as much as possible, I keep it online or cdrom . . ."

Nick has joined #trace

Deena says, "Hi Nick, we are talking about approaches to electronic literature."

Talan Memmott says, "Derrideans are people that try to emulate the master . . . I have tons of Derrida and I would not consider myself a Derridean . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "Derrideans are zombies, possessed by the living dead."

Connie Makled says, "Who is Derrida, forgive my stupidity ?"
Editor's note: Derrida is a philosopher and literary critic whose theories on deconstruction (a way to approach reading and thinking) are fundmental to postmodernism criticism.See this list of Derridean links or an introductory lecture from Princeton.

Bob Zwick says, "Alan - I agree. I just think the evolution of dead tree books to electrons will be slow coming."

m_b says, " Hi everyone."

Shirley Maiden says, "Where does history and the book come in for us historical writers ?"

Alan Sondheim says, "More than emulate, outshine, carry the style to the limit."

Wes Chapman says, "Scott, I find that vision oddly comforting . . .only because I suspect the medium is so impermanent there won't be any such believable stories."

Deena says, "We've only had a couple of decades. Give us some time . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "But when the computer crashes, Alan?"

Wes Chapman says, "I mean stories that are believable."

Helen says, "Keep backups, Andrew . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "On the shelf with the other cdroms!"

Talan Memmott says, "I am not sure treeBook to electBook is evolutionary so much as "GLOM"--- an additive form . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "LOL "

Bob Zwick says, "LOL Deena"

Deena says, "Talan what is GLOM?"

Dominic Fox says, "Ag-GLOM-eration."

Alan Sondheim says, "Besides, some of us have more than one computer (I've a few very old ones)

Andrew Oldham says, "Mine blew up, couldn't take all the info, committed suicide."

mez^ says, "y do we have to make it an either/ore ][ti][s.sue? as in it will e.ventualte 2 b either the book or the screen? kant the 2 co-xist?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "It is a disposable medium in this disposable world."

Helen says, "I have my work on two webservers as well as on main computer and backup discs."

Connie Makled says, "Helen, you go girl! :-) "

m_b says, " Very crowded in here, must be the weather."

Deena hands out sunshine from Colorado, but thinks that this is a discussion we have been needing to have."

Talan Memmott says, "I can more easily throw a book in the trash than delete someone's work from a server."

Scott Rettberg says, "Once we got into a flame war and set fire to the entire unknown, had to reconstruct from disparate backups.

Alan Sondheim says, "But back to the question about history - history is becoming lost online, in a way, overloaded, overdetermined, surrounded by banner ads, as if history doesn't matter . . ."

Helen pats Andrew's shoulder sorrowfully.

Deena says, "Mez, I think we need to show that the two can coexist and find ways to slip from book to screen and back again."

mez^ says, "agreed, Deena:)"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Deena, I think you are on to something."

Connie Makled says, "Skewed."

Bob Zwick says, "Today's children K12 will grow up to enjoy curling up with a pocket PC or laptop book."

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan, I always pass books and old tech on . . . just found for that matter an Apple powerbook 190 in the trash."

Andrew Oldham says, "History can be rewritten easily in a virtual world, remember the George Orwell quote?"

Alan Sondheim says, "What's the quote?"

Deena says, "So how can we approach both book and electron as literature?"

Connie Makled says, "Some history is more equal than others? No, that's not right. ha ha."

Shirley Maiden says, "Alan History is being made on line not in technology but in novel of historical fact."

Alan Sondheim says,"It's also a discussion academics need to have, in much more open and giving forums . . ."

mez^ says, "hi.her.story . . .is just that . . .a version of events, we need to reorient our history need, the ideer that work needs 2 b created 4 prosperity etc . . .

Helen says, "we are coming to the offical end time, folks -- of course you can carry on but can we stop for messages from our sponsors, elo and trAce?"

Helen says, "The log will be up at elo, yes Deena?"

Scott Rettberg says, "Enter the ELO awards -- and enter your work in the ELO directory."

Deena says, "Right, this chat will be archived at as soon as I edit it."

Andrew Oldham says, "He who controls the present, controls the past, he who controls the past, controls the future."

Talan Memmott says, "I really don't toss out books . . . just box them up to avoid clutter . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Do you mean historical novels online?"

Shirley Maiden says, "Yes."

Connie Makled says, "That's right."

Bob Zwick says, "Alan - sorry - the quote was a dangling electron ( arthritic finger )."

Reiner says," (History-you can create on the net against forgetting-maybe better than elsewhere.)"

Isabel says, "No room for happenstance, Andrew?"

Andrew Oldham says, "No, the distribution of information."

Alan Sondheim says, "Andrew that's so true - I keep thinking of the rewriting of the Vietnam War in this country, or the Holocaust for that matter. And I'd recommend that everyone read Lyotard's Differend on this."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Jared Diamond in his book Gun, Germs, and Steel clearly states that those with the technology will supercede all."

Connie Makled says, "Thanks for your participation! It's been great!"

Deena says, "On Sun 17 we will chat with Marjorie Luesebrink and authors featured in Jumpin' at the Diner."

Helen says, "And next week, 14th Jan, a social chat right here in this room."

Deena hands out rounds of never ending Guiness so the barman won't say its time.

Sue says, "Can I ask a favour? there are lots of people here tonight - it would be intgeresting for us to know how you all heard about this chat."

Alan Sondheim says, "I think I proposed it!"

mez^ says, "the email grape vine, sue:)"

Connie Makled says, "I read about it on the trAce front page."

Elizabeth says," Your email to webartery maybe, Sue?"

Wes Chapman says, "Sue, from htlit and the ELO notice, I think . . ."

Shirley Maiden says, "I read of it from Trace email."

Isabel says, "It was Monday morning 5.00 am logging on time to cafe regardless."

Andrew Oldham says, "I came across a German site declaring the Holocaust was a fake made up by the US/UK/Russians etc. backing it up with info that was corrupted from the original but was stunning in its simplicity."

Bob Zwick says, "I learned about it in the e-text mailing list."

m_b says, " I learned about it just tonight on my way in."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "If we frame this up in our conversation here today, electronic literature may catapult us into the 21 cent."

Connie Makled says, "Oh, good gracious!"

Andrew Oldham says, "it will take a lot more to put us into the 21st"

Alan Sondheim says, "Let's hope for the 22nd . . . Centuries suddenly seem old . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Because we are "

Deena says, "Well, our centuries are now legally able to drink for the first time . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "And we aren't."

Wes Chapman says, "Ciao, all . . .off to rest my print-worn eyes . . ."

mez^ says, "Have to go, interviewer is here. thx for a great chat, all:) " (QUIT:.i.dream.the.n e X ][t][ us.)

Elizabeth says," Bye everybody, thanks."

Sue says, "Thanks everyone!"

Shirley Maiden says, "Thanks bye."

Connie Makled says, "I'll stick around for a while."

Alan Sondheim says, "Ah! back in 1973, I taught a course called The Year 3000 for that very reason - to catapult."

mez^ marks out a space of reference, obligated info-wanders

Andrew Oldham says, "Did it work?"

Alan Sondheim says, "The course did, yes."

Deena says, "What will electronic lit look like in the year 3000?"

Dominic Fox says, "Alan, there's a year 3000 text somewhere in your Disorders of the Real, isn't there?"

Connie Makled says, ":-) "

Andrew Oldham says, "I hope lit in 3000 will be injected."

Alan Sondheim says, "Will there still be electronics? I don't know, Dominic . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Will electronics become biological?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Andrew won't there be a merging of these? As well as of quantum mechanics and the (Aristotelian) surface of the real?"

Dominic Fox says, "It's a book of Alan's, from a while back. And yes, there is . . .

Bob Zwick says, "Alan - no matter what people's preferences are, the transformation to eLiterature is sure exciting!"

Deena says, "OK, what about lit in the year 2020? to bring it closer to home."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Animated for sure."

Andrew Oldham says, "2020, half books half online."

Alan Sondheim says, "I can only imagine either holocaust or confluence . . ."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Visual, visual, visual!"

Alan Sondheim says, "If our eyes are still necessary . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Total ELE a new past, resurrected from computers, no morals, no idea of religion against science."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Sensual?"

Deena says, "How do we get to the confluence?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Scentual?"

Bob Zwick says, "2020 - wireless - book subscriptions to your cell phone."

Connie Makled says, "I wanted to say that we are biological, as long as we have our senses, we will always have books."

Andrew Oldham says, "But what happens if books become biological."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "We're there."

Connie Makled says, "Run."

Bob Zwick says, "LOL Connie"

Dominic Fox says, "That there will have been a subject, "literature", who will have had a life-history, health records, a birth certificate."

Scott Rettberg says, "That's scary. Biological books."

Deena says, "We are still talking about form. How do we get to the substance of the literature--regardless of form?"

Alan Sondheim says, "I don't know, Deena, but with the general direction of the world, this Internet might be a temporary highpoint, stasis. There are too many weapons, too many warmongers, too much pollution, too much ignorance, around . . ."

Deena nods thoughtfully--we need to protect the world to keep the literature."

Margaret says, "I'll be happier when TV , Internet, Newspapers and books come closer. I hate having so many pages in a newspaper I don't even bother to open (sport and finance mainly)."

Andrew Oldham says, "You go to a lit Dr get War & peace injected and experience it from the inside out."

Alan Sondheim says, "We already are biologically published - I think that's a great metaphor, given the human genome."

Dominic Fox says, "My life is literature. Unfortunately very dull literature. But you can read me like a book."

Alan Sondheim says, "Dominic, you're not that easy! Besides, I've heard your guitar playing!"

Connie Makled says, "Virtual birth? That would make things MUCH easier!"

Andrew Oldham says, "Will every book be a physical as well as emotional experience."

Alan Sondheim says, "Andrew, but are they now?"

Bob Zwick says, "Biological books are story telling."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "No anesthesia."

Connie Makled and Andrew Oldham laugh, "LOL!"

Andrew Oldham says, "Emotional yes, but physical?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "I do see false identities may be a real problem."

Isabel says, "Alan, what do you think I would mean by using the word 'human'?

Isabel says, "Is there a point at which we would cease to be human? Biologically published instead of being born?"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Virtual birth."

Alan Sondheim says, "Deena, wouldn't you have to define literature? And Isabel, the same with human?"

Deena says, "Yes, I'll bite. How do we define literature?"

Scott Rettberg says, "If it's got a narrative or line breaks it's lit."

Deena says, "So this chat is lit?"

Scott Rettberg says, "of course, just look at all the authors in the room

Connie Makled says, "This chat is text. And emotion, and informative. But lit? I don't know."

Alan Sondheim says, "I think defining literature, defining human, defining new media - these are dead-ends; that's part of the problem. When Aarseth spoke here, the whole discussion got bogged down on defining . . .

Bob Zwick says, "Amen Scott Rettberg - it irks me to see some of the sites that say they are ebooks or e-lit."

Talan Memmott says, "It only need infer a narrative -- the User/reader develops a narrative, or sorts, by interaction . . ."

Margaret says, "I agree that definitions are stifling."

Scott Rettberg says, "If it smells like lit may as well call it that for now."

Deena sweeps the room clear of the funk of wagnells and other dictionaries

Alan Sondheim says, "I'm not sure, Isabel; for example, if we were quantum clouds, bodiless, all mentally connected, would we still be human to you?"

Andrew Oldham says, "Think of a world in which our word power is not merely learned but coded into our DNA."

Isabel says, "my definition is a member of species homo sapiens."

Dominic Fox says, "I would like to think of "the human"as a point of departure. I don't mean something to be abolished; but it's where you start from, not where you end up. Or, it's where you start from and end up, but you get to go someplace else in between."

Scott Rettberg says, "Yeah, it's probably more productive to make stuff than define it -- at this stage -- or on it -- or in it."

Dominic Fox says, "Books are part of that itinerary - from human to human."

Connie Makled says, "If we're bodiless, could we still read?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Re: narrative - I tend to think narrative is mentally constructed, that it's always present, always with us."

Talan Memmott says, "So we are always elsewhere NOW . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Can we still class ourselves as home sapiens?"

Bob Zwick says, "Andrew - sounds like an intro to a new novel."

Connie Makled says, "I agree, Alan."

Alan Sondheim says, "Connie, but what would constitute a text in that situation? Or any kind of emission from outside? or would there be an outside?"

Andrew Oldham says, "No Will Self has done it."

Margaret says, "I thought it already was to a great extent , Andrew."

Alan Sondheim says, "I am an other"- Rimbaud."

Talan Memmott says, "The rimbaud quip is apropos."

Deena says, "We are really getting far afield from the original question--how do we approach literature both online and in paper?"

Andrew Oldham says, "Merge them."

Alan Sondheim forgets if that was the original question . . .

Deena says, "How do we merge them?

Dominic Fox says, "Something you - Alan - said about books as "transitional objects". And then later as "impediments" . . ."

Connie Makled says, "What does that mean? Approach lit? Walk up to it?"

Deena says, "Alan is right. The question is: How do we approach the book, and how do we approach reading online?"

Andrew Oldham says, "Cross over platforms, to take the reader to both the trusted medium and the new."

Andrew Oldham says, "and the writer."

Alan Sondheim says, "Ah . . . as impediments in terms of canon development, stases - I remember in college being asked if I'd "done" Chaucer. I was fascinated by that sense of the doing of it."

Deena says, "Are there any examples of merged literature right now?"

Bob Zwick says, "I'm not sure what "merged" literature might be."

Connie Makled says, "They are two separate entities, I think that's what I've gotten out of this."

Alan Sondheim says, "And transitional as in transitional objects, the book as windowing the worlds within, worlds without."

Dominic Fox says, "A transitional object has to be static, stationary."

Margaret says, "I am off now. Thanks for the lively discussion. You know how to keep it going Alan. Bye all."

Alan Sondheim says, "I think they're coalescing; I can read 253 online and offline, interconnect them; I read the Book of Odes in Legge online, Waley offline, take notes online, markup offline . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "There are half cocked attempts, often competitions, buried treasure etc. but nothing in the educational realm, we do Chaucer but what if we actually did the pilgrimage."

Alan Sondheim says, "Ah, that would be beautiful . . ."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "What a world."

Andrew Oldham says, "To learn Chaucer on the page is fine but to learn him in the physical realm is another question."

Isabel says, "Esoteric conversations not as entertaining first thing Monday morning at which time the garden needs to be watered before the sun get too high. Bye for now. Reality intervenes."

Michele Stafford-levy says, "Bye from me too. Kids are bored . . .They want me off of the fast computer." QUIT: The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. (Hemingway))

Alan Sondheim says, "I appreciate everyone who joined us here . . ."

Deena says, "Thanks for coming--see you next time!"

Michele Stafford-levy says, "See you next time."

Alan Sondheim says, "This has probably been the fastest reading/writing discussion I've engaged in . . ."

Deena hands out the liniment for sore typing fingers.

Bob Zwick says, "Thank you Deena, I needed that.

Alan Sondheim says, "Which says a lot for the topic and its relevance . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "But Hemingway chose suicide."

Dominic Fox says, "The book gets tethered to certain values of stability, canonical placement, reassurance (bye folks!) "

Alan Sondheim says, "We always say goodbye after the fact it seems . . ."

Editor's note: I remove the "hellos" and "goodbyes" and "enters" and "quits" to make it easier to follow the esoteric wraps and weaves of conversational threads. The goodbye messages often appear after the person has quit the chat program. (I only keep messages that have content or relate to the conversation at hand.)

Connie Makled says, ":-)"

Alan Sondheim says, "I hope someone has the full version of this logged; I'd like to get a copy of it - I had troubles reading/writing simultaneously of course."

Deena says, "Talan will send me the log at, and I'll edit it."

Talan Memmott says, "I hope the log is generating here . . .. will send Deena . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Thanks Deena "

Helen says, "Sue and I have been logging too, while we were here!"

Andrew Oldham says, "I'd like a copy of this talk."

Deena says, "Oh good. Please send me the logs too and I'll cross correlate."

Alan Sondheim says, "I'd like to send these logs on to the Cybermind or Wryting lists - do you think that would be OK?

Helen says, "they will be huge . . . just send Deena's URL."

Sue says, "Scott Rettberg have you got a date for your conference yet?"

Scott Rettberg says, "yes. September 18th and 19th. We'll announce it formally soon."

Connie Makled says, "Where will it be Scott?"

Scott Rettberg says, "The New School in New York."

Andrew Oldham says, "Will we develop a new text for the screen?"

Sue says, "Oh that's a shame - I fancied spring in NYC!"

Connie Makled says, "Are you from the states?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Scott, can you say something about the conference?"

Scott Rettberg says, "We're doing an awards event Spring in NYC. The date on that is in the works. Mid-May "

Deena says, "The Epic conference is in April in NYC and DAC is in Brown--see the writers workshop schedule at too."

Sue says, "epic?"

Deena says "Electronic Poetry Center at"

Alan Sondheim says, "Can you elborate?"

Alan Sondheim says, "(not the rate of an elbow, but to elaborate)"

Andrew Oldham says, "Why can't we make text become physical, take you into the screen and away back into reality as well?

Deena hands out reality screens to all

Scott Rettberg says, "Okay with me."

Connie Makled says, "The implications of that are frightening."

Alan Sondheim says, "Andrew, I think that's one of the futures of the Net, but it depends at least now on enormous bandwidth."

Andrew Oldham says, "Sure."

Alan Sondheim says, "It's the holodeck model."

Deena says, "Hamlet on the Holodeck shows the interactions of holonovels and shows that as reading as well . . ."

Connie Makled says, "Oh, I see."

Scott Rettberg says, "Man you type fast Alan."

Dominic Fox says, "Can you say "combinatorial explosion"?

Alan Sondheim says, "Don't forget "huge"is an "e-hug"!"

Connie Makled says, "Well. I have to go. It's been fun!"

Deena says, "Sure. Any last thoughts, Alan and Talan?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Last thoughts? That we're on the brink of something only, that hopefully canon's won't survive local institutions, that things are changing so quickly prediction becomes impossible, and that corporations/proprietary protocols, might, in the short run, wreck things."

Andrew Oldham says, "That's the wonderful thing, censorship has yet to control the net, but something that layers reality into the net?"

Alan Sondheim says, "I think that's true - and there are also issues of self-censorship of course . . ."

Bob Zwick says, "Thanks all - it's been e-lightening."

Dominic Fox says, "Avanti . . ."

Sue waves to everyone and thanks alanantalan."

Andrew Oldham says, "But as we become more 21st century will morals finally change as they have done since the great wars?"

Deena says, "Andrew that's another chat! But I think maybe they will, if only as communication does."

Helen says, "bye before my computer seizes up again! thanks for the chat!!! We are redesigning the trAce site so watch for news!! Thanks Alan and Talan! And thanks Deena for the job you're going to do ont his log!"

Alan Sondheim says, "Morals will always change, but it's hard to figure out how or why; in the States, morals are governed I think largely by backlash at this point . . ."

Deena says, "I pray corporations don't wreck thinks in the long run . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "O tempora! O mores!"

Andrew Oldham says, "Interesting and we're running out of time."

Alan Sondheim says, "O Body in CORPORATIONS SANIS!"

Andrew Oldham says, "Corporations are looking for the $ sign in everything, they will."

Deena says, "Well, we can stay and debate corporations and their evil till the cows come in, but . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "It's only money, never personal."

Deena says, "Yes, and they are only in for the short term, while we are going to run out of water, fuel, etc . . . in the long term . . ."

Dominic Fox says, "I'm glad it's not personal."

Alan Sondheim says, "But unfortunately they play a role here; you should have seen the discussion on Webartery about the introduction of Netscape 6 and what it did to a lot of online work."

Dominic Fox says, "Monsanto - they're back! And this time it's personal!"

Deena says, "Money is personal--its the person that gets the money!"

Talan Memmott says, "I am concerned with some of the corporate stuff . . . but I tend to look at the structural, or where we find the page, the document, the book when we sit at the interfacial, superficial face to face of the internet . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "That's the irony of future living."

Bob Zwick says, "Andrew - true about the $ but that's the fuel for the backbones."

Alan Sondheim says, "Talan, for me that situation is surrounded unfortunately by a lot of hunger, as well as greed - as well as literal hunger of course."

Talan Memmott says, "Where we are --- (t)here and (t)here . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Look at a world based on knowledge, pursuit of the self, intelligence and love rather than the $ what becomes the backbone then?"

Alan Sondheim says, "But it's going the other way, I think; you find the university model radically changing under the impact of business and information technology."

Talan Memmott says, "How the apparatus spins out into very real ontological concerns . . ."

Bob Zwick says, "I meant the physical backbone that transmits all internet traffic."

Andrew Oldham says, "I went to a new uni run by corporates . . .bad."

Deena says, "what is a uni?"

Andrew Oldham says, "University "

Nick says "I missed most of this chat what's it been about ?"

Alan Sondheim says, "you can read the log; it will be up soon I hope.

" Deena says, "Well, this chat has zoomed from canons and how to do that online, to reading online, to critiques . . ."

Nick says, " Where do I find that? log?"

Deena says, "The log will be up at "

R Adams says, " . . .It just has to be put through the mill and pulped ;-)"

Deena says, "M, are you on the mailing list for chat announcements?."

Nick says, " Deena, no, I'm not on the mailing list for chat."

Andrew Oldham says, "Neither am I"

Dominic Fox says, "Plus, do I really want what will happen to me if I don't go on being in one?"

Alan Sondheim says, "I'm envious, Dominic; at least there will be jobs perhaps for you - at this point, I'm always struggling (and that's germane here, since I have to keep up with technology in order to keep up with new media in order to . . . etc. etc."

Talan Memmott says, "How the apparatus perverts the general economy . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Technology becomes redundant every second . . .fearful."

Alan Sondheim says, "Or how the apparatus is the general economy."

Bob Zwick says, "Talan - quite right - just like gasoline pollutes our world but has become necessary

Dominic Fox says, "
Editor's note: I asked for email addresses if people wanted to receive future notices. Naturally, the e-mail addresses aren't on the chat, and then we got silly. You can email me at chathost @ if you want to be on the mailing list for future chats. Unless, of course, you are reading this in the year 3000 or even 2020. Then you may be out of luck. Or biology. But back to editing now . . . Ahem. seriously.

Andrew Oldham says, "LOL. Monty Python fan?"

Deena starts slinging spam all over the place . . .

Dominic Fox says, "It's the ads for muscle products that really get me."

Talan Memmott says, "How attachment to the inherent alters mentality making any/every hyper(g)lobal . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Look at cars ads then."

Deena says, "Right, gasoline is needed because the corporations set up a system of planned private travel to get the most money from manufacturing and use the most resources."

Alan Sondheim says, "I was exercising with barbells before coming online today."

Deena says, "Dominic, I work for the govt and have the same fears there as well . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "I have a defunct cardioglide, it berates me."

Nick says, "What's the best deal for connecting Internet UK? a technical question. Technical commercial."

Dominic Fox says, "I like NTLworld, just 'cos it's free and isn't totally crap."

Andrew Oldham says, "Freeserve/BT Talk and Surf etc."

Andrew Oldham says, "But free evening/weekends."

Nick says, " I've tried lineone with BT but lost icon."

Andrew Oldham says, "Email them, they'll send u a new one "

Dominic Fox says, "NTLworld is free all the time."

Helen cheers Dom and ntlworld.

Deena says, "I am on CHeap Internet Service Provider in Denver, but we get cut off all the time, as a larger corporation owns the phone lines . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Does anyone know if the Mono bulletin board system is still running? That was one of my earliest Net experiences . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "I don't know but do u remember the early 80's net, commodore 64 with spurs ?"

Nick says, " Thanks Andrew, tech nightmare."

Deena hands out PDP 11's with a loving grace."

Dominic Fox says, "I wish I had a modem I could use under linux."

Deena is surrounded by old Mac pluses right now."

Dominic Fox says, "I do everything on-line within an IE browser - very limiting."

Alan Sondheim says, "I don't Andrew . . . Deena, there's a PDP online software site; I'm going to look at it for no particular reason."

Andrew Oldham says, "Had an electron . . .oooooh "

Alan Sondheim says, "Dominic, I used to connect with linux all the time and Opera and Netscape come with a lot of packages of course."

R Adams says, "I really like the Full Screen function with Opera "

Dominic Fox says, "Incidentally, I took Alan's tip and downloaded Opera. It's very nice!"

Alan Sondheim says, "Opera brings a whole new way of reading to the Net I think."

Andrew Oldham says, "What happened to our topic?"

Deena says, "It went out with the electrons."

Dominic Fox says, "But linux doesn't support winmodems, which is what I've got."

Andrew Oldham says, "LOL "

Deena says, "We WERE talking about how to approach reading on line . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Drink."

Deena obligingly hands out drinks full of fuzzy electrons.

Alan Sondheim says, "Dominic, it's easy to find an older modem to use on a serial connect. You're right of course - I just got a second one for that."

Dominic Fox says, "What in particular makes you think that?"

Alan Sondheim says, "One problem I'm having with it is that it won't read my flash correctly. Because of the cascading pages for one thing and the full screen for another."

Deena says, "We had a discussion with Wendy Morgan about dropping the expectations for electronic reading--"

Andrew Oldham says, "But for the average reader, unknown to tech terms, what about them?"

Alan Sondheim says, "What sort of expectations?"

R Adams says, "It doesn't seem to like applets either."

Alan Sondheim says, "True - it hangs on a lot of applets."

Dominic Fox says, "So does IE . . ."

Deena says, "You know, we have so many difficulties just getting online and getting computers to work--it is sometimes hard to read the literatuer let alone approach it!"

Talan Memmott says, "Well, folks I have to take care of some tasks across the office . . . I will leave myself logged in for a bit to keep the log rolling . . . Just wanted to say it was a pleasure . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "But it really feels airy . . ."

Deena and Bob Zwick say, "Thanks Talan!"

Alan Sondheim says, "Thanks Talan - and I hope to see you in New York sometime!"

Talan Memmott says, "April!"

R Adams says, "I have just started teaching seniors how to use the Internet, in their homes."

Alan Sondheim says, "We'll be here in April, going away a bit in March. Maybe you could do a class . . ."

Talan Memmott says, "Alan -- let's talk . . ."

R Adams says, "Its amazing what I take for granted--explaining click and drag to someone with arthritis!!!"

Andrew Oldham says, "Explain click and drag to anyone in education."

Dominic Fox says, "That's what my dad does- teaches trainee teachers how to use IT.."

Andrew Oldham says, "I have an early site, all text, and it still only gets three page reads before people leave but then again it is early and probably awful."

Alan Sondheim says, "Andrew, what's the URL?"

Andrew Oldham says, " "

Alan Sondheim says, "I think teaching always always grounds our work here - at least it does for me."

Bob Zwick says, "Where are you located R ?"

R Adams says, "Vancouver Island "

Alan Sondheim says, "thanks for this - "

Deena says, "This was a great chance to air out issues with the book, archiving, canons, access, definitions and approaches. Thanks for the scintillating conversations!"

Alan Sondheim says, "One thing I love doing, exploring older online sites, using archive for example, or going to the oldest www sites. I use a lot of older books for these sorts of things, just looking around; some of the original archives are still there of course."

Alan Sondheim says, "Thanks Deena!"

Deena says, "Alan, what is archive and how do you use it?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Sorry, I meant archie "

Andrew Oldham says, "They need that in the UK "

Bob Zwick says, "Alan - sounds like interesting detective work."

Deena fondly remembers veronica too.

Alan Sondheim says, "There were archie, veronica, and jughead, literally. Veronica explored gopher; archie explored ftp archives, and jughead was a variety of veronica."

Dominic Fox says, "They need trainee teachers with half a brain, is what they need. But who with half a brain would work in UK schools?"

Alan Sondheim says, "And these things, you can sometimes still find them."

Dominic Fox says, "(OOPS, how many teachers have we got here? Both my parents were teachers, btw) "

Alan Sondheim says, "God, we have half a brain for president here . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "I did for five years and then became a writer, it was easier and less like Beirut on holiday."

R Adams says, "one thing I didn't say in the chat, but wanted to.. I wonder . . . did photography free painting to be art? And is digital imagery doing the same thing now for photography."

Deena says, "Good point, in a way, I think it did . . . you get away from portraiture and into abstractions . . ."

Alan Sondheim says, "Early photography was problematized in terms of art, but I think that painting was always considered the foundation of artwork. You might look at Ruskin here."

Nick says, " Alan, where are you? City?"

Alan Sondheim says, "New York City, Brooklyn - "

Andrew Oldham says, "Yes, digital imagery is taking art to a new level of manipulation."

Deena says, "Now digital photography can free photography to be art . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Yep and now I visit to do w/shops and laugh."

R Adams says, "I use imagery a lot."

Deena says, "And then holography will free digital photography and I am getting away with myself here."

R Adams says, "Old photographs."

Nick says, " Amazing. Hello."

R Adams says, "I used to want them to look good on the net."

Alan Sondheim says, "I think this notion of "freeing" might also be a problem - I think the discourses were well developed before these newer media came along."

R Adams says, "Llike photos."

Deena says, "Do you guys know 25 ways to view a photograph?"
Editor's note: I can't find this on the web, so am substituting the Jumpin' at the Diner's link to this piece. I'm tempted to urge you to check this out, as it is one of my absolute favorites, but I won't . . .I'm a silent editor . . .

R Adams says, "Now I always manipulate them to make them obviously digital."

Alan Sondheim says, "Certainly photography freed painting and engraving from the demands of facticity in say scientific experimentation or anatomy . . ."

Nick says, " I'm in UK."

Dominic Fox says, "I better be gone Sarah is here, says am I going to come and spend any time with her or am I just going to ignore her . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Imagery is fantastic and underused medium, using digital images to create stories, going back to the initial conception of plot."

Dominic Fox says, "Damn computers."

Andrew Oldham says, "Don't damn a computer , they listen."

R Adams says, "Yes, Andrew, I agree."

Alan Sondheim says, "Deena, what's the angle!!!"

Deena says, "I guess the angle is that each new media affects the older medias in unexpected ways."

Alan Sondheim says, "That's true, and it's not the medium of course, but new artists, discourses, institutions that affect older ones."

Andrew Oldham says, "Or does it pervert them, twist them, force them to become something new or a shadow of the old?"

Deena says, "Right, it is how we perceive and use the media . . ."

R Adams says, "I also really like image maps."

R Adams says, "A shadow, do you think?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Media ideology always changing, whether or not something else comes along . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "What time does this end in GMT?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Andrew, technically this ended forty minutes ago."

Deena says, "Well, it usually ends at 22:00."

Alan Sondheim says, "But I hope Deena you could edit some of the content of this section in as well?"

Deena says, "Actually, I just edit out the personal email and clean up the whole log . . .unless you want me to strike the bit about corporations for fear of reprisal "

Alan Sondheim says, "No but take out all the goodbyes."

Deena passes around a barman saying hurry up please its time.

Bob Zwick says, "LOL - is this last call Deena?"

Andrew Oldham says, "In some occurrences, the idea that one idea usurps another is nothing new, that it builds on the bones of other ideas etc."

Alan Sondheim says, "true - which brings up of course marxist dialectics . . ."

R Adams says, "it's still early on this side of the new world ;-) "

Andrew Oldham says, "I once worked in hotels, by this time you didn't have the power to speak, hurry up and get out etc."

Alan Sondheim thinks he can't imagine ANYONE passing around a barman.

Deena says, "No, but I need to get in all my wasteland jokes somehow."

R Adams says, "I'm playing in flash right now."

Deena shrinks the barman and puts him in her pocket for afters."

Nick says, " Personally I'm still aiming to publish in traditional media. magazines , books."

" R Adams says, "I don't know whether I like it much."

Talan Memmott says, "I'm back . . . flash is kind of a toy . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Nick that's good but don't ignore the new, there is scope, at present, for both to sit comfortably next to each other but the future?"

R Adams says, "I agree."

Alan Sondheim says, "That brings up something else, quickly - the idea of play online. a book can be playful, but it's a fixed form; online the skittering of text and content etc. points to a degree of play, playfunless . . ."

R Adams says, "It's been said so many times, but its content, eh, that matters."

Deena Larsen passes around flash toys for Talan. We agreed that perceptions of media can color new and old medias

Andrew Oldham says, "What about collaborative organic writing on the net ?"

Deena says, "What do you mean by organic writing?"

Alan Sondheim says, "That's a good point; we hardly touched on collaboration."

Talan Memmott says, "I think play is one of the most significant attributes of web work . . ."

R Adams says, "Organic? on the net?"

Alan Sondheim says, "When I did the LoveandWar thing for trace, I was amazed at the quality of the writing and interaction."

Deena says, "I think it is an exuberance with the possibilities--like Ernie Kovac with TV."

Andrew Oldham says, "Who owns collaborative material, does it belong to the authors or the net?"

Alan Sondheim says, "Andrew, that would be defined I think legally by the circumstances of the production."

Bob Zwick says, "Has anyone here ever worked on a chain novel ?"

Andrew Oldham says, "Yes."

Bob Zwick says, "Who was the publisher Andrew ?"

Talan Memmott says, "Play --- not only in an authorial sense but in the play of the user . . ."

Andrew Oldham says, "Something that grows, you can leave it alone for months, return and its massive."

Alan Sondheim says, "I never felt for example I could republish the LoveandWar stuff because I didn't write 99% of it."

R Adams says, "Here's a playful thing, not completed, just playing at "

Andrew Oldham says, "Pulp Faction I think or Canon."

Disconnected Session Close: Sun Jan 07 2001 22:37

Editor's note: Conversation continued in the dark after log was closed and the barman turned off the lights.

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