Chat Transcript: May 20, 2001

The 2001 Electronic Literature Award winners are announced! Londoner John Cayley took the top spot for the Poetry Award, and Caitlin Fisher of Toronto won the Fiction Award. Each artist wins $10,000 (USD), and a beautiful bronze book trophy from our awards gala, held 18 May 2001, at the New School's Swayduck Auditorium, New York City.

Talk with the winners and semifinalists about their work and ideals.

Related Links

-- Start log: Sunday, May 20, 2001 12:12:22 pm CDT
RobWittig quietly enters.
Deena arrives.
guest arrives. guest is now known as Scott/Rob.
Caitlin quietly enters.
guest says, "Hi deena. This is scott, I'm sitting in a cybercafe in New York with Caitlin Fisher"
Deena says, "Hi Scott and Caitlin"
Deena says, "Congrats Caitlin!"
Caitlin says, "Thanks very much, Deena!"
Deena says, "Forgive my typing"
Scott/Rob says, "No, now we have two machines going"
Caitlin says, "You're forgiven. my typing is absolutely awful "
Deena says, "Ahh. And Rob is?"
Scott/Rob says, "Wittig. Expecting him to turn up momentarily. And then I gotta go to a meeting. I'm going to turn it over to Ro""
Scott/Rob says, "Things are kind of hectic."
Deena says, "I can imagine!"
Caitlin says, "'ve never done this before... I'm an asynchronous girl usually"
Deena says, "This is fun. You might want to type out the URLs you'd like to share and some thoughts you want to get in ahead of time"
Caitlin says, "Deena, I'm so lost without own computer and bookmarks. Lost. winning this has made all URLS vanish from memory. give me a second..."
Deena says, "Totally understandable, Caitlin :)"
Scott/Rob says, "Here's what I say --- since I've never been in the same room as another chatter, I say Caitlin and Scott and Eric and I should all describe each other for the room."
Caitlin says, "Hmm... I was describing Rob and everything erased itself"
Deena hands Caitlin a sympathetic link to her home computer
Salmon arrives from moolipo
Bumpy Guest arrives.
Deena says, "Hi Salmon and Bumpy!"
Salmon says, "Hi Deena!"
Deena shares a URL for the Electronic Literature Awards (
Scott/Rob says, "S here. We are in awe of the fashion that Caitlin, geniwaite and Shelley J demonstrated at the fabulous awards ceremony"
Scott/Rob says, "Can you demonstrate fashion? (Sorry there were feather boas)."
Scott/Rob says, "But your hair and your smile were terrific"
Salmon [to Caitlin]: congratulations, Caitlin.
Caitlin says, "No one told me to bring a boa."
Scott/Rob says, "Did you catch the webcast Deena?"
Deena says, "No, I tried to get it and couldn't :("
Caitlin grabs link and turns it into a boa
Salmon caught the tail end of it..
Nicki arrives.
Caitlin smiles
Deena hands round more feather boas for all
Scott/Rob says, "The Australians figured out how to get in but others had problems"
Caitlin says, "Rob is now playing with his hair. Stopped now."
Deena expands the room and invites all to introduce themselves in Moospace
elizabeth arrives.
geniwate arrives.
Deena says, "Hi elizabeth and geniwate, we are introducing ourselves. I'm Deena, the chat hostess"
Deena says, "We are talking about the Electronic Literary Organization Awards. The 2001 Electronic Literary Awards were /are a watershed event. Two prizes, each $10,000 were awarded. One for fiction, the other for poetry. We are talking with Caitlin Fisher who won the fiction award for "These Waves of Girls. Geniwate Prospect was a finalist for the poetry award for "Nepabunna"."
Scott/Rob says, "For everyone wondering how to get a copy of the ELO 2001 Awards CD, they'll be available in a couple months (maybe less) & will be included w/ your ELO membership package. I hope y'all
don't mind that shameless plug."
elizabeth says, "Hi Deena (yes)"
Salmon says, "I'm Katherine Parrish... student and parasite."
Deena hands round wine and cheese and cotton candy feather boas
Caitlin says, "Yes, it was amazing... I do feel part of something really exciting"
Salmon [to Caitlin]: and I live in Toronto, and can't belive we haven't met before..
Deena says, "Hi frisky, we are introducing ourselves. "
frisky_whiskers says, "Hi""
Scott/Rob says, "I want to say before I go that the most amazing part of the whole gathering has been getting all of these writers together in person. "
Deena imagines the energy...
Salmon gives three cheers for meeting people in person
Scott/Rob says, "I think that the range and the depth of the work on the shortlist really brought home the idea that eliterature is now clearly a cultural movement"
Scott/Rob says, "Congratulations to Caitlin and John Cayley but also to everyone on the short list and everyone who entered the competition and everyone who is writing this strange unusual creative boundary blurring literature. "
Scott/Rob says, "Margie compared the ceremony to the Armory show that established the modernist movement."
Scott/Rob says, "Okay gotta go to a meeting dammit here's the wizard of tank 20 lit studios and one of Heather Mchugh's cultural heroes Rob Wittig"
Deena says, "Scott, thanks for the intro to the program, and for doing so much to put this together!"
Deena says, "Wow, this is really a watershed event!"
Caitlin says, "Hi Toronto Salmon"
Deena says, "Three cheers for Scott!"
Salmon goes woo hoo!
geniwate says, "Hip hip hooray"
Caitlin cheers
elizabeth says, "Yeah, congrats to all"
Scott/Rob says, "This is Rob apppppppppppplause!!!"
Caitlin says, "We are all screaming for Scott. well, no... but we should be"
Scott/Rob says, "Appplause for Caitlin!!!!!!!"
Deena says, "Can everyone see the URL for the ELO page and awards?"
Scott/Rob says, "Apppppppppplause for Caitlin!!!!!"
Caitlin blushes, bows or something
frisky_whiskers says, "Yay Caitlin""
geniwate says, "Yes congrats Caitlin and John"
Deena says, "Congrats Caitlin. "
elizabeth says, "Cheers Caitlin too (is John here?)"
Nicki says, "Congratulations Caitlin"
Deena says, "Congrats to John Cayley..."
geniwate says, "I don't think so."
Deena says, "He isn't on now, I think he is in the middle of the ocean...where internet is still hard to get..."
Scott/Rob says, "It must be said right off the top that Caitlin's hair is this amazing wonderful metallic-kind-of subtle strong RED and is cut in a fantastic simple shape"
Deena says, "Rob and Caitlin are in the same room, so they have some advantages... Caitlin, feel free to describe ROob :)"
Caitlin says, "Thanks so very very much everyone... I can hardly believe it... I really appreciate your good wishes..."
Deena says, "Caitlin, could you introduce yourself and your work a bit?"
elizabeth says, "Your piece is incredibly rich, Caitlin, visually ..."
Salmon agrees with Elizabeth.
Scott/Rob says, "And it also must be said that just moments ago as Eric of ELO was taking Caitlin's picture for the archives (a nice gentleman at another of the cafe's machine allowed Eric to sit in his place and get a good angle) Caitlin recalled how her father advised her 'not to smile for every picture.' I think it's good that she smiled anyway."
Caitlin says, "Ready to descibe myself, I guess... I'm been reading hypertext for a long time, and writing some, too... but I've felt very much like a spectator until now "
DavidK quietly enters. DavidK says, "Hi"
frisky_whiskers says, "We're glad you're not just spectating still..."
Deena says, "Glad you could jump in, Caitlin"
DavidK smiles
Deena says, "Hi David Kolb, we are introducing Caitlin Fisher, winner of the ELO award for Fiction, for "These Waves of Girls"
Caitlin says, "When I saw the call for entries, I really set aside time to write. Girlhood, and all the ways we imagine, remember, construct girlhood and girls are a huge preoccupation of mine.. and I thought the complexity of that could be captured in hypermedia.
Deena says, "Caitlin, do you have the URL for your piece?"
Caitlin says, "<>... I'll add, though, that I'd written the segment about the gang of girls chasing the boy on the bicycle.. it was part of my dissertation... ... the other stories grew out of my wondering what other kinds of stories/girls this small tale might make possible/allow me to image.... I knew it just had to be done in hypertext.. I wanted to avoid traditional chronology, I wanted all these girls to be talking at once. " "
Margaret arrives.
elizabeth says, "Hi Margaret" Deena says, "Hi Margaret, we are talking with the winners and finalists of the ELO awards"
Margaret says, "Thanks Deena"
Deena says, "We also have geniwate with us, who was a finalist for the poetry awards with "Nepabunna". And I am probably missing some finalists so please introduce yourselves..."
frisky_whiskers says, "Caitlin, are you worried at all that your piece is now "fixed" in time/place, that you can't go back and edit it and change it and all that..., 'cos that's what I love most about stuff I write for the web, I can change it all the time ..."
Scott/Rob says, "Hello, this is Eric. Scott has morphed into me. I just wanted to ask Caitlin to follow up on her remark about how she initiated the "These Waves of Girls." What aspects of the project did you feel could be captured w/ multimedia technologies? I know you started to explain this to everyone at the Roundtable discussion w/ Larry McCaffery yesterday, but I think it's worth repeating & elaborating upon...""
Caitlin says, "I knew early on I wanted it to be a very visual piece, like a scrapbook, or a treasure chest... "
Nicki arrives. Deena says, "Hi Nicki. Caitlin, winner of the fiction award for ELO is explaining some of the genesis for her piece These Waves of Girls"
Caitlin listens
Caitlin says, "Hello Nicki"
Nicki says, "Hi Caitlin, it was exciting to discover your work"
Scott/Rob says, "Did you have the project conceptualized as a totality before you began the actual writing & coding? or did you just have a rough idea & begin working? I'm always curious about how writers approach large projects."
Caitlin says, "I had an idea, but I'm sure many people here know how hard it is to separate the linking, the coding and the 'other' writing... it mostly grew organically, and the images were woven through as I was writing..."
Deena says, "Geniwate, how did you visualize your work? and start it?"
geniwate says, "There is a web-based version of my work, but I have reservations releasing it because the functionality is not all there, and it is slow to download. (The ELO CD version will be better). However if you are really keen it's"
Deena juggles between two conversations and invites others to join in.
Caitlin says, "No need to juggle. I want to hear about geniwate's work! "
frisky_whiskers [to Caitlin]: are u havin fun yet pixie girl??
Caitlin says, "Hello frisky whiskers"
Trondheim Guest arrives. clairepatrick arrives.
Deena says, "We can hear both--Caitlin, I would like to know how you started to approach this--did you see the whole, or did it grow?"
Deena says, "Hi Trondheim and clairepatrick, we are talking with Caitlin and geniwate about how their pieces started."
Trondheim_Guest says, "Hello sorry I'm late, its very early in Australia."
Deena says, "No problem."
geniwate sends empathy Trondheim from an Australian currently in NY
Deena hands round more tea, cakes, strong coffee and spun sugar feather boas
Salmon wonders about distribution & accessibility issues re: cd vs. web , and wonders about how award ceremonies might affect publishing....
geniwate says, " Salmon, I agree. that is why I made a web based version. Even though for technical reasons it cannot work as well as the CD, I felt I had an obligation to make it freely available. So different from print conventions!"
Salmon [to geniwate]: Are you concerned then about how people might judge the work based on the web version?
geniwate says, "Not really, I make it clear on the first screen it's not the optimum version, and I don't advertise the web version; I only do when I feel some obligation"
Deena says, "Yes, unlike other literary movemebnts, we are tied to new issues such as platform and software. How do we as electronic writers work with these constraints?"
geniwate says, "I have made a browser-based version of mine for the PC. I may get round to make a projector version. Hopefully there will be room on ELO CD for both; that's uncertain at this stage. My desire certainly is to cover all bases"
Scott/Rob says, "Well... I'm not quite sure where to begin w/ the publishing question. Obviously the awards are bringing a lot of attention to the shortlist & the field of e-lit in general. I'm hoping that it will make the *general* public more aware of the breadth of innovative work being done in this new field. I'm really tired of explaining to folks that the ELO is about way, way, way more than e-books."
Deena says, "Will all the newcomers please introduce themselves?"
Nicki says, "I'll introduce myself. I'm Nicki. I've recently been doing a writer's attachment with trAce. Is it okay just to ask questions here? I'm not sure of the panel format."
elizabeth says, "[request to introduce] I'm in London; I'm a fan & aspirant in elit esp. poetry; I've been to Niagara Falls with Deena."
Deena says, "Sure, please feel free to break in, add questions, etc. It may look choaitic, but it is fun. You can also ask for repeats and to go back to somewhere"
Margaret says, "Margaret re request to introduce I am Margaret I was trAce's first attachment. I an writing a hypertext novel, linear parts of which draw heavily on the old text adventure format but it has a strong image content"
Caitlin says, "Hi Margaret ... is it possible we met at the TRACE conference in Nottingham?"
Margaret says, "Yes, Caitlin, I was at the trAce Conference - do you mean Incubation or the one before that?"
Deena brings everyone into the crowded universe of ideas
Deena says, "This will be archived, and we can add questions on the bulletin board at"
Deena says, "I'd like to get back to Salmon's point on how the award might affect publishing. Rob or Eric, can you address the publishing aspects?"
Scott/Rob says, "Speaking of turning on new readers, at the pre-awards dinner, I sat at a table w/ Barney Rosset & his partner Astrid. Barney is the man responsible for starting Grove Press & the Evergreen Review. He brought Beckett, Ionesco, Burroughs, Kerouac, etc. to American audiences, & risked going to jail several times for his publishing activities... anyway, he was just tickled pink & curious as hell about the pioneering work being done by this new generation of writers.
Deena says, "Caitlin, you should feel at home here, with all talking at once :)"
Caitlin tries to juggle, too... is sorry she isn't a fast typist
Deena juggles the threads: How will the ELO publicity help show that there is more to elit than epub, how do these things starty, what is the difference in presentation on web and in programs...
Caitlin smiles at Deena. right.
Deena says, "Wow, Scott/Rob/Eric. That is amazing. I think we are all at the brink of a large literary movement, it is just how to get people to pay attention to it. But the ELO awards are an incredible start."
Trondheim_Guest says, "Any press about the event yet?"
Scott/Rob says, "Larry McCaffery also expressed similar feelings. Larry has been publishing excellent interviews w/ cutting-edge writers for the past 25 or so years. several times he talked about the feeling that the mythological literary torch was being passed on to a new generation of writers & he felt great about it."
Deena hands round copies of the torches
Deena passes around champagne glasses to toast the new literary torches
geniwate says, "Trondheim, you are Australian? I have already been invited to speak at an Australian conference just on the basis of the shortlist so the ELO Awards are penetrating there"
Deena says, "Geniwate, Caitlin, other finalists, have you gotten much publicity from the awards? "
Scott/Rob says, "On friday, before the awards, the Chicago Tribune published a lengthy piece about the ELO & the awards, but to be honest we've been doing so much running around, discoursing &, well, drinking that we haven't spent much time tracking down the press. TechTV was present at the awards & was broadcasting from the event & reception. When it aired (live?) I dunno... Tomorrow they'll interview Scott Rettberg in the studio."
frisky_whiskers says, "Kisses, Caitlin, we're off for now. Congrats"
Scott/Rob says, "We're also getting coverage from some unexpected places. Forbes magazine, for example, covered the awards, as did Silicon Alley."
Deena says, "Scott/Rob, that is great. How can we continue this wave of publicity?"
Trondheim_Guest says, "Will you update the website with this info?"
Scott/Rob says, "If anyone sees coverage of the awards or interesting pieces about e-lit in general, please forward the info to me (Eric Rasmussen) at we should be more diligent about archiving the publicity."
Deena says, "Yes, it would be great to have links to all the press coverage."
Scott/Rob says, "(this is Rob) publicity like this snowballs. It's the way of the whirled"
Caitlin says, "I teach at York university in Toronto.. it's my first year. when the shortlist was announced I sent the email to people in my small (very) dept... within a day it was the front page of the university website... lead item. York was really really interested and supportive... "
Salmon doesn't think you'll see much about this at U of Toronto press.. unless she does something about it herself..hmmm..
Nicki says, "Caitlin - I wondered how much you had written that you used in the final work before you began it electronically. Did you know it was always going to be an electronic work? How much was an amalgamation/revision of offline writing? I ask this because I'm trying to turn some previous writing into a new web project and wonder if I'm approaching things the right way. If there is a right way ... "
Caitlin says, "Nicki, I think it's a great idea to adapt work .. but it will change so much once you start to weave it all together... that's just my thinking... "
Deena says, "Nikki, I think your question depends on the material. Some material lends itself to working on line and forming connections. My first work, Marble Springs, started as a series of linear poems, and then the connectiosn grew from the material"
Deena says, "Caitlin, Salmon, do you think that the publicitywill help raise electronic literature's awareness and reputation in the univeristy?"
Salmon says, "Well, it depends.. I think York already had their ear to the ground.. for many reasons.. the fact that Caitlin has been able to do this work there indicates a kind of support..."
Deena passes around whirling worlds
Trondheim_Guest says, "Whirled peas now!"
Deena whirls more peas and queues
Everdeen arrives.
Deena says, "Geniwate, Caitlin, do you start on a particular platform and create for that platform?"
elizabeth says, "What about platform? geniwate I see yours is really only for Mac, this also applies to John Cayley's work."
Trondheim_Guest says, "Mine too is only for mac."
geniwate says, "I use director and flash mainly to ensure to cross platform consistency. But then I had the trouble of the fact that director projector is platform specific, which I didn't realise until I did the darn thing. Consequently I had to make 3 versions - web, PC, MAc. A nightmare but it's the obligation thing again."
Margaret says, "I thought the benefit of html was that it was cross-platform"
Deena says, "Oh Margaret, I wish. Then we get into which browser, what works when, which version of html. not to mention browser colors...and that is the simple stuff."
Deena stops complaining now...
Deena says, "Could you say more about the obligation? Why do we feel obligated to be cross platform?"
elizabeth says, "Maybe the obligation is on the readers. I'll save up & get a mac one day, if I have to, not to miss things!"
Deena vows to shake her piggybank for windows
geniwate says, "Yes it's a very wierd obligation, born perhaps of the fact that I'm less concerned about ownership and more about accessibility - a profit is just a lark! It's a moral obligation. when the CD comes out, anybody who wants to will be able to alter and republish my files ..."
Deena says, "Geniwate, hearing that anyone can alter stuff is just great. how will that work? Did you do copyright arrangements?"
geniwate says, "Deena, I guess I'm relying on the fact that it will be easy to prove what the original published version on the CD is. But I should talk to Scott abaout the legal implications a bit some time"
Salmon says, "I like the variablity that different browsers & platforms create, actually, though I know it's a pain for the artists."
elizabeth says, "But that's a nice point Salmon."
Margaret says, "Yes but there are 250 safe colours and if you ignore netscape 6 you have a fairly large common repertoire"
geniwate says, "Margaret my work is not html, it's shockwave or director/projector, depending on which version you're accessing. And html is cross-platform but it can do different things on different platforms; nothing's simple unfortunately"
Margaret says, "I know nothing is simple I have just had a supposedly safe colour turn green in netscape and maroon in ie but on the whole one gets away with things so long as one does not specify fonts"
Deena says, "Do you as readers look at the same piece in different platforms?"
Salmon [to elizabeth]: it makes me think of the computer as a collaborative reader in the process.. if I might enter that dangerous territory .
Deena passes out simplifiers
Deena cringes as simplifiers blow up and become complexifiers
Salmon laughs.
elizabeth says, "Deena, I would look at the same piece on 2 browsers. Yes I frequently read/view same piece on difft browsers"
Salmon is lazy.
Everdeen says, "It's a little like an easter egg hunt...surprises"
Deena is lazy too, usually just looks on her mac netscape 4
elizabeth says, "Hey, among the 12 shortlisted, how many mac how many pc? I mean who actually used which to make?"
Scott/Rob says, "(R) Caitlin --- I've heard you remark that "These Waves of Girls" is, at some level, intertwined with your hypertext dissertation . . . How would you describe the relationship of the two projects . . . or are they a single project ?"
Caitlin says, "To Rob's question... the two projects are very different, but because I was doing my dissertation as a hypermedia text and it crossed and muddied so many lines already, I knew I wanted to challenge the boundaries of traditional academic writing with some storytelling... but it was a very dense and theoretical project... when I was through I wanted to do a project that foregrounded story rather than theory.. though I don't think you have one without the other"
Deena says, "Yes, I intertwined my work with a masters dissertation, but had a lot more freedom at that level. how did both of your projects work together?"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob now) I find that SO interesting, Caitlin . . . how the permeable edges of both projects reach out tendrils to each other"
Deena says, "Caitlin, did you do your dissertation on paper or electronically?"
Caitlin says, "The dissertation was in hypertext"
Salmon [to Caitlin]: Was this for a Fine Arts program?
Caitlin says, "To salmon (how do you do those brackets?) .. no, it was in social and political thought.. I thought given the looong history of philosophical wonderings around nonlinearity etc. that getting a committee together would be easier than it was, however..."
Salmon [to Caitlin]: how cool.. I'm switching to York--think I better switch to York.. and you type---
to player-name bla bla bla"
Deena [to Salmon]: "Ahh. Always wondered how to do that
Salmon goes eep.
Deena says, "Caitlin, any major tussles with your committtee you'd like to detail?"
Deena always interested in tussles with committees
Caitlin says, "To Deena (i just looked up to see about brackets and the text was gone ;) -- my committee, once established, was endlessly supportive"
Deena cheers supportive committees and hands out more support committees for all.
elizabeth says, "Trondheim , sorry, I missed who you are?"
Trondheim_Guest is now known as komninos.
Deena says, "AHAH!!!! I knew that was you..."
geniwate says, "Oh Komninos, I was wondering ..."
Deena says, "Folks, Komninos is also a finalist on the ELO shortlist for poetry for "Cyberpoetry Underground" Want to jump in with a URL and a description?"
elizabeth says, "See Komninos as a Londoner I'm longing to see yours!"
Scott/Rob says, ""KOMIHOS!!!!!! Hi!"
Deena says, "Komninos work depends a great deal on performance poetry--geniwate, Caitlin, how do you perform your work? How did you perform it at the awards?"
Caitlin says, "'performing' hypertext is hard, I think... at least for me... people need *time* to explore... "
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Tech/process question for Caitlin --- did you compose in HTML . . . or put the coding into a document later?"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Geniwate --- same question --- do you compose in HTML or write in some other format and then code it?"
geniwate says, "Rob there is vitually no html in my project. The functional complexity made me write the lingo at the same time as I was writing the 'poems' at least in their broad outline. EG you needed to know how many 'verses' there were in order to write the code, you needed to write the code in order to dispaly the verses; it had to be simultaneous. Writing is a layered process for me; the code is just another langauge that may ofter (but not necessarily) be hidden. e-poetry means natural language and lingo.
Deena says, "Geniwate, so if you changed one aspect of either writing or code, then the other aspect changed as well? Sounds like you did a lot of planning beforehand!"
geniwate says, "Deena I did a helluva lot of revising, more like! (project did take 2 years)"
Deena says, "Yes, these projects take a long time!"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Geniwate . . . when you say "Lingo" it's the programming language of that name, right?"
geniwate says, "Teehee! Y E S it is the programming language for director"
Deena says, "Scott/Rob, could you describe the awards ceremony?"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) The awards ceremony was --- a comfortable, mid-sized college lecture hall . . . mood lighting . . . low key techno music. . the seats 90% full . . . television cameras and webcast cameras set up with their own lights . . . photographers popping up and down out of the audience. . .a big screen center stage and a podium to the left . . . Scott Rettberg was Master of Signifiers . . .er . . . um . . . I mean . . . Ceremonies . . .""
Deena passes round signifiers and cermonies in big father boas
Scott/Rob says, ". . . Margie Luesebrink kicked things off by referring to the famous Armory Art Show which took place only a few blocks away and inagurated Modern Art in the US"
Deena says, "Sounds like this really was a great inauguration for electronic lit!"
Deena says, "Scott/Rob, that sounds like an exciting atmosphere"
Caitlin says, "It was exciting"
Deena says, "Did all the finalists perform pieces?"
Caitlin smiles
Salmon was very impressed with how smothly the tech components went.
elizabeth says, "Makes me mad I missed it -- my player wouldn't play"
Deena says, "How do you decide what parts of the work to perform?"
komninos says, "A tall dark and handsome stranger has entered the room, wearing a tweed coat and smoking a pipe, he lurches forward, as if to speak...."
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) interesting chat moment here just a second ago when Eric Rasmussen discussed chatting strategy with me and geniwate, who are sitting 2 meters away from each other . . . Cycles of Communication!"
Deena says, "Eric, want to enlighten us on chatting techniques?"
Caitlin says, "Spake up! I have no strategy!"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) laughs loud enough for Geniwate, Caitlin & Eric to hear"
Caitlin says, "See how it goes when I type quickly/ hmmm... 'speak up', of course... sorry"
Deena says, "Great. just relax and go with the flow"
Deena says, "Komninos, how do you create? what comes first, the coding, the performance. the writing?"
Salmon would like to know about how the categories were chosen.. the fiction category needed to be defined fairly broadly to encompass some of those finalists.. which must have made judging very difficult
komninos says, "Well even more these days, in flash or whatever I will begin a piece and see where it will take me, usually the creativity comes in the workarounds to technical difficulties"
Deena says, "Yes, most of what I do is an artistic workaround or compromise. But that is where I get the best ideas sometimes..."
Caitlin says, "Komninos, I just loved your work. do you do a lot of work in qtvr?"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) I had a dream early tomorrow morning in which I was wearing tweed, smoking, and stumbling toward a fine Australian poet"
komninos says, "And as I said to wilton I'm a drag and drop poet, too old to learn code."
Deena says, "Geniwate, Caitlin, Komninos, do you think about how you will perform the work while you compose it?"
Salmon . o O ( digital lit in performance... a different form? )
komninos says, "No that comes later, when you stand in front of a group of people"
Margaret says, "Komninos, a very elementary question here. I always thought flash was a macromedia thing (and very expensive) but coffeecup are offering something called flash in June at an affordable price. Is it the same thing?"
Deena says, "Margaret, Flash is a macromedia product that allows for animation and sound and some programming. I think it is a bit expensie, about $200??? no idea...But that is another issue, howe do we afford our pens and paper and software?"
Deena says, "Scott/Rob, so what happened in this exciting room with all the photographers? After Marjorie introduced the ceremony?"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Scott introduced Margie L. (introductory remarks) who introduced Scott (about the elo and the process) who introduced Rob who talked about the Fiction nominees, who introduced Stephanie Strickland who talked about the Poetry nominees, who introduced Larry McCaffery who spoke and gave the award to Caitlin, and then Heather McHugh gave the award to John Cayley, and then EVERYONE DRANK WINE"
geniwate says, "I can't conceive of performing Nepabunna. And this is from someone who used to be a performance poets (Rob please don't go into that...)"
Deena says, "Scott/Rob, is the webcast for the ceremony online somewhere?"
komninos says, "I am also very selective about what I take to stage"
Deena says, "Komininos, so you just think about performing when you stand in front of a group of people?"
elizabeth says, "I am interested in that ragged edge between stuff on screen & human body/voice; much enjoyed Konminos' performances at epoetry 2001."
komninos says, "The first time yes then I gauge the reaction of the audience and modify."
Salmon says, "Well with print poetry, we have readings and then performance poetry.. which are generally conceived of as two different things, safe to say? so should the same follow here?"
Nicki says, "Caitlin, how did you 'perform' These Waves of Girls?"
Deena says, "Caitlin, how did you introduce your work at the ceremony?"
Caitlin says, "Deena, most pieces weren't really 'performed' at the ceremony .. at least not in the way I understand the word... the instructions we received beforehand made it pretty clear that in the interest of time it wouldn't be possible for people to speak to/about/with their work ... the work was shown on a screen, clicked on pretty randomly (?) while they read comments from the judges about the work"
Deena says, "Ahh. that is a good way to do it..."
komninos says, "But with the multimedia pieces on Cyberpoetry Underground , well they were made for cdrom and that intimate space of computer interface."
Deena says, "So Komninos, how did you decide to perform these works?"
komninos says, "I had to really think how to perform with these works in public"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) PRIVATE NOTE TO GENIWATE Don't worry, I won't tell anyone about your giant Princess-Diana suit and the Princess-Diana-as-menacing-chicken performance"
geniwate blush blush the secret's out
Deena hands round giant chicken suits for all and promises to keep the whole thing a deep dark feathered secret.
DavidK says, "Is there a difference in the reading experience, and degree of concentration, on cd and on the web? Do long pieces work on the web or do they get surfed?"
komninos says, "I finally settled on a dialogue with my most cinematic/storytelling pieces, there are cyberpoems on my cd I couldn't perform with."
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Kominos, that's a great way of framing it -- a 'dialogue' with the piece when you perform . . . works very well"
Deena says, "Komninos, do you think the space of a computer differs with the program? Are web spaces the Nicki says, "Do they get visited in 'slices' on the web, over several visits, which gives an interesting reading experience?"
Deena says, "Good question, David. Geniwate, you said earlier thatyour piece was not meant for the web. Are these expectations why?"
geniwate says, "Not sure I understand your question Deena. However, Nepabunna was originally intended for the web but file size and functionality made it unviable."
Deena says, "Ahh. so it runs on web browsers off a cd, geniwate"
same as flash or storyspace or hypercard?"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Caitlin --- has image-making been part of your creative/critical practice for a long time, or were the images for "These Waves" a new activity for you?"
Deena says, "All, how do you see imagery and textcombining in your work?"
komninos says, "My biggest criticism of 'live' hypertext readings is that the font size is too small for projection, and great slabs of text are projected that look like rectangles from where I'm sitting"
Deena says, "Yes, they are hard to read then."
Salmon [to komninos]: the text becomes image...
geniwate says, "Deena, the PC version is like that, but the proper Macintosh version is a director projector 'movie'. The nearest parallel is to a game, and indeed the strcuture / navigation is basically a game functionality."
Caitlin says, "I think working in hypermedia means you have to consider/play with the visual, even if in the end you decide you don't want your work to be strongly visual... When I first bought a scanner about 5 years ago, I scanned everyting... *everything* .. I wanted to make hypertexts without any written text at all.. ""
Deena says, "Wow. Caitlin, those would be huge image sizes!"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Caitlin --- how cool! That's really interesting!"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Did you ever do an all-image sketch pieces?"
Caitlin nods seriously in Deena's direction
Deena says, "Caitlin,what do you see as readers expectations for visual imagery and text?"
geniwate says, "You've got to get your head around the information architecture; I think in those IT terms now."
Deena says, "It is amazing how game theory and literary theory are combining (and practice)"
geniwate says, "The game mechanism solved a couple of problems for me. It allowed the user freedom of navigation, while ensuring they experienced the closure I wanted them to experience."
Deena says, "Geniwate, how did your closure jive with the gamer's expectations of closure? can someone win or lose your piece?"
elizabeth says, "These nitty gritties of your processes are fascinating. Geniwate, may I ask how you got acquainted with the game structures?"
geniwate says, "Deena, a lovely question. I have just been thinking about this ... forgotten who that conversation was with, but how do you 'fail' a poem? And the second time through for advanced users, do you expect them to read faster? Issues I would love to explore in a future work."
Margaret says, "Bye everyone"
Deena "Bye Margaret, thanks for coming!"
komninos says, "Hey I've got that night on video Scott, with Dirk's momologue on mormon underpants and a guided tour of Shelley's tattoo and piercings."
Deena says, "Do you have a URL for that video... or will we have to pay for it?"
Scott/Rob says, "Kom, (this is actually Eric) yeah, we've speculated about that footage... we were afraid you'd be extorting the ELO...but this discussion is probably better suited to a footnote in the Unknown somewhere.."
Salmon grins.
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Kominos, forgive my ignorance, but have you written up your ideas about e-lit performance . . . is there a Kominos's Ten Rules for E-Lit Performance or something?"
Margaret has disconnected.
Deena says, "Rob Kendall's Clues is a short detective poem that you can actually win or lose, so I have been thinking about this for a bit."
Editor's note: as of this posting, Rob has not finished or put Clues up. Keep on the lookout for it, though.
geniwate says, "I would love to see that!"
Deena says, "Yes. maybe we can do a win piece where the winning is getting the "Right interpretation--but actually the piece has a completely different meaning and it is better to lose ..."
komninos says, "Why don't we workshop it here, list what works and what doesn't work"
Deena says, "Komininos, sure we can workshop it. Which one are we talking about?"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Good idea, Kom! There's been a lot of talk here in NYCity the last 48h about how to get the general level of e-lit performance up to a Kominosian standard . . . "
komninos says, "For example giving the audience too much control in choosing links often fails, as you get competition from the audience and the first link gets chosen before anything gets to develop."Salmon says, "The win or lose idea has interesting implications for me as a highschool english teacher, where stiudenst generally think that the way to approach poetry is to find *the* hidden meaning of the poem (i.e. guess the teacher's interpretation)"
Deena says, "We are going to do a panel on reading hypertext at HT01 in Denmark" Caitlin says, "Yes, an audience still wants to be seduced..."
geniwate says, "My own experience with performance make the human body absolutely essntial, pivotal ... that's why I have trouble with it, at least sometimes"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Right on, Geniwate. Trembly-mumbling-behind-podium is nearly as tedious as some interminable puppet shows"
Salmon prefers the puppet shows.
Deena says, "Yep. and it is hard to see the interactions sometimes "
komninos says, "Margie does good live performances of hypertext, predetermines the path and gives the audience limited choice, large text and impressive graphics, Jennifer Ley also impressed me in her live performance of web based work"
Editor's note: Marjorie is Marjorie Luesebrink, who writes under M.D. Coverly
elizabeth says, "I find the same even in poets' workshops Katherine"
Deena sees we've covered how ELO awards will help get puBlicity, how imagery and text work together, how pieces got started, platform issues, performance issues, writing issues....and more
Deena calls for last questions and URLS
Deena says, "Caitlin, Komninos, geniwate, any URLs you'd like to share with us?"
Deena says, "ALL-- are there any major thoughts we haven't covered"
geniwate says, "Ebay is always good :)"
Caitlin says, "Submit hypermedia stuff to the journal of social and political thought!"
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) it is SO satisfying to hear Geniwate laugh . . . from behind the neighbouring keyboard . . . that's the kind of pleasure a writer almost never gets"
Caitlin says, "She's laughing at that, too ;)"
geniwate says, "Yes I got drunk before I came in"
Caitlin says, "I knew it!"
Deena racks up where we've been and hands round more champagne
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Waves hello to Caitlin's-friend-of-whom-to-his-embarrassment-he's-forgotten-the-name"
Deena hands round bottles of Guiness for the road
elizabeth says, "I have to go. Congratulations to Komninos & Geniwate, I look forward to exploring the CD; and to Caitlin, already enjoying your piece. Night all."
DavidK says, "Thanks, everyone. Congratulations to everyone connected with the ELO awards! Bye."
Deena says, "Before we go, thanks to all for coming and a hearty congrats to all the ELO shortlist!"
Caitlin says, "Thank you"
geniwate says, "Thanks Elizabeth"
Deena says, "Three cheers for Caitlin!"
Nicki says, "Thanks - it's been good to hear about the thought/processes behind your work. And congratulations from me."
komninos says, "Thanxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
Deena says, "Three cheers for Komininos!"
Salmon goes woo hoo!
DavidK cheers
Deena says, "Three cheers for geniwate""
DavidK hooray!
Deena says, "And loud cheers for SCott, Eric, Rob, Margie, and all the ELO crew to put this on!"
Thunderous clapping is heard throughout the room, with raucous cheers.
geniwate says, "Oh indeed"
Caitlin says, "This has been a really really wonderful experience... cheers for everyone!"
DavidK Yay
Scott/Rob says, "(Rob) Bye, all. More applause for the ELO writers!!!!"
Salmon goes wooo wooo hooooooo!
Deena says, "You are welcome to stay and chat--I''ll turn the recorder off.."
komninos says, "See you in Australia sometime, jen"
Deena says, "Thanks all so much for coming!"
Salmon [to Caitlin]: I'd love to chat with you sometime about digital lit in Toronto..
Deena says, "The log will be up at"
geniwate says, "Kom, we've actually met - when I was a trembling 22 year old student, in Armidale, at UNE"
komninos says, "Hope I didn't make you tremble"
geniwate says, "Teehee, no not really, I was a general all round trembler (no more)"
Deena wishes she were in New York drinking at the cybercafe...
Nicki says, "Bye, everyone."
komninos says, "Got to get my boy up and off to school now see ya all."
Salmon [to Caitlin]: I might be putting something together for the fall...
Salmon laughs.
Scott/Rob says, "(Eric) Thanks to everyone for making the 2001 ELO Awards happen & create a big splash. it's been a lot of fun & the past few days have made up for the hours of tedious administrative chores that went into the planning. been fabulous meeting people in person. On behalf of the ELO I just want to give everyone a big wet sloppy guiness-soaked goatee kiss."
Caitlin says, "I'd love to talk with you, Salmon -- email me at"
Scott/Rob says, "(eric) over & out"
geniwate says, "Ciao everyone"
Salmon [to Caitlin]: cool cool.. will do =)
Deena [to Caitlin]: "I wish I had more time to talk with you at DAC! Thanks so much Caitlin!"
Caitlin says, "Bye everyone. thanks so much, Deena "
Deena says, "Thanks Salmon, Komininos for coming!"
The housekeeper arrives to remove Nicki, Everdeen, geniwate, and ScottRob.
Salmon smiles.
Deena says, "Salmon, it was so good to meet you in person at E-Poetry!"
Salmon [to Deena]: ya ya! you too!
Deena says, "It was great to meet Komininos too."

-- End log: Monday, May 21, 2001 11:26:41 am CDT

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