Thursday, September 07, 2006

Text + Textiles Residency (Riga, Latvia)

Folks at ebr have been working behind the scenes on this:

ebr announces

Electronic Text + Textiles Residencies

in gorgeous Bauhaus apartment / studio
in burgeoning Riga, Latvia.

The Residency welcomes
artists, designers, writers, and theoreticians
working within or across of the fields of
literature and the arts,
in particular ---

--- work that touches textiles.

(as you know, ebr wears textile thinking close to its heart;
our new online publishing structure is spun from
thread + loop, warp + bark, sutra + suture)

Residencies can be as short as a week
or as long as several months.

Residents will be free to pursue their own
or collaborative projects,
although it is expected that work will appear
in some form in ebr or on Alt-X.

For more information, check out the application.


Electronic Text + Textiles Project Board

Dr. Zane Berzina, Prof. Joseph Tabbi

Dr. Zane Berzina is a textile designer, artist, and researcher. She holds degrees from The University of the Arts Berlin; Master of Art in European Fashion and Textile Design from Southampton University, UK; PhD from the University of the Arts London and has widely participated in exhibitions around Europe. Solo exhibitions in Riga, Helsinki, Berlin and London. Zane Berzina lectures at the Goldsmiths College in London, Department of Visual Art and at The University of Arts Berlin, College of Design and Architecture, Institute for Experimental Fashion and Textile Design, Germany.

Prof. Joseph Tabbi is the author of Cognitive Fictions (Minnesota
2002), and Postmodern Sublime (Cornell 1995,) books that examine the
effects of new technologies on contemporary American fiction. He edits
the Electronic Book Review and has edited and introduced William
Gaddis's last fiction and collected non-fiction (Viking/Penguin). He
is professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and
Director of the Electronic Literature Organization.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Academicus Interruptus

In the work interrupt, the folks behind Glorious Ninth perform a very smart, ambient overwriting of the online academic paper.

There are a few fictional books like David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, and the book entitled Book where the footnotes take over the central text in an epic battle of relevancy and presence. How would a work like "interrupt" perform the same function as these literary texts but in the context of media literacy?

(That's not an assignment, and certainly doesn't require a paper with footnotes to address it. It's just a question that may be part of of an overall investigation about the forms of new media art and writing that intervene in the cultural playing field.)

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Sunday, September 03, 2006


What does it mean to be transliterate?

Take Mark Z. Danieleski's new book Only Revolutions. As with the many other works of fiction, poetry, and online lite[art]ure that have been absorbed into the canons of avant-garde and avant-pop writing, the question will once again be asked: "Who can read this book?"

It was easy to ask these questions when faced with a multi-linear, online work like GRAMMATRON, since the work was clearly conceived and produced as something other than a book, and the formal experience of interacting with the narrative was being mediated by a then relatively unknown interface, i.e. the World Wide Web. That was already challenging enough (creating a cryptic story only made it doubly-triply difficult and the "literariness" was often overlooked so that an emphasis in all of the reviews could be placed on the avant-gardeness of the technological experience itself).

But what happens when a book is still a book? In today's L. A. Times review of Only Revolutions, they say "[b]ecause the author has spent more time on pacing and packaging than on the story, Only Revolutions, with its multiple entry points, is really about the reading experience. Danielewski's intention simply may be to illuminate the limits to which the novel can be stretched, the many different ways a book can now be read." They continue:
Only Revolutions will likely infuriate traditionalists, who (like one friend of mine) might well call it "ejaculations of ink on paper." But it's also a quintessential novel of our time, embodying, as it does, art / technology / literature / design and the spirit of experimentation. In an era when the media landscape is more fractured and saturating than ever before, when the glossy packaging of products (from books to bath gel) is increasingly important, when novels are downloaded onto iPods and sampled on cellphones and the blogosphere has created an insatiable appetite for information, immediacy and interactivity — amid all this, "Only Revolutions" makes sense. Danielewski, a publicity-minded, artistic pioneer at once talented and superficial, could be the voice of the budding, literary online cognoscenti. For better or worse."
Is there really a "budding, literary online cognoscenti?" Or are artists just becoming more media-savvy than ever (avant-pop redux) and, out of necessity, using the prosumer media apparatus to better create their (digital) art persona?

Remember the words of Eleanor Antin: "I had a marvelous art-making machine -- my personas. I never knew where it would go."

Nor do any of us. But we still keep greasing the wheels.

I'll blog more on this subject, and refer to the new book, another time.

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