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Newsletter July '01
4/2001 (3.Jg. / Nr. 18) - ISSN 1617-6901
earlier newsletter

Content Newsletter:
Web as Stage / Aesthetics of Lying / Writing With the Code / Interview Döhl & Auer / Richter's Photo Fragments / NetArtPrice 2001 / Fisher's "Waves of Girls" / Interview Federman / Literature Events and Net-Discourse / Net-Book "Pixel-Ich" / Lialina's "my boyfriend came back from the war"

Web as Stage!? Net Performances [German]

Is there such a thing as Netart? If so, is theater part of it? Gisela Müller has some general thoughts, proposes six genre categories and introduces the prizewinners of "webscene". Her conclusion: the new is where VR merges with RL and the net is once more understood as a medium of distribution.

Aesthetics of Lying. Faked Websites and Hoaxes [German]

While in the literature the end of the apolitical and self-centered pop culture has been declared, on the net a kind of polit-pop has been developing, which does good things with bad means: faked websites, where disinformation is spread, and artists pretend to be representatives of important political institutions. Roberto Simanowski sees swindle for the sake of enlightenment, media competence, and teaching people to be suspicious. It all starts by ordering the right URL.

Writing With the Code - a Digital Poetics [English]

The reader as object to object oriented programming, which reads her reading. Old techniques in commercial websites can be used in digital narration as well. Søren Pold talks about a poetics of objects and their interaction, and about the things behind links and interface (Etoy's Hijacking, Jodi's deconstructive browser). His conclusion: digital literature aims at interpretation and revealing of the code, as "a critical investigation into the computer".

Interview with Reinhard Döhl and Johannes Auer [German]

Reinhard Döhl recalls the tradition of current net experiments, and Johannes Auer reveals the deconstructionism of text source fetishists (Jodi & Co) as "binary idealism". Further issues: aleatoric, terminology, visualization, collaborative authorship, the programmer's superiority to the conceptualizing artist.

Photo Fragments. Frank Richter's "I concrete myself in a oscillating world" [German]

Richter's answer to the question "Who am I today? What will we do tomorrow?" is a self portrait manipulated by Flash, JavaScripts and dynamic layers. This leads to interesting effects in deconstructive photo-philosophy. If she could program, Cindy Sherman would have done things like this. However, she would have avoided the repetitions and would have better merged photography and text, argues Roberto Simanowski.

NetArtPrice2001 - The Prizewinner [German]

"Who am I today? What will we do tomorrow?" was the question to be answered by means of the Internet. The jury, however, complained the lack of "net specific interaction" and gave the prize to two totally different contributions. Roberto Simanowski considers both problems.

Caitlin Fishers "These Waves of Girls". Prizewinner of the ELO Award 2001 [German]

The ELO Award 2001 goes to Caitlin Fisher's hyperfiction These Waves of Girls. Why did the jury give the award to this brave narrative project instead of other contributions set up much more radically within the means of digital media? Was it the multimedial packing? Was it the suit of memorizing appropriate to hyperstructure? Was it the sexy topic of lesbian identity? Roberto Simanowski introduces the piece and adds some general thoughts on the semantics of linkage, text-image-relation, and aspects of design.

From Surfiction to Hypertext. Interview with Raymond Federman [English]

He wrote - along with numerous experimental novels - the 1996 manifesto "The Real Begins Where the Spectacle Ends", he invented the new Oxford English Dictionary terms surfiction and critifiction, he is considered a precursor of hyperfictional writing, and now he states: "The problem with hyperfiction: it takes itself too seriously, it whines, it's sad, it's not funny, and worse it does not know how to be self-reflexive." Roberto Simanowski talked to Raymond Federman about contemporary aesthetics of spectacle, the concept of surfiction and critifiction, its relation to hyperfiction and realfiction, and about pla(y)garism.

Literature Events and Net-Discourse. The Internationales Literaturfestival and Hypertext [German]

Most festivals for literature have there own netliterature section nowadays. For example, the first Internationales Literaturfestival June 14.-24. in Berlin. Is there such a strong faith in the book's future that the media competition isn't afraid anymore? Or is the faith too weak to ignore the challenger any longer? Roberto Simanowski believes that the book industry has just learnt from Foucault and is trying to keep control by staging a limited discourse about the perennially unpopular subject.

I am surfing therefore I am. The Net-Book "Pixel-Ich" [German]

A book about the impact of Internet on everyday life - street media historiography. This is how Christiane Heibach reads the book that caused a huge debate in Literaturcafe.de. Heibach had fun reading it and does not share the objections against publishing this collaborative online writing project in print.

Russian Hypertext. Olia Lialina's "My boyfriend came back from the war" [German]

Olia Lialina's "My boyfriend came back from the war" (1996) is a piece of digital literature that has enjoyed remarkable success. In contrast to other hyperfictions this example works in a way one never would have expected from links. Is that because the story is so short? Or because of the links set in vertical and horizontal way? Or because Lialina's English is simply narrated?

Newsletter 2001:

current - Jan - March - May - July

Newsletter 2000:

Nov - Sept - Juli - Mai - März - Feb - Jan

Newsletter 1999:

Dez - Nov - Okt - Sept - Aug - Juli - Juni