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Newsletter 3/2002
4.Jg. / Nr. 23 - ISSN 1617-6901
earlier Newsletter

ed. by Roberto Simanowski

Content Newsletter:
Hypertext-Hyperpoesis / Innis' "Kreuzwege der Kommunikation" / Ergodic Literature / French e-poetry / Hunziker's Project-Gallery / Netliterature and Pre-(Hi)stories / Rötzer's "Digitale Weltentwürfe" / Negroponte's "Being Digital" / Bigg's "Great Wall of China"Biggs-Interview

Hypertext/Hyperpoesis/Hyperpoetics [English]

Electronic writing is not simply the e-equivalent of paper writing because writing that is electronic has different properties than writing that is on paper. The difference is in physical and material properties. The most interesting of these are not static properties (i.e., how many lines there are in the text or how many bytes it occupies) but properties that relate to the malleability of the electronic text. These are properties that inject the unpredictable into the work, always spinning away from its viewers and creators the way a listserv by nature spirals off-topic uncontrollably or the way that, since a page doesn't seem to display the way you intended, you just live with it. Loss Pequeño Glazier is looking for a better understanding of the dynamics of web-based hypertext and asks whether a sense of hypertext can be garnered from the people who seem to be prominent in the field.

Railway, Ocean and Book. Harold A. Innis' "Kreuzwege der Kommunikation" [German]

It all started with books about the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Canadian fur trade, and cod fishing. Out of this a special critique of the media evolved whose analysis was not driven by moral conviction. This analysis included the notion of transport media into communication technology. The author of these books is Harold A. Innis (1894-1952), professor at the University of Toronto and teacher of Marshall McLuhan .

Explorations of Ergodic Literature [English]

The transformation of interface from a merely indicative tool of navigation to a suggestive element infused with metaphorical power in text-based hypertext literature, and the incorporation of hypermedia and modes of play and games into the hypertext scenario--both strains are gradually winning attention in electronic writing. Topics such as the clarification of paidia (play) and ludus (game) constituents, their formal impact on literature, and the comprehension of the aesthetic matrices projected by the symbiotic infusion of literature, play and games, have been posited, creating a new node in the network of literary studies. Shuen-shing Lee's paper explores these fertile new fields and aims to bring more poetical recognition to digital textualities.

French e-poetry. A short/long story [English]

"1964 the first electronic poems were written by the French Canadian engineer Jean Baudot ... 1975 the first exhibition of automatically produced poems took place during the "Europalia " event in Brussels. ... In 1985, during the exhibition "Immatériaux" in the Georges Pompidou Centre, the audience was invited to create and print computer generated poems. ... We met some members of the ALAMO group during the first Conference for e-literatures in Paris in 1994. I have been surprised by their aggressivity against the emerging computer based poetry. For them, nothing new could be done out of the paper publication. There was obviously a break between the authors who saw the computer as a tool and the ones who are considering the machine as an autonomous medium." - Patrick-Henri Burgaud tells the story of French e-poetry.

Esther Hunziker's Project Gallery "un focus" [German]

Esther Hunziker's project un focus is a gallery of experiments with digital rhetoric: a car accident, which situates us as spectators in the car, grainy images of lovers and flashing images of fighters are simultaneously put in and taken away, and a "unforgetful" palimpsest.

Tracing back: Netliterature and its Pre-(Hi)stories [German]

With reference to Queneau's sonnet combination and the combinatorical poetry of Barock, Peter Gendolla and Jörgen Schäfer question the "media etiological perspective", focused on the apparatus' disposition, drawing attention to the classical avant garde as a reference to computer generated literature.

Sexy is Short, Colorful, and Fast. Florian Rötzer's "Digitale Weltentwürfe" [German]

Cyberspace is to the "technical avant garde of media users" what America once was to the immigrants tired of Europe: vanishing point of desire, destiny of utopias. But this Eldorado was never what it was presumed to be: the anarchy gives way to the order of portals, interaction doesn't really bring freedom to the user, the utopia of cyberspace democracy is revealed as a mode of escapism from the public space...

Visions about the 21st Century in Nicholas Negroponte's "Being Digital" [German]

In the world of atoms there are books, CDs, video cassettes, newspapers - things one can touch, things which have weight, which sometimes have to be returned and almost always paid for. In the world of bits products are bodiless, intelligent, personalized, and can be manipulated and transformed. Nicholas Negroponte, advocate of the 'digital revolution' , explains what the future looks like.

Building the Wall and the Tower of Babel in Simon Biggs' "Great Wall of China" [German]

In Biggs' work the words of Kafka's story are used by a text generator to create an endless stream of syntactically correct but semantically meaningless sentences. A complex setting which blurs who is actually considered to be the author here: Kafka, the language machine, its programmer, or the user? Another question: Does one need to know Kafka's original text in order to understand Biggs' 'adaptation'? And how does the wall relate to the tower? And what is the semantic of all it anyway!
http:// www.dichtung-digital.com/2002/04-20-Simanowski.htm

Technology, Aura, and the Self in New Media Art. Interview with Simon Biggs [English]

Biggs' work has focused its attention to interactive installation, animation, cd-rom, the Internet and related media. He has also published numerous essays on media art. Among his digital artworks are "The Great Wall of China", "Mozaic" and "Babel". Roberto Simanowski talked with him about new media art, about concepts of technology, about the 'trap of interactivity', about aura and symbolic value in artifacts, the author's signature in "The Great Wall of China" and the self as illusion in "Babel."

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Newsletter 2001:

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Newsletter 2000:

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Newsletter 1999:

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