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Newsletter 5/2002
4.Jg. / Nr. 25 - ISSN 1617-6901
earlier newsletter

ed. by Roberto Simanowski

Content Newsletter:
Gossipy Writing / About/From Love to the Medium / Body/Love-Exercises / Werther's Suffering / love@netliterature / 160 Letters Love / Affairs in Online-Games / kahuna MUD / Faster MovesTension Between the Lines / surf>sample>love / "Schwimmmeisterin" / Scroll-Back

Modem-Fever: Love Discourse in Mail-, SMS, Chat- and MUD-Communication
After symposium
Internet and Literature (January 21.-24., 1999) and InterSzene (July 14.-16., 2000) scholars and practitioners of net culture from Switzerland and Germany met again in L&arc Romainmôtier. The symposium Modem-Fever investigated the relation between love discourse and digital media. Participants introduced net projects and discussed authenticity, body, and the functionality of love discourse in books, on the Internet, and cell phones. This issue presents the contributions and discussion.

Gossipy Writing: Chatting in the Age of Modem Fever [German]

Uwe Wirth investigates the consequences which follow from the aspect that electronic media bring people "together" over social and local distances. The "written to the moment", characteristic of the letter novel poetics in 18th century, turns into the "transmitting to the moment". The expectation of getting new mail leads to "modem fever".

About/From Love to the Medium [German]

Ulrike Landfester looks back on the historical love letter and underlines the "hallucination of consensus" and the tension between authentic and strategic speaking. Cyberspace changes the parameter of love communication through new techniques to perform like gender swapping.

Body/Love-Exercises: A SMS/Internet-Project [German]

May 15 to July 15 in 2002, on schlampe.de (transalte: slut.de) people were asked to send in descriptions of body parts via SMS. From the material literary "Body-Tracks" have been developed, stories for the collective body. At the end of this transmedial three part project the collected texts on the website were brought back into the local public space as performance. Gisela Müller provides a dialog between the user and the "slut".

Werther's Newest Oldest Suffers [German]

At least with Cervante's Don Quijote literature constitutes an implied self negation: The warning to step out of the text and to face real live. The Werther-Fever proves how literature was misunderstood and such warnings ignored. Peter Gendolla discusses whether this paradox remains in digital literature as well.

love@netliterature? [German]

Beat Suter's little survey on "Love in Netliterature" concludes: Digital literature dealing with love is as rare as good digital literature as such. None of the six award winners of the competition literatur.digital (2001) picks up this topic, among the 20 nominees only five. Does connected literature lose interest to write about people connected to each other?

160 Letters Love [German]

How do you communicate a feeling as SMS? Alexander Roesler pins down five characteristics: its short, written, immediate, private, and without object. This leads to limitations as well as expansion concerning the ways to express love.

Affairs and Weddings in Online Games [German]

Readers of the interactive Caroline online are involved in a classical story of emancipation. In the massive multiuser online roleplaying game Everquest the wedding of two avatars shows the fragile and ironic design of love stories and identities even where one never would expect it. Fotis Jannidis explores the the discourse of love in an aesthetical online setting.

@create "magic glitter" - Love Games in kahunaMUD [German]

Nika Bertram introduces kahunaMUD based on her novel "Der Kahuna Modus". Here the user can hang out, flirt and get drunk with the characters, the author, and other readers. Here Turing's "Imitationgame", the "Making Up" of the one at the other side can be experienced directly. And above all the insight: "if you really love it doesn't matter whether the other is a man, a woman or a triangle" (Karen Duve).

Faster Moves [German]

The WWW is a medium for both information transfer and making moves: "They chat me up for my attention, my money, my political participation, my sympathy, and my shaking leg. However, once it became concrete I am only one of thousand other undisclosed recipients! ..." Raphael Rogenmoser on digital search for partnership.

Tension Between the Lines [German]

Chats are productive places to meet somebody not only for the "virtual" realm. Michael Beißwenger sketches the potential to perform online (pseudonym, using fictional dramatis personae) as well as the linguistic ways to create fictional game worlds which remind on of "off-the-cuff" theater.

surf > sample > love [German]

Do you know Alice? Annette? Cara? Do you want to meet Brian, Barry or Jabberwacky? There is one thing all the called have in common: They are Bots - software, which moves through data realms like the Web. They are able to write, flirt and communicate. Are they able to love? Adi Blum dwells on these questions in his little Turing test of love.

"Die Schwimmmeisterin": Hyperperformance [German]

The idea for her hyperfiction Die Schwimmmeisterin, Susanne Berkenheger explains, was born in the Dante bath: "I saw this man, the swimming instructor, in his cave of glass. In front of him blue control screens, in which you saw people passing deep in the water. Now I knew the setting of my piece: Java Windows passing like lose tiles on the screen. Actually a public bath and a chat room have a lot of things in common: Many people come together, sometimes to close, and finally its all about making moves."

Scroll-Back [German]

Roberto Simanowski recalls the aspects discussed during the symposium and adds: in Chats the text becomes as naked as its sender and recipient in the supposed situation; the cell phone undermines the Melusine contract on which many modern relationships are based; the change from the aesthetical experience of the contemplative reception of books or movies to the social experience within an interactive setting with self created characters and conflicts may allow Adorno's "Kulturindustrie" to survive.

Newsletter 2002:

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Newsletter 2001:

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Newsletter 2000:

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Newsletter 1999:

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