Newsletter 1/2003
5.Jg. / Nr. 27 - ISSN 1617-6901
earlier newsletter

ed. by Roberto Simanowski

Content Newsletter:
Interview Zeitgenossen / Interview Stocker / Kruse's Text-O-Mat / Interview Baker / Semiotics of Webanimation / maquina poetice / reading competence after PISA / Hypertext and Poilitics / x-cult -exhibition / Glazier's Digital Poetics / Interview Rokeby / Weblogs

Oil Painting with Crayons: Interview with Zeitgenossen [German]

Are the Web and Internet two different media as the poodle and German shepherd are two different types of dog? What is the difference between Webfiction and Webart? Is there a digital revival of l'art pour l'art? How do net artists cope with the short half-life of their art? Roberto Simanowski asked the Zeitgenossen, Ursula Hentschläger and Zelko Wiener, who interviewed 21 net activists for their book Webfictions

Cultural Impact: Interview with Gerfried Stocker [German]

Gerfried Stocker is a media artist and musician, manager of the Ars Electronica Center and artistic director of the Ars Electronica Festival. Ursula Hentschläger and Zelko Wiener talked with him about netart-festivals, the future of netart as well as the relation of netart to science and commerce.

Machine-Mannerism and narrative patterns. Eckard Kruse's Text-O-Mat [German]

Texts from the machine is an old dream known from Baroque and the Cut-up-Method in 20th century. With the computer there are new possibilities. Some products even earned awards. Does prose work as well as lyrics? Kruse's Text-O-Mat answers by evasion. Instead of aleatoric texts one finds preprogrammed patterns with little variations. However, to understand one can refer to Italo Calvino, Oscar Wilde, and Novalis.

A Book Author About Digital Writing: Interview with Noel Baker [English]

Noel Baker is the author of the best selling Hard Core Roadshow: A Screenwriter's Diary, a book about the shift from book to film script. Noel has also been interested in interactive fiction. He served as a consultant in seminars on interactive fiction. Roberto Simanowski asked him why he himself never wrote an interactive fiction, what he thinks about the readers' relationship to linearity and disorder, about his desire to translate a book into a new media work, and about the financial and technological limitations in digital writing.

Matter of Time: Toward a Materialist Semiotics of Web Animation [English]

John Zuern is not satisfied with the generalized genuflection to "code" and the fetishistic faith in immateriality in new media studies. He calls for the rematerialization and rehistoricization of our reading of new media and advises to ask small, old-fashioned questions about craft. His discussion of extra-textual details shows how what begins as a functional characteristic turns into a more ''purely" aesthetic element (Dakota) and how technological equipment creates the "mystery" of a piece (Iris).

maquina poetica: Poems from the Machine [German]

Stephan Karsch's maquina poetica is a text machine with many special features: You can let do the machine everything, you can rearrange, erase the words and add your own, you can animate them and use those of the users before you. Karsch explains the concept.

Crisis of Understanding. Reading Competence after PISA [German]

The threat by new media to the book seems to be over. The PISA study underlines: German students should spend more time with books than with their computer. Do teachers with such an approach really meet the demands of pedagogical responsibility? About reading competence in the age of digital media, the teacher's willingness to learn, and the return of the Mandarines.

When Hypertext became uncool. Notes on Power, Politics, and the Interface [English]

Henning Ziegler describes some of the structural limits of authoritative hypertext works and of the cultural interface in which they are perceived by looking at new media objects such as Victory Garden, the AOL interface, and the Netscape/Mozilla browser software. Rather than 'unmasking' hypertext as something that does not have the potential for resistance that it seemed to have, Ziegler argues that hypertext, when understood as the totality of computers that are linked through the internet, on a formal level does promote an authoritative shift in the politics of new media objects

Texte, Scripts & Codes [German]

Xcult has exhibited work with text, language and typography since 1996: TV-Plots with blurred pictures, a shaking description of an earthquake, an essay which is critical towards technology but falls for its effects. There is a lot of media criticism in this collection, however, Roberto Simanowski finally asks about the "l'art pour l'art" of coding.

Loss Pequeño Glazier's "Digital Poetics. The Making of E-Poetries" [English]

Strehovec's review starts with complaints: "The stagnation and repetition of already past contents and forms within contemporary poetry accompanies the absence of inventive literary criticism and theory, which in encountering contemporary poetry does not seem to know how to develop new concepts and paradigms". Glazier - scholar and poet - seems to be an exception, discussing hypertext, visual/kinetic text, and e-poetry pieces in programmable media. His book, Strehovec resumes, would make useful reading not only for poets of the e-medium, but for all poets today, though, more demanding reader may miss "consistent and pure (literary) theory of e-poetry".

Very Nervous System: Interview with David Rokeby [English]

Rokeby likes to build off screen interfaces with the body and face - since they are more unconsciously used, less controlled, yet richer input-devices than the clearly defined, quantified and limited mouse input. His computer based "systems of inexact control" engage people in situations where the locus of control is ambiguous, hence questioning the fetish of control instigated and maintained by computers. The benefit of such practice of uncertainty: to learn how to deal with it if your neighbor does not always reply the same way when you say 'hello'.

Vannevar Bush, Weblogs and the Google Galaxy [English]

While hypertext has not proved to embody the qualities of the ideal post-structural text and the WWW has not fulfilled the document-association function of Bush's Memex, weblogs do facilitate the exchange of information across the Internet. Dennis G. Jerz sees in Google’s purchase of the popular weblogging platform Blogger a shift towards content production that may create a conflict of interest but nevertheless sees in Google the synergy necessary to fulfill Vannevar Bush’s vision.


Newsletter 2002:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

Newsletter 2001:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

Newsletter 2000:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

Newsletter 1999:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7