I’m posting this as something of a response to the previous post by Jaka.
I’ve actually been scanning the internet, trying to find new (and old, forgotten) projects to include in a class I’m calling “Poetry in the Age of New Media.” I wish I had used “time” instead of “age” in the title, but I think there was a hint of satire in the use of “age,” like we were all Victorians or something (it would have been hilarious if I had used “era”). I think “time” would have been perfect, actually, as time is not only the subject but the content, the material, of so much new media art.
I’m sure much in this list is known to readers of this site. It’s mostly things that have not appeared in the ELC1 collection or which have not gotten much play (such as Facade), and mostly from artists outside the purview of “e-literature,” though not exclusively. This isn’t highly edited or exhaustive — really just pasted notes.
The Gates of Paradise, David Daniels
Total outsider stuff, pdfs, some of which are animated. Links somewhat with the idea of “conceptual writing” that is promoted by writers such as Kenneth Goldsmith and Craig Dworkin (see the conceptual writing anthology on ubu.com). David died about a year ago.
Dagmar Chili, Toadex Hobogrammathon
More total outsider stuff, by someone who I had a small correspondence with years ago, but whose identity I still don’t know. I’ve blogged about Toadex quite a bit on www.arras.net/fscIII.
New Digital Emblems, William Poundstone
Actually, Poundstone has a number of substantila projects, but I think the emblems are the most neglected as the piece is involved and seems to be non-fiction. I haven’t looked at his new pieces. I’m having lunch with him on Monday (never met him before). [P.S. The lunch went swimmingly, he's a cool guy.]
An Mosaic for Convergence, Charles Bernstein
This is a very old piece, but I think it’s still fresh and the best thing of its kind (whatever that is). Charles explored an interesting visual vocabulary here which ran up against the very design school look of much internet art at the time (this is before jodi.org, or at least before I had seen them).
oooxxxooo, Juliet Martin
This is still one of my favorite, very early HTML poems. She never did much after this. I had lunch with her in New York once, she seemed more a graphic designer than writer, but this is exceptional.
Alternumerics, Paul Chan
Paul was one of the finalists for the first (and last?) Electronic Literature awards. He’s since become a huge art star (rightfully so), with a recent profile in the New Yorker. I still think this project of his is extraordinary.
Bembo’s Zoo, deVicq de Cumptich
Ok, this might seem like eye candy, but I think it’s profoundly eye candy, i.e. it really gets at certain pleasures of seeing that most e-lit doesn’t approach. (Another piece of eye candy is that ubiquitous Youtube video based on the Samuel Jackson monologue in Pulp Fiction.
Basho’s Frogger, Prize Budget for Boys (Neil Hennessey)
Every element of the game contributes to the meaning of the “text,” and though there are only three words of text, they are very good words! Same guy who made Pac-Mondrian (http://pbfb.ca/pac-mondrian), which, again, sheds a huge amount of light on a not-particularly-clever pun. The Jabberwocky Engine is more impressive as engineering, but more like a tool than anything literary (whatever that is).
The Narrative You Anticipate You May Produce, Thom Swiss
Thom doesn’t seem to be making any new work. I like some of his pieces more than others, and I’m not sure how much this one alludes to algorithmic processes or simply reproduces the effect.
Electric Sheep Comix, Patrick Farley
I point you to Wikipedia since Farley has removed this from the web. But you can still find it on the Wayback Machine:
I think Delta Thrives is really exceptional (even if very much a boy’s fantasy, I think it plugged into a lot of the utopian vibe of the time, even among women artists), and a great example of Scott McLoud’s concept of the endless canvas. The Spiders is a really interesting hypertext; I haven’t looked at the other one.
Mouchette, David Still
One of the major early pieces of internet art, I think of it as a sort of version of e-lit, since it’s impact really comes from the text (not unlike Blackness for Sale: http://obadike.tripod.com/ebay.html), and it’s quite poetic, evocative and frightening. (David Still’s name is not usually attached to the work — it’s impact was partly due to the anonymity of the creator.)
Homeport, Lawrence Weiner
I just discovered this the other day, and have no idea what it is (the software that you need to view it won’t run on my laptop… hmm, but I will try my iMac… well, didn’t work). Weiner is, of course, a major conceptual artist, and has been doing work with animated text for a while — though this I just discovered a few weeks ago at a show here in Los Angeles. Have any of you seen it? With the acceptance of Young-Hae Chang as “electronic literature,” it only makes sense to look at digital art that is text-based and ask whether it is “electronic literature” also — though what a lot of work that is! Anyway, I’m really curious to see what this piece is about.
Fidget, Kenneth Goldmsith
I’ve never been entirely convinced that this was a successful digital translation, but it’s a useful object for discussion, and actually makes for great ambient reading – one of the few pieces that does so.
Writing Machine Collective
Well, the actual website (www.writing-machine.net) seems to be down — three cheers for Chinese censorship! Probably just ran out of cash. All I can find is the name of the organizer of their two exhibits, Linda Lai. I was on a panel at the MLA and one of the papers was about them, and I remember looking at their website and thinking that the work was of really high quality, if more impressive in engineering than anything else (kind of like Streams of Consciousness, which you probably know). But I never really got to look at the site. These folks are based in Hong Kong, and really seemed to be pursuing some advanced projects in e-lit pretty hard. Wish I could offer more than that. Most of it was in English, but some not.
Alphabot, Nikita Pashekov
I’m partly kidding about this one… but it’s amusing, and works as concrete poetry as well as anything by Gomringer.
Wordscapes, Peter Cho
This one, on the other hand, is pretty rich (from the same group of Processing works that I took the above from). I haven’t gone through them all, but they work in that same way that Ed Ruscha does with giving exquisite settings to single words. Lacking would be Ruscha sense of humor, irony and juxtaposition, which is why this is ultimately eye candy, but still, when playing around with it, you can’t help but be impressed with the care taken and the wide visual vocabulary. Check out “nipple,” and then “up.”
Letterscapes, Peter Cho
Companion piece to Wordscapes, if aimed at more arcane sensibilities.
Code Calvino, Peter Cho
Can’t get this one to run, but the description and screencaps are certainly interesting, and a fitting response to If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller…
Nobody Here, Jogchem Niemandsverdriet
I never quite understood this one (and the author’s name is clearly made up), but it’s compelling in its way and keeps coming back to haunt me/us (i.e. students seem to find it).
Public Secrets, Sharon Daniel
I’ve not looked through it entirely, but I’ve seen Tara McPhereson (creator of Vectors Journal) give demos of it, and it’s primary design motif involves text (and the audio is all interviews). One of the most compelling pieces on the Vectors website, with a clear mandate (i.e. reason to be on the web).
Text Curtain, Daniel C. Howe
There seems to be a handful of new projects on Daniel’s site. The installation versions of this are probably more compelling than the online due to sound and scale.
Treefingers, Brian Sullivan, et al.
Brian was actuall a student of mine in New Jersey, though he made this before he ever took a class with me. A lot more interesting than the various projects out there now using Twitter and Facebook, as it actually feels like reading. (I somehow thinkg Billie Tweets belongs on this list as well: http://billietweets.com/).
Gravity Principles, Sebastien Cliche
A bit overproduced, and the text isn’t terribly interesting. Taken from this list of links of mostly non-English language works that I found on this page:
A few more from that list that looked interesting (based on my superficial estimation):
Golpe de Gracia
Un Mar de Historias
Hva Sier Traerne?
(Couldn’t even start to tell you what this is about.)
Cedar Estates, Robert Fitterman and Dirk Rowntree
Perhaps not really “digital literature,” since I guess one could make a book of this stuff, but still, it captures a certain spirit of digital typography combined with Language poetics that I think is unique.
253, Geoff Ryman
Like the above, could work in print, but, along with a 2002 A Palindrome Story, I think of this as a sort of Oulipian work that responds to the prevalence of algorithm in everyday thinking.
The Apostrophe Engine, Darren Wershler and Bill Kennedy
This one seems not to be working anymore (and their other piece, Status Update, seems to be down). Anyway, not unlike Noah Wardrip Fruin’s Regime Change, a piece based on runtime searches of the internet. Status Update was a hoot, involving as it did the names of dead authors and Facebook status updates.
Ursonate, Jaap Blonk and Golan Levin
I’ve come across these great collaborations between the Dutch sound poet Jaap Blonk and the digital artist Golan Levin. You can see Youtube videos (including some description of what is going on) here:
“Messa di Voce” (don’t know if this is the title of the piece)