Inventory #5
Electronic Literature & Its Emerging Forms was a three day exhibition of electronic literature all made by American artists all from the Library of Congress collections. While the exhibition may have ended the works are viewable and have even had information added on to what was shown thanks to this website which serves as a record of events.
In the chapter The Importance of Being in the Kitchen Hans Olbrist talks about the important moments of an exhibit and how they really boil down to just a few seconds and how even though an exhibit may last for from six to nine weeks nothing much changes after opening night. Today electronic literature and especially online exhibitions seem to me to be the next step or at least a possible route for a wider reaching and highly open art world. In electronic literature the important moments can be saved and even repeated the authors thoughts can be heard again and again and people on the other side of the world can have an opportunity to see and hear what before may have only reached a select few.

The next chapter A Protest Against Forgetting Hans Obrist mentions the white cube ideology the idea that the painting and the viewer should be put into a state of isolation and the entire outside world should be kept out. Obrist didn’t have a problem with the white cube ideology and said that “It has its usefulness” but also said “It is only one truth surrounded by many other truths worth being explored.” In my mind Electronic Literature & Its Emerging Forms is nearly the polar opposite of the white cube ideology it doesn’t seek to keep out the outside world but instead allows the viewer to embrace it, following links and encouraging the viewer to follow whatever path they wish.
Electronic literature offers something new that the art world may have been lacking, the important moments can now be repeated, saved and shared. The possibility of exploring and following your own viewing path is something that electronic literature allows for and offers you an experience that cannot be found at any gallery.

Inventory #4

New Text is a website/exhibit dedicated to showing explorations into reading, writing and creating through electronic literature. On the website are experimental writings, galleries, video montages, documents and poems that explore different forms of literary art. Although there are many forms that electronic literature can be made they can also be shown together in one place and allow the viewers to all interact with the pieces in their own way.


The section that seemed the most relevant to the readings was Entropic Texts by Jason Nelson and Alinta Krauth, a scrolling poem that uses images and text to explore decay. Decay and memory are topics that have been reoccurring in the class book Everything You Always Wanted to know about Curating. Hans Ulrich Obrist seems opposed to forgetting and will go out of his way to make sure information will not be lost, this can be seen through his work in interviewing old philosophers so that their knowledge can be preserved. As the poem Entropic Text goes on more and more of the images in the poem begin to distort and glitch, alongside this are machines gathering rust and destroyed and ruined houses are shown. While data may not rot decay in the traditional sense there are still ways for digital materials to be lost.


Data like the websites on New Text don’t have the traditional form of decay that paintings or books have, over time they won’t fall apart or rot but people will move on to new platforms or erase or lose information and data that isn’t properly cared for. Hans Ulrich Obrist in the chapter “The Enemies Are Those Audio Guides” says that “the new relates to memory” and goes on to talk about how quickly changes in the art world happened since the 1990’s, without proper care and curation just like art pieces the new art in the forms of electronic literature can be lost by quickly immerging technology leaving behind the pieces that came before.

Obrist, Hans Ulrich, and April Elizabeth. Lamm. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating: But Were Afraid to Ask. Berlin: Sternberg, 2011. Print.

“New Text Exhibit at ISEA 2015.” New Text Exhibit at ISEA 2015. Web. 04 Apr. 2016. .

Inventory #3

This inventory focuses on chapters one and two of Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating and makes comparisons to topics in TransPoetica an online exhibition focused on the poetry both digital and printed of the poet Stephanie Strickland.

In Before and After the first chapter of Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating the author Hans Ulrich Obrist states the difference noted by Joseph Grigely between a conversation and an exchange; “a conversation is a synchronous communication in a space and involves gestures, visual signals and a variety of voices, where an exchange lacks the embodied presence of speech (Obrist 16).” The poems on the TransPoetica website go beyond what is known as traditional poetry and mix with digital code to become entirely new formats of digital expression. When things like timing, tone, use of voice and interactivity become part of the way the poetry is displayed and received then poetry will cease to be an exchange and successfully become a conversation.
In chapter two The Future Is a Dog, Obrist touches on memory, forgetting and the world we live in constantly being defined by newness (Obrist 27). The works featured on Transpoetica are by Stephanie Strickland who is considered a pioneer in Electronic Literature, these works are considered E-poetry. “E­poetry relies on code for its creation, preservation, and display: there is no way to experience a work of E-literature unless a computer is running it—reading it and perhaps also generating it(TransPoetica).” Electronic works have a very strange relationship with memory and forgetting, although they may never decay or fade like a person or text they can still be lost. As technologies advance and new formats take the place of the older generations access to pieces of the past may be restricted to the very few who took the time to save them. The world is very concerned about what is new and people actively pursue the newest technological system, if works like the ones done by Strickland aren’t curated and cared for or updated to the standards of the day access to them could still vanish.

Obrist, Hans Ulrich, and April Elizabeth. Lamm. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating: But Were Afraid to Ask. Berlin: Sternberg, 2011. Print.

“TransPoeticaWorks by Stephanie Strickland.” TransPoetica: A Stephanie Strickland Retrospective:. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016. .