• Updates

    An Argument for Studying Past Platforms

    I’m reading Barbara Tuchman’s Notes from China (Random House 2017) from her years studying in Asia in 1935 and again in 1972. In her introduction she makes a comment that strikes me as applicable to the work that many of us do in media archaeology labs. She says, “I like to suggest that if a historian understands the past [they] will have acquired in the process a feel for the future” (xiii). This is the premise underpinning the way I have laid out my lab, with the hardware and software flow from the oldest (Apple II, 1977) to the most recent (my iMac, 2008) wrapping around the room. In this way…

  • Updates

    That Darn USB Format

    I had a very simple problem to solve: How can works of e-lit published on USB sticks be stored with other works produced on floppies, diskettes, and CD-ROMs without the sticks getting lost on the shelf? ––I mean, I had already lost a copy of Jackson’s Patchwork Girl  purchased when it was first released and one of the two copies of the Anthology of European Electronic Literature Scott sent me a couple of years ago. By now, I had collected two copies each of Michael Joyce’s afternoon: a story and Mark Bernstein’s Those Trojan Girls. All were sitting on the shelf near where they would be filed by the author’s last name.…

  • Updates

    ELL History

    ELL History The idea of developing a lab for scholars to experience electronic literature on computers for which works were originally produced was born out of my own collection of computers and works begun at my home in the mid-1990s. I expanded the idea with the exhibit, entitled “Early Authors of Electronic Literature: The Eastgate School, Voyager Artists, and Independent Productions,” that I curated for the Electronic Literature Organization 2008 Conference and Media Art Festival held at Washington State University Vancouver (WSUV) in June 2008. The positive response received from the exhibit led me to search for permanent space on the WSUV campus to host a lab that would provide ongoing…

  • Updates

    From the MoMA Library

    In September 2016 I posted on the Pathfinders blog about my visit to the library at the Museum of Modern Art where works of Judy Malloy are archived. My research uncovered some interesting information about Uncle Roger 3.1, a version I had not yet had the opportunity to see firsthand.  I also was able to see a pattern in the motifs Malloy used in much of her work, chronicling a list of them starting with her hand-drawn graphic narrative, “Come Back, Kitty Kitty Kitty” (1979), to the catalog card truisms, “Bad Information” (1986-88). I was pleased to learn from Malloy in her Twitter post that the MoMA Library had written about…

  • Updates

    Polish Scholar to Speak about the European ZX Spectrum 8-Bit Personal Computer

    Piotr Marecki, Ph.D., from Jagiellonian University and the UBU Lab in Kraków, Poland, will speak on the popular 8-bit computer released in 1982 in the UK, the ZX Spectrum. The title of his talk,  “The ZX Spectrum Demoscene as Organized Anarchy,” argues that the ZX Spectrum platform is unique as compared to other 8-bit machines and can be seen as organized anarchy. The event is scheduled on Friday, September 1, from 12-1 p.m. in VMMC 211A on the campus of WSUV. Its uniqueness lies, Marecki claims, in the reception of the platform by users on a scale which is incomparable to that of any other platform. The traditional way of using platforms…

  • Updates

    2017-2018 Research Affiliates

    We are pleased to announce ELL’s 2017-2018 Research Affiliates: John Barber, Associate Clinical Professor, Creative Media & Digital Culture, WSUV Philippe Brand, Assistant Professor of French, Lewis & Clark College Ted Fordyce, Adjunct Instructor, Creative Media & Digital Culture, WSUV Brenda Grell, Instructor, Creative Media & Digital Culture, WSUV Davin Heckman, Associate Professor of Mass Communication, Winona State University Matt Huculak, Digital Scholarship Librarian, University of Victoria Libraries Will Luers, Instructor, Creative Media & Digital Culture, WSUV Chris Martin, Instructor, Computer Graphics Technology, Clark College Jasmine Mulliken, Digital Production Associate at Stanford University Press Adele Ramos, Assistant Professor of English, Pacific Lutheran University Lori Ricigliano, Associate Director for User Services, Collins Library, U of Puget…

  • Updates

    Born Digital Preservation Series

    We are pleased to announce events and activities planned for the Electronic Literature Lab in the 2017-2018 academic year: 1. Wikipedia-Edit-A-Thon Friday, October 20, 2017, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A one-day event aimed at developing entries for e-lit authors and works in Wikipedia. 10 people limit. Lunch will be served. 2. Early E-Lit Traversals A monthly Reader Traversal of early electronic literature, between 1986-1997, streamed live on Twitch. Seven are planned during 2017-2018: September 29, 2017, 12-2 p.m. PST: Sarah Smith’s King of Space (1994), performed by Amber Strother, Blackburn Fellow, Washington State University October 27, 2017, 12-2 p.m. PST: David Kolb’s Socrates in the Labyrinth (1995), performed by David Kolb December 1,…

  • Updates

    Introducing New Staff

    Thanks to funding from the Louis E. and Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Professorship and other outside support, I will be adding new staff positions to ELL starting this fall. Joining me will be Vanessa Rhodes and Mariah Gwinn, both students in the CMDC Program. Vanessa, who plans to pursue an advanced degree in library science, will be working with me an other ELO Board Members on developing the interface for the Electronic Literature Archives. Mariah, whose interest focuses on video games, will be documenting the many vintage computer games on floppy, diskette, and CD-ROM that have been donated to ELL in the last two years and organizing the documentation into the special…

  • Updates

    Traversals Will Be Released on April 7!

    Traversals: The Use of Preservation for Early Electronic Writing is set to be released on April 7, 2017. The book, published by The MIT Press, applies the pathfinders methodology and traversals process that Stuart Moulthrop and I developed in our Pathfinders project, to four works of electronic literature: Judy Malloy’s Uncle Roger, John McDaid’s Uncle Buddy’s Phantom Funhouse, Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl, and Bill Bly’s We Descend. This first stage of our work resulted in a multimedia, open-source book, called Pathfinders: Documenting the Experience of Early Digital Writing. The research for Pathfinders took place in ELL, with two of the traversals––McDaid’s and Jackson’s––also videotaped here. To write my chapters of Traversals, I spent…

  • Updates

    Treasures Added to the Collection

    ELL is a preservation lab built on the idea that a working collection provides the opportunity to study a work in its original format and with the technology as close to that which the work had been typically experienced when it was first released. We do not reject emulation and migration, but rather see all three of the approaches to digital preservation as important to long-term sustainability of a work. Key to our collection approach is documentation. In essence, we preserve to document––and we are moving as quickly as we can so that the computers and software we need are still able to work. Thus, our collection of hardware and software is just…