Pathfinders:  25 years of Experimental Literary Art
Curated by Drs. Dene Grigar & Stuart Moulthrop
Modern Language Association 2014 Convention
Chicago, IL

Sheraton II, Ballroom, Level 4

Exhibit Times:
Thursday, January 9, 2014, Noon to 7:00 p.m.
Friday, January 10, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 11, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The curatorial statement by Dene Grigar has been published at Authoring Software, edited by Judy Malloy.

Pathfinders:  25 years of Experimental Literary Art continues the work of Pathfinders:  Documenting the Experience of Early Digital Literature by featuring the work of the pioneering experimental literary artists of the late 1980s and early 1990s whose work Grigar and Moulthrop are working to preserve, as well as highlighting innovative contemporary artists experimenting today with computing technologies for literary production. Ultimately, the exhibit enacts the notion put forward by Anne Burdick et al that curating is a critical practice (32), and it makes the argument that literature is not relegated to paper and ink, but transcends all mediums and is expressed through technologies available on hand.

Paths to Electronic Literature
The first part of the exhibit presents the early works of digital literature that comprise the current preservation efforts by Grigar and Moulthrop for the Pathfinders project.  These works will be made available at the exhibit on vintage computers on which the works were originally experienced by readers at the time of their publication.  The computers are part of the collection in Grigar’s Electronic Literature Lab, the site where the Pathfinders research is taking place.  Also highlighted at this station will be raw documentation videos of the artists’ traversals produced for the  Pathfinders project.

Station 1
Stuart Moulthrop: Victory Garden
John McDaid: Uncle Buddy Phantom Funhouse
Judy Malloy: Uncle Roger: The Blue Notebook
Shelley Jackson: Patchwork Girl

Also included in the exhibit is Bill Bly’s We Descend.  Pathfinders is collaborating with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities to include Bly’s 1997 hypertext in the project.

Current Directions
The second part of the exhibit, entitled “Current Directions,” features contemporary electronic literature artists who have produced narratives, poetry, drama, and essays via physical computing technologies, augmented reality, social media, mobile media and other innovative approaches. It is the curators’ contention that just as hypertext authoring systems like Storyspace and Hypercard were seen as new technologies that allowed for highly experimental writing in the 1980s (See Bolter, Writing Space, 1st Ed., p. 23), these contemporary technologies also lend themselves for compelling literary work.

Station 2. Multimedia Books & Apps
Samantha Gorman & Danny Cannizzaro: “PRY”
Amaranth Borsuk, with Kate Durbin, & Ian Hatcher: Abra
Andreas Muller: “For All Seasons”

Station 3.  Immersive Environments
Christine Wilks and Andy Campbell: Inkubus

Station 4: Participatory Media
Jay Bushman, with Mike Daisey, The @gony @nd the Ecst@sy of Steve Jobs

Station 5.  Augmented Reality
Jacob Garbe: Closed Rooms, Soft Whispers

Station 6.  Physical Computing
Theresa Tanenbaum and Karen Tanenbaum: The Reading Glove

Station 7.  Mixed Mediums
Erik Loyer: “Breathing Room”
Jason Nelson: Speech/Media_To_Text_Poetry_Translation