Pathfinders: 25 years of Experimental Literary Art
Curated by Drs. Dene Grigar & Stuart Moulthrop
Modern Language Association 2014 Convention
Sheraton II, Ballroom, Level 4
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.
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.
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.
1. Physical Computing
Josh Tanenbaum and Karen Tanenbaum: The Reading Glove
Erik Loyer: “Breathing Room”
2. Immersive Environments
Christine Wilks and Andy Campbell: Inkubus
4. Participatory Media
Jay Bushman, with Mike Daisey, The @gony @nd the Ecst@sy of Steve Jobs
5. Multimedia Books
Samantha Gorman: “Penumbra”
Amaranth Borsuk, with Kate Durbin, & Ian Hatcher: Abra
6. Mixed Mediums
Jason Nelson: Speech/Media_To_Text_Poetry_Translation