Curatorial Statements for "Avenues of Access: An Exhibit & Online Archive of New 'Born Digital' Literature" at the MLA 2013 Convention, curated by Drs. Dene Grigar & Kathi Inman Berens

General Introduction

It is with great pleasure that we curators welcome you, once again, to an exhibit of Electronic Literature. We have taken a different approach this year from last year's exhibit in that we have selected a small number of works for you to experience: 33 instead of 160. As we have said before, we see our function as curators to be "authorial," and like any curator (or anthologist, for that matter), each of us has carefully selected individual works in a way that makes sense for the overall work—in our case, the second year we are exhibiting this form of literary art.

Each of us curators has provided a curatorial statement that encapsulates her vision for the exhibit. We hope you will enjoy the works we have chosen and that they compell you to explore Electronic Literature beyond this exhibit.

Dene Grigar's Curatorial Statement, entitled "Electronic Literature, Year Two @ the MLA: A [Brief] Curatorial Statement" (downloadable docx)

"Avenues of Access: An Exhibit and Online Archive of New Born Digital Literature" marks the second exhibit that my co-curator Kathi Inman Berens and I have mounted for the Modern Language Association. This year's show builds on last year's exhibit, which resulted in much notice from Digital Humanities Now, Kairos, Authoring Software, and HASTAC, as well as in visits to the show by over 600 MLA participants and to the online archive by over 3500 viewers. It does so by introducing many new authors and newly created works of electronic literature. As such, "Avenues of Access" aims to show that because of its close connection to digital technologies, electronic literature, an art form, is both vibrant and evolving. Actually, considering the attention paid to electronic literature and events building around it in the last year&emdash;beginning with the readings of electronic literature at The Kitchen in NYC organized by Stephanie Strickland; to Jessica Pressman's "After E-Literature, There's No Going Back", published in . . . keep reading

Kathi Inman Berens' Curatorial Statement, entitled "Curation Is Convergence" (blogsite)

"Practice mobility as a kind of dwelling," concludes Jason Farman at the end of Mobile Interface Theory (2012). "Practice movement that is not indelibly linked to ideas of progress and obsolescence. The result will value the unique characteristics of place" (141).

I thought a lot about "mobility as a kind of dwelling" as Dene Grigar and I curated "Avenues of Access," our second show of electronic literature for the Modern Language Association's annual Convention. Unlike last year's large show--160 works that told a comprehensive history of e-lit from its origins in concrete poetry and early hypertext to present day mobile apps--the 2013 show "Avenues of Access" is an intimate collection of 30 new works in five sub-genres, each genre loaded on an elegant computer station located in our exhibit space, Hynes Convention Center Room 312. . . . keep reading