This talk will analyze reading and writing practices that are interactive, social, live, sited, and algorithmically produced. With examples ranging from installations, performances, interactive text events, and Second Life exhibits, Dr. Raley will consider a variety of expressive activities that are neither formalizable as “electronic literature” nor reducible to a stable and singular medium. How are scholars to engage textual practices that do not depend on inscriptional durability and thus do not entail the presence of an archive? The premise of her talk will be that ethnographic techniques, documentary recording, and formal analysis are in themselves methodologically insufficient if one wants to account for textual practices that do not have stable hermeneutic form. The overarching purpose will thus be to work toward developing a framework for understanding our mediatized textual environments and their intrinsic ephemerality, vernacularity, and disintegration.
Works discussed will include Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen, Shakespeare Machine; Sarah Waterson, Cristyn Davies, and Elena Cox, Trope; Jason Lewis and Obx Labs, Cityspeak; John Cayley and Daniel Howe, The Readers Project; Cayley, imposition; and some of Ted Warnell’s PbN (poems “by nari”).