2012 Conference for the Electronic Literature Organization
to be Held at West Virginia University from June 20-23
Media Art Exhibition Will Feature Work by 55 Artists

Media Art Exhibition
Workshops and Panels
Exhibiting Electronic Literature
West Virginia Center for Literary Computing
Registering for ELO 2012

Johannes Auer and AND-OR (René Bauer, Beat Suter, and Mirjam Weder)
Searchsonata 181
Detail of a work included in the ELO2012 Media Art Show

"Electrifying Literature: Affordances and Constraints", the 2012 Conference for the Electronic Literature Organization, (ELO2012) will be held at West Virginia University in Morgantown from June 20-23. The Conference will feature panels and presentations, workshops, readings, gallery exhibitions, and performances.

From pre-conference workshops on documenting, archiving, and authoring electronic literature, to a series of panels on E-Lit Around the World: Cultures of Electronic Literature, ELO2012 will address core issues in the past, present, and future of electronic literature. Presenters include Sandy Baldwin, Kathi Inman Berens, Philippe Bootz, Astrid Ensslin, Loss Pequeño Glazier, Dene Grigar, Fox Harrell, Carolyn Guertin, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Mark Marino, Stacey Mason, Maria Mencia, Mez, Nick Montfort, Stuart Moulthrop, Andrew Plotkin, Aaron Reed, Scott Rettberg, Giovanna di Rosario, Jessica Pressman, Alexandra Saemmer, Stephanie Strickland, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Jichen Zhu, and Rob Wittig, among many others.

The keynote will be given by media theorist, researcher, and early web creator Florian Cramer.

"The conference subtitle 'affordances and constraints' was meant to invoke the diverse approaches to the field, as well as our sense that scholars and practitioners are increasingly aware of the technology they work with," explains Conference Chair Sandy Baldwin, who is Associate Professor in the West Virginia University Department of English and Director of the West Virginia Center for Literary Computing. He observes that with this always existing yet renewed awareness, the field is more cognisant of the "constraints, or better the contexts" with which and in which electronic literature is created.

ELO2012 is "the opportunity for our members to gather to present scholarship on, critical approaches to, and theories of electronic literature along with performances and readings of creative work." ELO President and MIT Associate Professor of Digital Media, Nick Montfort emphasizes. "Getting together in person allows writers, artists, and researchers to learn about new directions in electronic literature, to find new collaborators, and to devise new projects." He adds that although in the rich area of electronic literature, there are conferences and festivals that focus more broadly on the arts and more specifically on poetry, "the ELO conference offers a place where fiction writers, poets, visual artists engaging with the literary, and critics can meet, where forms such as hypertext, visual poetry, and interactive fiction can play together and link to one another."

Headquartered at MIT, the Electronic Literature Organization, (ELO) now in its twelfth year, works to facilitate and promote the writing, publishing, and reading of literature in electronic media mainly through four projects: The eliterature.org website, the Electronic Literature Collection, the Electronic Literature Directory, and the conference. Past conferences have been held at UCLA, the University of Maryland College Park, Washington State University Vancouver, and Brown University.

Media Art Exhibition to Feature the Work of 55 Artists

Curated by Dene Grigar, Associate Professor and Director of the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program, Washington State University Vancouver, and Sandy Baldwin, the ELO2012 Media Art Show will feature the work of 55 artists from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Korea, Norway, Switzerland, the US, and the UK. The exhibition will be held across the conference site in venues including the Monongalia Arts Center, the Arts Monongahela Gallery, WVU Downtown Library, WVU's Colson Hall, and the Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater.

Professor Grigar notes that the curators focused on the Conference theme of "affordances and constraints" and that, in this context, site and media were considerations. "I wanted the site specificity of the exhibit space to mesh smoothly with the media specificity of each work," she explains.

As a part of the exhibition, the 2012 Electronic Literature Organization Conference will host retrospectives of the work of five artists:

Alan Bigelow,
J. R. Carpenter,
M.D. Coverley,
Judy Malloy,
and Jason Nelson,

as well as a commissioned geo-locative work by Jeff Knowlton.

Additionally, five artists were awarded the first-ever Jury's Choice Award for the excellence of their work. They are Caitlin Fisher, Jason Nelson, Jason Edward Lewis, and Greg J. Smith and Erik Loyer.

"By working with local galleries and putting art in public space, Sandy Baldwin and I have intentionally connected the ELO with the local community," Dene Grigar reports. "Additionally, the ELO, through Sandy's efforts, is donating Jeff Knowlton's locative work to the city. By doing these things, we hope to build the audience for elit among the general public and goodwill between the University and the City. We also are bringing in new blood to the organization. Numerous artists have never exhibited with the ELO before. Thus, we are working to broaden membership and views of what constitutes elit."

"ELO conferences draw an international group of artists and scholars both in and outside of academia." ELO Director of Communications Mark Marino, Associate Professor, University of Southern California, emphasizes. "While it is the place to hear academic papers from scholars who are shaping the field, it is also an opportunity to catch glimpses of works that are emerging, what's just over the horizon for digitally born literature."

The Conference is also significant for the local community. "This is the fourth electronic literature related conference we've had here in Morgantown", Sandy Baldwin points out, "but by far the largest and most diverse, We're still building an interest in elit among the students at WVU and the broader West Virginia community. The conference will go a long way towards that. "

Steve Tomasula: TOC, A New-Media Novel.
detail of a work in the ELO2012 Media Art Show.

Among other works in the ELO2012 Media Art exhibition are:

John F. Barber, What's That Sound?;
Philippe Bootz, petite brosse à dépoussiérer la fiction; ("small brush to dust off fiction")
Serge Bouchardon, changeEverything / changerTout;
mez breeze + shane hinton, _:terror(aw)ed patches:_;
Roderick Coover, Nick Montfort, and Scott Rettberg, Three Rails Live;
Natalia Fedorova, Machine Libertine project;
Megan Heyward, Of Day of Night;
and Pelayo Mendez, ACTIEOP, disfunciones poéticas del lenguaje.

A series of performances and readings will take place throughout the Conference: from a pre-Conference performance and concert by Alan Sondheim and Christopher Funkhouser; to "Art Walk on High Street", an evening walk though exhibition venues, including a performance by Alan Bigelow; to Jeff Knowlton and Giselle Beiguelman's closing performance: Elit Under the Stars.

Artists in the Media Art Exhibition also include Sepand Ansari and Raschin Fatemi, Josephine Anstey, Jim Bizzocchi, Paul Bogaert, Alison Clifford and Graeme Truslove, Jeremy Douglass, Brian Evans, Grégory Fabre, Angela Ferraiolo, Daniel Howe, Jhave, Yong Hun Kim, LAinundacion, Eric LeMay, A.J. Patrick Liszkiewicz, Will Luers, Roger Dean, Hazel Smith, Chris Mann, Lello Masucci, A. Bill Miller, Alexander Mouton, Dave Pape, Sally Rodgers and Steve Jones, Alexandra Saemmer, Mark Sample, Christine Wilks, Laura Zaylea, and Jody Zellen.

Workshops and Panels

The 2012 Electronic Literature Organization Conference will begin with a series of pre-conference workshops, including:

  • Documenting Your Work: A Workshop on Using the ELMCIP Knowledge Base for Authors, Critics, and Teachers of Electronic Literature
    Eric Rasmussen, Scott Rettberg, Patricia Tomaszek

  • Writing the Web with RiTa and Javascript
    Daniel Howe

  • Archiving Workshop
    Bill Bly, Deena Larsen, Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink

  • Electronic Literature: Linking Database Projects
    Maria Angel, Laura Borràs Castanyer, Anna Gibbs, Dene Grigar, Davin Heckman, Eric Rasmussen, and Joseph Tabbi

The complete list of panels, presentations, venues, and dates is available on the Conference website at

It includes, among many others

  • Vectors, Scalar, and Magic: Emerging Platforms for E-lit Scholarship
    Craig Dietrich, Erik Loyer, Mark Marino

  • Taroko Gorge Remixed: Repetition and Difference in Machine Texts
    Maria Engberg, Flourish Klink, Talan Memmott, Nick Montfort, Andrew Plotkin, Scott Rettberg, Mark Sample, Eric Snodgrass

  • Semiotic Cross Analyses of Digital Poetry
    Philippe Bootz and Alexandra Saemmer

  • Gestures, Geographies, and Representations
    Kathi Inman Berens, "Geolocative Storytelling Off the Map"
    Fox Harrell, "Gesture-Driven Electronic Literature for Mobile Devices: The Gestural Narrative Interaction Engine (GeNIE)"
    Maria Mencia, "Transient Self-Portrait"
    Porter Olsen, "Reading Virtual Geographies"

  • Storytelling with Mobile Media: Locative Technologies and Narrative Practices
    Jason Farman, "Site-Specific Storytelling, Urban Markup, and Mobile Media"
    Dene Grigar, "Bringing the Art of Design to the National Park Service: The Fort Vancouver Mobile Project"
    Jeff Ritchie, "The Narratological Affordances and Constraints of Mobile Locative Media"

  • Games, Algorithms, and Processes
    Brian Evans, "The Quinary: Algorithms, Permutation and Slippery Meaning"
    Daniel Howe and Braxton Soderman, "The Gamer as Reader: A Playthrough of the Text Game Walkthru"
    Stacey Mason, "Captivating Choices: Reconciling Agency and Immersion"
    Mark Sample, "Slow Games, Slow Poems: The Act of Deliberation in 'Slow Year'"

  • Duets and Duels: Collaborative Creativity and Performance
    Stephanie Boluk and Patrick LeMieux, "Dwarven Epitaphs: Procedurally- Generated Storytelling in Dwarf Fortress"
    Nick Montfort and Stephanie Strickland, "Commenting Creative Code"
    Claire Donato and Jeff T. Johnson, "'SPECIAL AMERICA'"

  • Cinematic, Machinic, Sonic: Prosthetic Performances
    Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg, "Kastastrofitrilogien"
    Jörg Piringer, "Voice Time"
    Christopher T. Funkhouser, Amy Huffnagel, Andrew Klobucar, "midiPoetry 2012"
    Ian Hatcher, "Prosthesis, or The Forthcoming Public Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant Tenancy"

  • Performative Possibilities and E-Lit: Asian-American Writer/Performers
    Paolo Javier, "Some Notes on bp Nichol, Comics, and (Captain) Poetry"
    Sueyeun Juliette Lee, "Visual Rhetoric, Subterranean Poetics, and 'Korea': Iterations in Performing Underground National"

  • E-Lit Around the World: Cultures of Electronic Literature I
    Chen Jing, "Refashioning the Print Literature: Internet Literature in China"
    Jason Nelson, "Adventures in Transition: Jason Nelson's Scary Journey from Flash to J-Code and Desk to Hand:
    Jody Zellen, "Spine Sonnet"

  • Games, Interactions, and Computational Narratives
    Aaron Reed, "Quantum Authoring for 'Prom Week': What We Learned Writing Six Thousand Lines of Procedurally-Driven Dialogue"
    Noah Wardrip-Fruin, "Shakespeare in Simlish? Responsive Systems and Literary Language"
    Jichen Zhu, "Like Water for Chocolate: Analogy-Based Computational Narrative"

  • Remediations of Literature
    Penny Florence, "Espacement de Lecture"
    Stuart Moulthrop, "Literature: Lift this End"
    Manuel Portela, "Performing the Digital Archive: Remediation, Emulation, Recreation"
    Urs Richle, From Reality to Interactive Fiction and the Way Back

  • E-Lit All Around: Cultures of Electronic Literature II
    Carolyn Guertin, "Narrative (Pre)Occupations: Self-Surveillance, Participation and Public Space"
    Janez Strehovec, "E-Literature and the Social"
    Tatiani G. Rapatzikou, "Re-inventing Poetic Practice in Greece: The Case of Vassilis Amanatidis' 7: Poetry for Video Games"

  • Writing Matters
    Florentina Armaselu, "Electrifying Detail: Writing and Reading Triggers in Textual Zoom"
    Bill Bly, "We Descend, Volume 2"
    John Cayley, "Terms of Use"
    Claire Donato and Timothy Terhaar, "e-man'yoo-en'sis"

Other presenters -- in panels including

Presence, Gesture, Event;
Mapping the Aleph Null Augmentation, Virtuality, Mediality;
Screen Nostalgia: E-Lit in the Rearview Mirror;
Mobiles, Remotes, and Other Spaces;
Close Reading Electronic Literature;
Alternative Avenues in Digital Poetics and Post-Literary Studies;
Place, Narrative, and Performance; Practices: Definitions and Pedagogies for E-Lit;
Open Discussion Session on the Future of ELO;
The Very Idea of Electronic Literature: Philosophical Investigations; Readings and Communities --

are Kent Aardse, Jim Andrews, Maria Angel and Anna Gibbs, Ben Bishop, Jim Bizzocchi, Stephanie Boluk, Mauro Carrasai, David Clark, Maria Damon, Fabio De Vivo, Claire Donato, Astrid Ensslin, Aden Evens, Natalia Federova, Clara Fernandez-Vara, Leonardo Flores, Jacob Garbe and John T Murray, Luciana Gattass, Hanli Geyser, Loss Pequeño Glazier, Samantha Gorman, Lane Hall, Ian Hatcher, Jeff T. Johnson, Andrew Klobucar, Patrick LeMieux, Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink, Talan Memmott, Mez, Jeneen Naji, David Prater, Jessica Pressman, Eric Rettberg, Giovanna di Rosario, Anastasia Salter, Lyle Skains, Hazel Smith, Eric Snodgrass, Alan Sondheim, Steve Tomasula, and Rob Wittig.

"The program shows how the organization and the field are growing. There are new scholars and artists, new technologies and ideas. I'm especially excited by the many countries represented (over a dozen) which points to the international and interlinguistic growth of the field," Conference Chair Sandy Baldwin points out. "We've done our best to create the most expansive and inclusive conference possible. We really want to be opening new horizons and to be looking forward. Of course, we're also recognizing our history, and I'm especially pleased by the retrospectives and other historically-oriented aspects of the conference."

Exhibiting Electronic Literature

In response to a question from Authoring Software, Dene Grigar, who is currently writing and publishing a series of articles on exhibiting electronic literature, gives three primary reasons for curating and exhibiting electronic literature:

"1. To promote elit more broadly (that is, outside of the digerati avant garde). In this regard, the shows I am curating span from conferences relating to traditional Humanities to city galleries with a public clientele.

2. To make a distinction within the Digital Humanities of the difference between curating and anthologizing an electronic/digital collection. I do not want to these efforts collapsed. They are separate acts because the medium demands it.

3. To bring curating into the Humanities ("Digital" or traditional) as an activity that should count toward tenure and promotion. Curating counts in Fine Arts. Now that literary texts can be multimodal/multimedia-oriented, it stands to reason that collecting it for exhibit should be accorded the same respect as regarded editorial work."

West Virginia Center for Literary Computing

Under Sandy Baldwin's direction, the West Virginia Center for Literary Computing -- in Morgantown where ELO2012 will be held -- has emphasized research and service in the field.

"We're one of the oldest academic centers for new media and digital humanities," Baldwin notes. "We were founded in 1991 as a lab for supporting student work. We've organized many conference; we are affiliated with many other organizations (most recently we became the institutional host for Electronic Book Review); we've received external funding to explore connections between creative writing and computer program; we've recently start a scholarly book series entitled "Computing Literature" where we will publish "alternative voices" on digital textuality; and we have an ongoing project exploring performance and political activism in Massively multiplayer online role-playing games. (MMORPGs)

Registering for ELO 2012

Information on registration and other details are available on the ELO2012 Conference website at http://el.eliterature.org

"We've always tried to hold conferences that are accessible and affordable to independent writers and artists, ones that aren't only within reach of academics with travel funds," ELO President Nick Montfort emphasizes. "We offer lower registration rates for graduate students and non-affiliated artists, and this year the conference is held a short walk from several reasonably-priced hotels."

Information on ELO Membership, which gives artists and scholars access to this community, is available at http://eliterature.org/membership/

For more information:

ELO2012 Conference Program:

ELO2012 Media Art Show:

Electronic Literature Organization web site:

Center for Literary Computing

Links to works in the figures:

Johannes Auer and AND-OR
Searchsonata 181

Steve Tomasula
TOC, A New-Media Novel
credits: http://www.tocthenovel.com/crew.html

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Writers and Artists
Talk about Their Work
and the Software They
use to Create Their Work

Mark Amerika
Stefan Muller Arisona
Mark Bernstein: __Interview wirh Mark Bernstein
Alan Bigelow
Jay Bushman
J. R. Carpenter
__ Chronicles of Pookie and JR
__ Entre Ville
M.D. Coverley
__ Egypt: The Book of
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__ Tin Towns
Steve Ersinghaus
Caitlin Fisher
Chris Funkhouser
Susan M. Gibb
Dene Grigar
Fox Harrell
Dylan Harris
William Harris
Ian Hatcher
Adriene Jenik
Chris Joseph
Rob Kendall
Antoinette LaFarge
Deena Larsen
Donna Leishman
Judy Malloy
Mark C. Marino
Ethan Miller
Nick Montfort
__Lost One
__Nick Montfort and
Stephanie Strickland
Sea and Spar Between

Judd Morrissey
Stuart Moulthrop
__Under Language
and Deep Surface

__ Interview with
Stuart Moulthrop

Alexander Mouton
Karen O'Rourke
Regina Pinto
Andrew Plotkin
Kate Pullinger
Sonya Rapoport:
__Interview with
Sonya Rapoport

Aaron Reed
Scott Rettberg
Jim Rosenberg
Stephanie Strickland
__Nick Montfort and Stephanie Strickland
Sea and Spar Between

__Stephanie Strickland and Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo
Vniverse and slippingglimpse

Sue Thomas
Eugenio Tisselli
Noah Wardrip-Fruin
Joel Weishaus
Nanette Wylde

Judy Malloy ,
Editor, Authoring Software