radioELO is a project that collects, curates, and reimagines aural artifacts of electronic/generated/computational (EGC) literature as sound based narratives. It evolves from my involvement as a research affiliate with The Electronic Literature Lab (ELL), directed by Dr. Dene Grigar, and its preservation efforts. The outcomes presented here experiment with compelling sound-based narratives indicative of a new genre of EGC literature as I describe in my Artist Statement.
This sounds like an interesting project. I have always thought that sound is an integral part of elit, and I have endeavored to always include it, whenever possible.
Thanks for making this available. I continue to enjoy seeing how this project develops. Amazing archive!
This is a marvelous resource. Thanks for including our work!
—Jeff T. Johnson
I think your idea of having a radio station/audio image(s) for Electronic Literature at this year's ELO conference is wonderful. I'm especially keen since, for my own language work, I am planning to concentrate on performed and recorded versions of generated/computational texts.
While radio and electronic/generated/computational (EGC) literature may seem unlikely partners, they share commonalities. Both tell stories, present events, and contextualize the world in narrative form. Both are temporal but capable of returning through curation. Radio disappears after its broadcast. EGC literature disappears with changes in the underlying technologies necessary for its production, display, and consumption. Many works of EGC literature, especially pioneering works (see the Pathfinders project) have been orphaned and made generally inaccessible by such changes. Written documentation, screen shots, alternate versions, simulations, and emulations are currently employed in attempt to preserve these works and continue their accessibility.
radioELO believes there is also value in preserving the aural aspects of EGC, which, when, reconceptualized, remixed, and made available in imaginative and creative ways, can help us understand the original work. This effort is believed valuable to artists, researchers, and readers.
The combination of radioELO and EGC is, therefore, purposeful, meant to promote sound as a genre of EGC literature, and demonstrate the creative affordances of sound-based literary artifacts grounded in the act of listening.
Artifacts are collected primarily during the annual international conferences of the Electronic Literature Organization. They are provided by their original creators, with permission to use them in creative endeavors. In addition to sound samples, these artifacts may include author traversals, reevaluations and retrospectives, commentary and reviews, testimonials, memoirs, and oral histories. Resulting remixes constitute sound narratives, sound art, or radio art.
Traversal of Notes Toward Absolute Zero by Tim McLaughlin
1 March 2019, University of Victoria Library, Victoria, Canada
Traversal by Tim McLaughlin
Writer Tim McLaughlin, of British Columbia, Canada, discussed and performed his work, Notes Toward Absolute Zero (Eastgate Systems, 1992/3, catalog listing here), in front of online and onsite audiences as part of Endangered Data Week. LEARN more at the ELL website.
The Electronic Literature Lab (ELL), directed by Dr. Dene Grigar, offers live online and onsite Traversals (performances) of pioneering works of electronic literature using the original hardware and software for which the work was produced. Audiences across the Internet can participate via live YouTube streaming and interact with the performer and live audience using live chat. The goal is to provide access to important works of electronic literature endangered by time and outmoded hardware, software, and media formats. I made this audio recording to document McLaughlin's Traversal.
Traversal of Figurski at Findhorn on Acid by Richard Holeton
22 February 2019, Electronic Literature Lab
Traversal by Richard Holeton
Writer Richard Holeton discussed his pioneering work of hypertext electronic literature, Figurski at Findhorn on Acid (Eastgate Systems, 2001, catalog listing here), including the factual background behind this fictional work and the playful yet precise organization of its nodes, and performed a portion of the default pathway through the work. LEARN more at the ELL website.
The Electronic Literature Lab (ELL), directed by Dr. Dene Grigar, offers live online and onsite Traversals (performances) of pioneering works of electronic literature using the original hardware and software for which the work was produced. Audiences across the Internet can participate via live YouTube streaming and interact with the performer and live audience using live chat. The goal is to provide access to important works of electronic literature endangered by time and outmoded hardware, software, and media formats. I made this audio recording to document Holeton's Traversal.
Traversal of Samplers by Deena Larsen
9 November 2018, Electronic Literature Lab
Traversal by Deena Larsen
Deena Larsen read through sections of her second work, Samplers: Nine Vicious Little Hypertexts (Eastgate Systems, 1996, catalog listing here), a collection of nine richly imagined short stories that illustrate the capabilities of Storyspace, a software program for creating, editing, and reading hypertext fiction. Using Storyspace, Larsen structured each story to recall a traditional quilting pattern.
Larsen, new media artist and hypertext author, created the acclaimed interactive poem Marble Springs, also published by Eastgate Systems (1993, catalog listing here), a complex work written in Hypercard that anticipated icons and navigational features that would appear in the evolving World Wide Web. Marble Springs written in the tradition of Spoon River Anthology and Winesburg, Ohio explores the lives of women in a Colorado mountain town between 1853 and 1935.
The Electronic Literature Lab (ELL), directed by Dr. Dene Grigar, offers live online and onsite Traversals (performances) of pioneering works of electronic literature using the original hardware and software for which the work was produced. Audiences across the Internet can participate via live YouTube streaming and interact with the performer and live audience using live chat. The goal is to provide access to important works of electronic literature endangered by time and outmoded hardware, software, and media formats. I made this audio recording to document Larsen's Traversal.
Traversal of In Small and Large Pieces by Kathryn Cramer
26 October 2018, Electronic Literature Lab
Traversal by Will Luers
Will Luers, winner of the 2018 The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature, read through parts of Cramer's pioneering work of electronic literature, In Small and Large Pieces (Eastgate Systems, 1994, catalog listing here), a postmodern Through the Looking Glass. Kramer is the winner of the World Fantasy Award and certainly mines that vein with this work. Psychotic adolescence, dysfunctional parents, a young woman who believes she can fix anything, this hypertext fictional novel serves them all as print never could. LEARN more at the ELL website.
The Electronic Literature Lab (ELL), directed by Dr. Dene Grigar, offers live online and onsite Traversals (performances) of pioneering works of electronic literature using the original hardware and software for which the work was produced. Audiences across the Internet can participate via live YouTube streaming and interact with the performer and live audience using live chat. The goal is to provide access to important works of electronic literature endangered by time and outmoded hardware, software, and media formats. I made this audio recording to document Luers' Traversal.
ELL Traversal Pre-Roll
John F. Barber
The Electronic Literature Lab (ELL), directed by Dr. Dene Grigar, offers live audio-video streams of traversals of pioneering works of electronic literature. I produced this soundscape in my role as an ELL Research Affiliate for ELL to stream prior to these traversals, while participants gather in online spaces for live tweeting and feedback that is a part of each traversal.
ELL Traversal Pre-Roll includes several components.
Michael Joyce, John McDaid, Shelley Jackson, Judy Malloy
Michael Joyce, Afternoon, A Story
Shelley Jackson, Patchwork Girl
The Unknown: The Original Great American Hypertext Novel (1999) by William Gillespie, Scott Rettberg, Frank Marquardt, and Dirk Stratton
The Roar of Destiny (1995-1999) by Judy Malloy
Pieces for Simultaneous Voices (1972-1974) by Jim Rosenberg
Under Language (2007) by Stuart Moulthrop
Electronic Toasters and Pop-Up Poetry by Nicky Nolan and Nolan Baseneth(sp?)
Thought leaders comment on theory and practice during the 2014 ELO Conference. Included are Justine Bizzocchi, Scott Rettburg, Allison (did not give last name), Scott Rettberg, Roger Dean, John Murray, Amaranth Borsuk, Leonardo Flores, Ian Hatcher, Bill Bly, Steven Wingate, Dana Coester, Jeroen Gerrits, Anastasia Salter, Kim (did not give last name), Alan Bigelow, Jim Bizzocchi, Kathleen Ottinger, Jonathan Olshefski, Steve Woodall, Davin Heckman, Deena Larsen, Joe Tabbi, Marjorie Luesebrink, Jessica Pressman, Soren Bro Pold, Kwaba Opoku-Agyemang, Kent Darcy, Francis Stansloy(sp?), Joellyn Rock, Maria Goicoechea, Nolen Baseneth(sp?), Aaron Reed, Aden Evens, Nicky Nolan, Lucas Ramada Prieto, Nick Montfort, Rich Higgison, Rob Wittig, Serge Bouchardon, and Katherine Hayles.
Director Dene Grigar requested "space music." I have used the sounds of space as recorded by Voyager spacecraft, an open access resource provided by NASA.
radioELO transmission art installation
John F. Barber
For the 2016 conference, radioELO manifests as a work of transmission art featuring low power AM band radio broadcasts to vintage radios, most from the 1930s, positioned throughout the exhibition space. Live and recorded content is produced and broadcast onsite.
Transmission arts engage aural and video broadcast media. Often, transmission arts are live, participatory, time-based, dynamic and fluid, always open to redefinition, intent to put communication tools in the hands of artists / the public for the realization of democratic cultural communication networks. As a result, the media are used in ways different from their original (commercial) intention. This interplay prompts redefinition(s) between artist and audience, transmitter and receiver, along with the telecommunications airwaves as the site for its practice.
In Memoriam Decio Pignatari
Janete El Haouli and José Augusto Mannis
A sound poem for radio in honor of Decio Pignatari, creator of concrete poetry in Brazil in the 1950s along with the brothers Augusto and Haroldo de Campos.
In Memoriam invites the listener to hear the creative imagination of this great poet by including an electroacoustic montage of poetic readings by Pignatari and excerpts of songs inspired by his poems.
In this work, speeches, poems, songs, and silences interact and become integrated. The composition focuses on the interplay of sounds, words, word sounds, words that are transformed when sounds are changed, and with sounds that by and of themselves become words. The unfolding, the combinations and possibilities evidenced by the poems prompted the creation process of this sound piece as if it were the result of a thought that is organized in the displacement of space in time, of sounds and gestures in time and space, and of space in time. We think directly about the sonorous body of the words and about the sounds of the voices.
The guiding principle of the structure of In Memoriam was the work Noigandres IV (1997) for a soprano, clarinet, and piano by J.A. Mannis about the poem HOMBRE, also written by Décio Pignatari, published in the magazine called Noiganders No. 4, from which the song's title comes. Pignatari's voice as he reads the poem and the 1997 song become equivalent in density, in meaning and could be alternated, combined, and thus, the song disintegrates, is transformed, and permeates all the other poems included in the piece, agglutinating, uniting, or connecting, in different ways, to each one of them. In this way, In Memoriam is presented as a sound creation that brings together spoken concrete poems, testimonials, and songs.
Concrete poetry was conceived and accomplished in Brazil by poets Augusto de Campos, Décio Pignatari, Haroldo de Campos, José Lino Grünewald, and Ronald Azeredo in the 1950s, continuing to the present, for more than six decades.
Décio Pignatari was born in Brazil, 20 August 1927. He died 2 December 2012. He was a poet, essay writer, translator, thinker, critic, playwright, professor, advertising professional. In partnership with the Campos brothers, with whom he formed the basis of the Noigandres Group, Pignatari published critical texts, including the book Concrete Poetry Theory (1965), and manifestos. In one of his most significant texts, called "Pilot Plan for Concrete Poetry," the concrete poem is introduced as "an object in and of itself, not as an interpreter of external objects and/or sensations that are more or less subjective," and concrete poetry is defined as "an integral responsibility facing language." As proposed in the manifesto, the word should be thought of in its various dimensions: "sound, visual form, semantic load." Listen to In Memoriam Decio Pignatari.
techne_lab: a journal of practice-based research
Ryan Ruehlen and Mark America
techne_lab is a mix of sound recordings sampled from podcasts produced by Ryan Ruehlen and Mark America each seeking to improvise and articulate the experiential qualities of contemporary art and writing practices as well as emerging research methodologies from the Doctoral Program in Intermedia Art, Writing and Performance (IWAP) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The voices in these podcasts are faculty and lecturers, and artist-educators affiliated with the program
Operating as a conduit for experimental dialogue around practice-based research, techne_lab is at once a limited run academic journal, a finite podcast, a sequence of affective audio essays and an archive of philosophical source material for future forms of postproduction art.
The research conducted in IAWP program reflects the rapidly transforming knowledge systems and digital media economies emerging from the substantial technological shifts currently taking place in our society.Traditional scholarly and creative work outputs such as the single-authored print book or conventional gallery exhibitions have already been challenged by the emergence of multi-authored and/or hybridized forms of transmission such as Internet art sites, electronic literature, live audio/visual performance, multi-platform storytelling or transmedia narratives, software art, interactive installations for public spaces, augmented reality, game art, networked media activism, and innovative art applications for mobile devices and tablets.
TECHNE is a practice-based research initiative in the digitally-expanded intermedia arts and writing founded in 2000 by Mark Amerika at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The lab is focused on inventing new forms of knowledge associated with intermedia art, writing, and performance as well as emerging modes of scholarly thought. Recent research projects have featured net art, transmedia narratives, live audio/visual performances, hybidrized print and electronic scholarly publications, interactive museum installations, mobile cinema and art applications for personal phones and tablets, and experiments in the digital humanities. Listen to techne_lab: a journal of practice-based research.
Egypt: The Soundtrack
Coverley allowed me to re-imagine music from her work of electronic literature, and hopefully, like her hyperlinked novel, to evoke a journey along a river of time, through present and past, states of consciousness, and the fixed and the moving. Learn more.
11'22", sound art for FILE 2017
34 North 118 West
Jeremy Hight, Jeff Knowlton, and Naomi Spellman
The pioneering locative narrative combines audio narrative, digital media, and GPS technology to create an interactive story. The original is no longer available. My remix of its sound artifacts recalls the original experience of being in two places at once, past and present. Learn more.
Sound, like tuning a radio to a distant station, provides the context for the text. My re-imagined sound narrative made from original sound files from this early, and little known work by Moulthrop, provides a way to experience this work. Learn more.
Sc4nda1 in New Media
In the original work, a classic arcade game provides a portal to the text, accompanied by various sounds. My re-imagined sound narrative, made from original sound files from this early work by Moulthrop, provide opportunities to experience and preserve this work. Learn more.
Moulthrop calls Under Language a "literary instrument" providing ten lines of computer-voiced poetry interspersed with computer-voiced code and/or comments that express a second sense or esoteric meaning. For Moulthrop, it was this under language (expressed through computer code) that was central to works of electronic literature. My re-imagined sound narrative made from original sound files from this early work by Moulthrop, provide an experience with the essential, core elements of the original work. Learn more.
May I ask you a question?
A sound narrative, created from field recordings of conference participants answering the question, "May I ask you a question?"
What Is Electronic Literature?
Throughout the Electronic Literature Organization 2014 conference I asked participants, "What is electronic literature?" I created this sound narrative from their answers.
Never one to shy from creative endeavor, Coover provided this spontaneous answer/performance. It deserves to stand alone, unedited, as originally recorded on a bench outside the library on the campus of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Listen to eLiterature A-Z: radioELO remix.
Soundscapes and Computational Audio-Visual Works
Jim and Justine Bizzochi
Jim and Justine have a lot to say about computational audio-visual works. This interview was recorded in a tornado shelter, on the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee campus. They speak eloquently about the connections between sounds and visuals. Listen to the interview.
Song for the Working Fly
Bigelow uses text, animation, photographs, and audio (music loops, sounds, and songs) to augment his first person(al) narratives. A great example is Life of FLY. FLY is an artist, poet, singer, and media figure. He is also a housefly. Life of FLY is a glimpse into his life and work. There are two songs in the story. This one, "Song for the Working Fly," is a song by FLY for the 99%. More a rant than a song, the work plays with an interactive animation of flying text: "FLY FIDDLES," "FLY FOMENTS," "FLY FOREVER," etc. These texts are augmented by a fly animation and a still image. The song is by FLY and sung by FLY—it is his statement on the predicament of the working man and woman faced with economic adversity. Both songs included in Life of Fly were created by Bigelow using copyright-free instrumental sound files edited using Sound Studio. He added his own voice, lyrics, and melodies to the song, and for the second song, "Love is Everything," recorded an additional female voice for a chorus. This work is unedited, provided here exactly as provided by Bigelow. Headphones are recommended for the best listening experience. Information about his 2014 conference presentation here.
No Booze Tonight
An audio sample from Wingate's daddylabyrinth project (more information here), a new media memoir about his troubled relationship with his father, an author who struggled with alcohol. Wingate channels his father by reading one of his short stories about these struggles. Wingate anticipates additional, similar stories in the evolving memoir chapter "Reading My Father, Writing My Father." This work is unedited, exactly as provided by Wingate.
Letters from The Archiverse: A Language/Object Event Horizon
Jeff T. Johnson and Andrew Klobucar
Audio sample from performance at the Electronic Literature Organization 2014 conference (more information here). The original performance included visual projection of a language object-based open-field poetry environment, and audio. Images available at Organism for Poetic Research. This audio sample is unedited, exactly as provided by Johnson.
The Obsolete Book in a Post-Obsolete World as Represented by a Post-Obsolete Book About Dance
A field recording made of Suzanne's installation at the ELO 2014 conference (more information here). The installation was a "reflection on the obsolescence of obsolescence" . . . a performance website, a pseudo-academic lecture, and a dance about architecture . . . "a multimedia archival rhizome ecology in ten parts." My recording provides some access to the original work, no longer readily available.
Circuits—from River Island
One of several sound works from Cayley's programatology project: recorded and performed versions of generated / computational texts. This sample is undedited, exactly as provided by Cayley.
M. D. Coverley
This pioneering work of electronic literature by Coverley follows five generations of Californians as they look for a lost stash of gold coins, and dreams of riches. Coverley's hypermedia, interactive novel for CD-ROM features stories, maps, journeys, multiple narrators, 2,400 images, and music, which itself is a story worth a listen. My re-imagined sound-based narrative using music samples provided by Coverley provides an experience of this difficult to access original work. Learn more.
The Unknown: The Original Great American Hypertext Novel
William Gillespie, Scott Rettberg, Frank Marquardt, and Dirk Stratton
In June 1998, four completely unknown writers began a narrative about the wild cross-country book tour of a group of successful authors. They created eighty pages in the first thirty-six-hour creative frenzy. More than eight hundred pages followed, all hyperlinked so readers could follow different paths through the narrative.
Live, interactive readings were quite popular. With the text of The Unknown projected behind them, one author read, one author worked the computer mouse, and one dinged a bell to signal each hyperlink. Audience members shouted out hyperlinks they wished the authors to follow. Following the requested hyperlink, the authors changed roles. In performance, the authors mimicked the witty megalomaniac register and self-deprecating banter of the text, lampooning literary / intellectual icons, riffing on literary styles, all while having what seemed a great deal of fun. See The Green Line: Interactive Live Readings of the Unknown for a documentary history of these readings.
The end result of these readings was an effective comment on the lack of closure in hypertext fiction, a staple of the genre since Michael Joyce's Afternoon (1987; first published 1990). Gillespie, Rettberg, and Stratton perpetuated this tension by continually adding to the text. Read the entire hypertext online at the Unknown Hypertext website.
The Unknown was chosen by Robert Coover to receive the 1998 trAce/ALTX Hypertext Competition award. Coover invited Gillespie, Rettberg, and Stratton to present themselves and their work at the Technology Platforms for the 21st Century Conference, 7-9 April 1999, at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. The authors gave two readings / performances. The second, in a multimedia lab, with a tub of beer, was ideal. My edited sound narrative re-imagines the evening.
The Roar of Destiny
Complex narrative poetry constructed from 232 carefully crafted, intertwined lexias. Malloy, a pioneer in electronic literature, recorded herself reading example lexia. Learn more.