Notes on the Voyage: From Mainframe Experimentalism to Electronic Literature

I’m giving a talk at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) on Thursday, 7 February. The title on the poster is: Notes on the Voyage: From Mainframe Experimentalism to Electronic Literature. But somehow or other, my first slide is of the via Appia antica. Roman roads are among the best examples we have of classical networks, after all. Don’t worry. It only takes 14 slides to arrive at an image of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper working with the UNIVAC computer, which she helped develop. The first UNIVAC shipped on March 31, 1951. The first experiment with digital literature and digital art of any kind was carried out one year later by Christopher Strachey, working on the Manchester University Computer, for which, Alan Turing wrote the manual. And so on. Come by if you can.

Thursday February 7, 2013 | Room 595 | 12:30–1:30 PM


J. R. Carpenter || Visiting Artists Talk || ACAD || February 2013

Here’s what it says in the text on the poster that is probably too small to read:

JR Carpenter has been using the internet as a medium for the creation and dissemination of experimental texts since 1993. In this lecture she will explore much earlier works of Electronic Literature dating back to the 1950s, setting a critical and historical context for the vibrant and experimental field that we find today. She skilfully excavates layers of computer/ communication/network history to oer insight into contemporary practices. Through commentary, analysis, historical images, and examples new and old of computer-generated texts and other non-traditional forms of writing, speaking, and interacting, this talk takes a practice-led approach to navigating the ever shifting creative, critical, and political terrain of this fast-growing form of digital-expression.