The Network as a Space and Medium for Collaborative Interdisciplinary Art Practice

Categories:  electronic literature, Tributaries and Text-Fed Streams
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J. R. Carpenter will present Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review at The Network as a Space and Medium for Collaborative Interdisciplinary Art Practice in Bergen, Norway, November 8-10, 2009.

This conference will focus on the increasing use of the network as a space and medium for collaborative interdisciplinary art practices including electronic literature and other network based art forms. Researchers will present papers exploring new network-based creative practices that involve the cooperation of small to large-scale groups of writers, artists, performers, and programmers to create online projects that defy simple generic definitions and disciplinary boundaries. Topics might include online collective narratives, durational performances, evolving networked publication models, creative commons and open source art, remixes, and mashups. The seminar will be organized by the LLE Digital Culture group and will invite contributions from about 20 international researchers and artists. In addition to the scholarly seminar Nov. 9th and 10th at the University of Bergen, two evening programs will take place Nov. 8th and 9th at Landmark Café at Bergen Kunsthall, to showcase innovative work and will be open to the public.

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review explores the formal and functional properties of RSS, using blogging, tagging and other Web 2.0 tools to mark-up and interlink essays and to insert additional meta-layers of commentary in order to play with, expose, expand upon, and subvert formal structures of writing, literature, and literary criticism. In February 2007 The Capilano Review, a literary journal based in North Vancouver, published an issue dedicated to new writing and new technologies. TCR 2-50 “Artifice & Intelligence” was guest-edited by Andrew Klobucar and included essays by: Andrew Klobucar, Global Telelanguage Resources, Sandra Seekins, Kate Armstrong, David Jhave Johnston, Laura U. Marks, Sharla Sava, Kevin Magee, Jim Andrews, Gordon Winiemko, Nancy Paterson and Darren Wershler-Henry. Tributaries & Text-fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review is a personal, experimental and playful rereading of and response to these essays by Montreal-based writer and web artist J.R. Carpenter, commissioned by The Capilano Review and curated by Kate Armstrong.


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Vancouver BC: An Inventory of Mostly Minor Injuries

Categories:  Tributaries and Text-Fed Streams
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May 22: My mother-in-law drove me to the airport during rush hour. To avoid the Metropolitan Autoroute she took a crazy back-roads route through neighbourhoods I didn’t even know we had in this city, including a Little India and a warren of apartment buildings that may or may not have been Ville Saint-Laurent. I gasped and clutched the dashboard a number of times, but a civilized conversation was maintained throughout, in French, and no injuries were sustained.

On the plane I sat next to a short fat neurotic woman who reminded me a little too much of certain people I’m related to. Throughout the five and a half hour flight she fiddled endlessly with an enormous handbag, forever foraging in it for candies with crinkly wrappers and discovering other half-eaten stashes of food. When I asked her to let me out to go to the washroom she left this purse and various other packages on the floor in front of her seat. Stepping over them I stumbled and fell into the armrest and by the time I got to the washroom I had a vicious arm-reset shaped bruise on my thigh.

In the washroom, massaging my new bruise, I was confronted with evidence of just how old the airplane was that we were all hurtling across the continent in. There was a metal foldout ashtray built in just below the sink – like the kind that used to come standard in the backseats of Buicks and Caddies and other gigantic valour-upholstered cars of the 1980s. Above the sink there was small horizontal hole in the wall. A diagram of a double-sided razor blade clearly indicated that this was an ideal place for disposing of double-sided razor blades. When this plane was built razor blades and cigarette lighters were allowed through airport security and smoking on board was permitted in rows 39 through 23. Those were simpler times my friends, simpler times.

Our flight arrived in Vancouver early. When does that ever happen? Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams curator Kate Armstrong picked me up at the airport and drove me to my friend Emilie’s where I’d be spending the next two nights. Emilie had sent driving instructions but I had forgot to print them. That’s all right, Kate said, I know where we’re going – I just don’t know the address. That was the only thing I did know: 919 number 9, I said. I may be no good with names or faces or dates or following directions, but I do have a head for numbers.

Emilie and I were roommates during a residency at the Banff Centre in 2006. When we first got there we had The Loudest Room. We joined forces and eventually got moved to a way quieter room, one with a balcony and a mountain view. She stayed at my place in Montreal late summer 2007 and directly thereafter many amazing projects came my way, including Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams, so as far as I’m concerned Emilie is good luck. Her apartment is massive by Vancouver standards. She has a balcony and a mountain view, but her bedroom is even louder than The Loudest Room. Luckily I always travel with earplugs and had an extra pair for her. So much to catch up on yet, one glass of wine and we went right to sleep.

May 23: Jetlag was my friend in the morning when I still had lots of work to do in advance of the impending Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams launch, but jetlag was not my friend later that evening. I went for a walk to clear my head and was amazed to discover that Vancouver has colours we just don’t have in Montreal, and some crazy-looking trees I’ve never seen before. Back at Emilie’s we set about preparing to have a few people over for a Welcome to Vancouver / Reunion with Long-Lost Friends party. It turns out Emilie and I have dozens of long-lost friends in common and they’re all long lost friends of each other. Except for this one random girl, a friend of our friend Sameena who met her on the bus on way over, invited her in and she said sure. That’s when you know it’s a real party: when there’s someone there who doesn’t know anyone else.

As the evening unfolded we traveled back in time. Our stories crisscrossed and doubled back again in our retelling of them. We enacted a performance of remembering, drew maps of the interconnections between us that even we couldn’t follow, amazed ourselves with tales of what we’d been up to since we’d last seen each other and marvelled to find ourselves together again all in one room. Thrilled as I was to see everyone, I was falling asleep by 11PM. Everybody has to leave now, I whispered in Emilie’s ear at midnight. As soon as they were gone I missed them. Even the random girl.

May 24: By the time I woke up Emilie had already washed the kitchen floor – a gargantuan task. How could a dozen Long-Lost Friends make such a mess? I started in on the dishes. All was going fine despite the fact that doing dishes isn’t my sport and neither of us had had any coffee and there was none in the house. We were just discussing how and when to procure coffee when under the sudsy water the stem of a wine glass snapped in half and sliced the inside of my left thumb open. The wound was deep. It bled profusely. In seconds there was blood all over the recently washed kitchen floor and some blood on Emilie’s foot too. The blood didn’t freak her out so much as the steely resolve with which I insisted on rinsing the wound in cold water.

I was in shock. And I was furious. I had been working on Tributaries for six months and The Capilano Review had invited me out to Vancouver to launch it and now what if I couldn’t deliver? I was far from home. I hadn’t had any coffee. I am unused to having no idea what to do. Emilie bandaged me up and insisted I eat some eggs. I ate with my thumb above my head, and tried to sort out how I would know if I would need stitches or not. I couldn’t remember if I’d ever needed stitches before. The thought of spending the whole day in an emergency room enraged me. As did the difficulty of eating eggs over-easy whilst holding one bloody throbbing thumb in the air. At least it was my left thumb.

The phone rang. It was clearly someone Emilie didn’t want to talk to. I can’t talk right now, J.R.’s bleeding, she said, but the caller kept on talking. Finally my wound made itself useful. Blood began seeping out over my band-aid and dribbling down the back of my hand. Dude, I managed to intone, holding my thumb out in my friend’s direction. There’s really a lot of blood, she told the caller and hung up.

As soon as we were done eating Emilie got online and started searching for walk-in clinics. We took a taxi to the first one we found open on a Saturday AM that said they’d do stitches. The next part of the story is quite grizzly, but here are the good parts: We didn’t have to wait. Emilie was allowed into the exam room with me and was willing and able to squeeze the hell out of my other hand during the procedure. The doctor was our age and he had a sense of humour. Stitches were indeed needed, five of them! And a Tetanus shot. This goes into the “good parts” category because at least we weren’t over-reacting. While he was stitching me up the doctor asked me lots of questions to distract me. When he discovered that I was in town to launch a new project that evening and tried to get me to explain what it was about. Emilie admitted she had no idea what Tributaries was about either. I proceeded to fail miserably to explain the poetics of RSS. This goes into the good parts category because at least it got us all laughing. I got a big bandage and free drug samples. The best part was when it was all over we went outside and discovered a French café directly across the street from the clinic. There was a table in the sun on the terrace. We literally ran across the street toward that table in the sun.

Somehow we still had time to take the bus back to Emilie’s place, bathe (awkwardly) pack (sloppily) and haul my stuff downtown to the hotel I’d be staying in for the rest of my stay in Vancouver thanks to The Capilano Review. We made it to the gallery more or less on time for one of the worst technical set-ups I’ve ever been through. The internet connection conked out every time the cordless phone received a signal. The data projector would talk to some laptops and not others and for about an hour there it insisted on projecting upside down. I still in shock from the thumb wound. My brain was not functioning properly. At some point I gave up and went out to find Emilie and our friend Billy who’s artwork was just about the only thing functioning in the gallery at that moment. They were conveniently located in a near by park. I sank down onto the grass in despair. Billy consoled me with a neck rub. The weather was glorious and the view was stunning, all of which helped a lot.

It was hot in the gallery. I was flushed and overwrought. I had a change of clothes with me, but decided to save them for some other day as my BO would only sully them and even two days into this trip I was all about making my fresh laundry last as long as possible. I didn’t dare have a drink, what with the shock and exhaustion and jetlag and pain medication, but fortunately for us all the DJ was one of the most positive, helpful and energetic human beings I’ve ever met and between him and the Long-Lost Friends, who turned out in droves, soon my energy was restored to near functional levels.

All things considered, the event itself went remarkably well. A good crowd came out. The internet connection didn’t conk out once during my performance. After my bit was done, a number of other folks performed riffs on the theme of Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams including my perpetually long-lost but always eventually found again friend Michael Boyce. With profound relief I witnessed the project moving beyond me, out into discourse as it were. Many people came up to me after and admitted that they hadn’t understood the project at all before hand but now they did, which was a load off my mind. The curator and commissioning body all seemed happy and eventually it was over and I had chic boutique a hotel room waiting for me, hurrah!

In an attempt to pull the hotel room window closed for the night I managed to both bang and cut my right elbow, which hurt like hell, but everything is relative after having already had stitches earlier in the day. I took a massive doctor-endorsed pain killer and slept and slept and slept.

May 25: The great thing about sustaining a bloody injury and yet somehow getting through the day is that for days afterward everything else seems lovely in comparison. “The day after” was bliss. Two dear long-lost friends made me breakfast in the morning and organized a beach BBQ in the evening to which many more long-lost friends flocked and there was food and beer and a Frisbee and a dog and a glorious sun set and really the only difficulty we had was that we were too lazy to walk all the way to the restrooms so we waited till we were driving out and by then we thought we might die of needing to pee but of course we didn’t die at all. After availing ourselves of the facilities we amused ourselves by taking pictures the lights of distant Vancouver. Surely it’s a sign of true friendship when we enjoy each other’s company so much that it doesn’t seem strange at all to spend a half an hour taking pictures together in the dark.

May 26: No injuries were incurred on this day. Only some slight confusions. Long-lost Michael and I went for breakfast. He forgot his phone and had to go back for it. Then we went for a long walk. He pointed out that many buildings in Vancouver have nautical elements in their architecture. Down by the waterfront I said: Wow, this building looks like a cruse ship. It actually was a cruse ship! How embarrassing!! And yet what a relief. I mean it would have been pretty strange if every single one of the condo owners in the building had the exact same deck chairs.

Later I went to meet Emilie at the gallery she works. She was going to let me in to see the show for free but I couldn’t find her anywhere. I thought I’d missed her, but then through the magic of text messaging another long-lost friend who works at the same gallery came and found me in the lobby and just then Emilie found us and soon all was well. The exhibition was awesome, but by this time I was dead tired. Luckily there was a movie playing in a darkened room equipped with comfy couches. Let’s face it, there’s hardly ever a comfy couch in the middle of the day in a public place at just the moment when you need a nap.

Later still I went to dinner with a long-lost friend who had been at the Welcome to Vancouver party, the Tributaries Launch and the Beach BBQ. Previous to the Welcome to Vancouver Party we hadn’t seen each other for fifteen years; we still had a lot of catching up to do. We decided to eat at a Thai place with a terrace. We knew it was the right place because my orange and fuchsia top matched the décor. The heat lamp over the terrace was so hot we thought we’d have to move inside but then we came up with a brilliant idea: We asked the waiter to turn off the heat lamp and he did. Every one else on the terrace cheered. Why didn’t any of them think to ask the waiter to turn the heat lamp off, we wondered?

After dinner long-long-lost friend and I went for a long long walk along a beach and took pictures in the dark… I guess this happens fairly often in Vancouver. We walked and walked and talked and talked and wound at pub, which is exactly what we used to do when we knew each other the first time around. The big difference being: the first time around I was twenty and too lonely to notice that I was surrounded by friends. And now, boy, do I know better. No I know that long-lost friends almost always remember things differently than you do. They remember the good things; they have the power to give back pieces of the past to you untarnished and intact.

The present is a gift, as Michael Boyce says.

June 3: Back in Montreal. I took my stitches out myself. The wound appears healed yet it still hurts. The scar is hardcore. The long-lost friends are all lost again but hopefully not for too long. In the meantime, I miss you all a lot.
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Tributaries: Behind the Scenes at the Vancouver Launch Event

Categories:  electronic literature, performance, Tributaries and Text-Fed Streams
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Over the course of the six months that I was posting to Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams I had the occasion to explain the project many times to many people, often with little or no success. Some said: Wow, that sounds so cool… But I know they’d never read a word of it. Others smiled and nodded even as their eyes literally glazed over. Only a brave few admitted they had no idea what I was talking about. You few, you are true friends.

None of this bothered me of course. I knew that this exploration of the formal, functional and poetic properties of RSS would be best understood in its natural element (online) and would be most closely read by an online community already habituated to navigating the tributaries of text-fed streams.

So why, from day one, did I insist that the commissioning body, The Capilano Review, go to the trouble and expense to fly me from Montreal to Vancouver for a real-time one-time only launch event?

The more open-ended, circuitous and recursive a project sets out to be, the more necessary closure becomes. I posted the last fragment of text from the “original” source two days before the Vancouver launch. Had not had a plane to catch and a mic to get in front of I could have continued frigging around with the texts of TCR 2-50 indefinitely.

Tributaries curator Kate Armstrong supported the idea of a Vancouver launch event from day one. While she was researching potential launch event venues she sent me this email:

HI JR
Do you by any wild chance know Billy Mavreas?

BILLY MAVREAS is a Greek-Canadian artist and cartoonist living in Montreal. His artwork has been shown internationally. He is the author of The Overlords of Glee (2001) and the upcoming Inside Out Overlap (Timeless Books, 2008), and also the proprietor of his enduring project, Monastiraki, a Mile-End magickal curiosity shoppe and art gallery.

I replied:

> Yeah, he’s my neighbour and dear friend and we were at Banff together
> and so on. Why do you ask? He’s having a show at Helen Pitt around
> the same time I’ll be in Vancouver.

The rest, as they say, took a few more weeks to plan. But in the end, yes, we had the launch event at the Helen Pitt Gallery, where my friend and Montreal neighbour Billy Mavreas was artist in residence and the director Lance Blomgren had just agreed to contribute texts to another electronic literature project I’m working on and all three of us are Conundrum Press authors. Thank you Lance and Billy for letting us take over the Helen Pitt for the evening. Special thanks Billy for physically remixing a print copy of TCR 2-50 and handing out the mini-zine results on the spot, and for making such Tributaries-looking wall art for us to all stand in front of. And extra special thanks Emilie for pouring wine all evening and without whom I might not have made it to the gallery at all that day, but that’s another story.

Many dear friends showed up for the event, including some long-lost ones and some never before met in person ones and some in the “I have no idea what this project’s about” category. The pressure was on!

The Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams project is nowhere near as complicated as it sounds. It’s about reading. I held up my copy of TCR 2-50 for the audience to see all the underlined passages, circled sections, arrows, stars and annotations scribbled in the margins. We all do this when we read, don’t we? We interpret, interrupt, form metal images, take notes, and make associations. As I parsed and posted fragments of the essays of TCR 2-50 I marked them up, into JRML, as Kate Armstrong once quipped.

There are hundreds of different ways to read Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams. One good place to start is with the post: What the Heck is RSS?

A good example of JRML is section of Sandra Seekins’ essay dealing with the metaphors and media of biotechnologies which led to me to quote a sequence of pre-genetic-technology references made in literature and philosophy to “metaphors” of bodies as “composites of replaceable parts” in this excerpt: Metaphors of Biotechnology

An intertextual dialogue between TCR 2-50 authors emerges in the matrix/chora section of Kevin Magee’s poem To Write as Speach.

After showing these ways of reading Tributaries I went behind the scenes to show how the piece actually works. I posted an image to Flickr, commented on it, tagged it and then it appeared on the Tributaries main page through the magic of a Flickr RSS feed. I saved a bookmark to del.icio.us and that too was pulled into the Tributaries interface. I posted a new post to Tributaries: Alternate Readings: The In This Issue Remix, then logged into Facebook as Babble Brook (a character created to aid and abet with the Tributaries project). RSS had already pulled the afore mentioned Flickr image, del.icio.us bookmark and Tributaries post into Babble Brook’s profile and pushed news of them out into the feeds of all her friends. Having fed all that info into the text-fed stream, Babble Brook and I got off the mic and let the experts take over.

In a stroke of pure genius Tributaries curator Kate Armstrong invited three experts on streams to perform at the launch event: Dr. Michael Boyce, expert in stream of consciousness; Dr. Maria Lantin, Director of the Intersections Digital Studios, a research space at Emily Carr and thus an expert in data flow; and Dr. Jeremy Venditti, an expert in river geomorphology, turbulence and sediment transport dynamics in gravel-bedded streams. Now Dr. Boyce I’ve known for fifteen years, but Dr. Lantin and Dr. Venditti I’d never met before. This triumvirate of stream experts gave a brilliantly intermingled reading that riffed on the theme of streams. For example, if anyone is still wondering why on earth one would feed the texts of a print journal into a RSS stream, consider the transformational effects of the stream as outlined in this passage quoted by Dr. Venditti:

The Stream – Along the bottom of every gorge is a stream channel. In it may flow a great river or a brook or only a temporary torrent. The stream is there because the slopes of the land guide the water that way, and the stream may thus be said to exist on account of the channel. But in an equally important way the gorge exists because of the stream, for the stream is in fact the maker of the gorge and is still at work on it, deepening and enlarging. Let us look at the stream…
Grove Karl Gilbert and Albert Perry Brigham, An Introduction to Pyhsical Geography, 1902.

For me – standing in the audience having only just emerged seconds before from six intense months of working on Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams – this intertextual interdisciplinary reading of the work was a gift, and a joy to witness. Thank-you Michael, Maria and Jeremy for your generosity and thank-you Kate from coming up with this idea.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the gallery, throughout the evening TCR 2-50 guest editor and contributor Andrew Klobucar had been feeding portions of the readings into the Global Telelanguage Resources Workbench, which is basically a definition-generating machine. Despite having marked up an essay about this tool in Tributaries, it wasn’t until Andrew read performed the definitions generated in response to the evening’s other performances that I understood how innately hilarious the Global Telelanguage Resources project is! Thank you Andrew!

The performances were followed by a set from DJ Leigh Christie, who had already rocked my world earlier in the day during the tech set up. Even when the internet connection conked out, even when the data projector insisted on projecting upside-down, DJ Leigh kept our spirits running high. Thank you Leigh!

The longer you work on a project the more likely a launch event is to feel anti-climatic, especially an entirely web-based project. In this case, this was not the case. I’m grateful to The Capilano Review for seeing the project through to this conclusion. I was blown away by the turn out for the event, by the emotions of reuniting with long lost friends, by the generosity of all of the contributors and performers and by the responses to the work that the event generated.

Here’s how I know the event was a success: all the people who had told me beforehand that they didn’t get what this work was about came up to me after and said that now they get it. That’s about as climatic as you can get.
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Tributaries & Text fed Streams: Launch Event

Categories:  electronic literature, launch, reading, Tributaries and Text-Fed Streams
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If you happen to be in Vancouver on Saturday May 24th at 7:30PM, come on down to the Helen Pitt Gallery for the launch of Tributaries & Text fed Streams. I’ve been working on this project for just over six months now and am thrilled to see it nearing completion. I’m also thrilled to be heading to Vancouver for this launch. I have so many dear friends in that fair city yet have spent next to no time there. Looking forward to seeing you all – you know who you are!

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams is commissioned by The Capilano Review and curated by Kate Armstrong. The work explores the poetic, formal and functional properties of RSS using the text of an issue of literary quarterly The Capilano Review as raw material raw the creation of a new artwork. Since January I have reading and re-reading the essays, parsing them into fragments, annotating them, marking them up, tagging them and posting them. Once fed into an RSS stream, the fragments are re-read, reordered, and reblogged in an iterative process of distribution that opens up new readings of the essays and reveals new interrelationships between them.

At the launch event I will read from the piece and perform a guided tour of the various streams feeding into and flowing out of it. In addition, curator Kate Armstrong has put together a programme of experimental readings by practitioners in disparate fields such as quantum physics, geography, and poetics, arranged to explore ideas of streams, seriality, or flow. Participants in the launch event will include Maria Lantin, Michael Boyce, Jeremy Venditti, Global Telelanguage Resources, and me, J.R. Carpenter.

The work will be simultaneously launched on Turbulence.org.

Launch Event:
Saturday, May 24th, 2008 at 7:30pm
Helen Pitt Gallery, 102-148 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC.

A reception will follow.

For those of you who can’t make it in person, here are some URLS:

Tributaries & Text- Fed Streams: http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca/
The Capilano Review: http://www.thecapilanoreview.ca/
TCR Issue 2-50 : “Artifice and Intelligence”: http://www.thecapilanoreview.ca/archive.php?id=series2/2_50
J.R. Carpenter: http://luckysoap.com/
Turbulence: http://www.turbulence.org
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Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: Curatorial Statement

Categories:  electronic literature, Tributaries and Text-Fed Streams
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What are the creative and poetic possibilities of RSS syndication and how might the introduction of omnipresent, iterative publishing processes affect our experience of digital literature? How can a book be transformed and reworked through an exploration of the formal and aesthetic structure of the stream?
TCR Issue 2-50 : Artifice and Intelligence
Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams is a project by J.R. Carpenter, commissioned by The Capilano Review and curated by Kate Armstrong. In this work Carpenter approaches the text of an issue of literary quarterly The Capilano Review (TCR) as a raw material in the creation of a new artwork.

Carpenter draws on a range of strategies and traditions including literary criticism, illustration, blogging, coding, writing, and digital intervention, using these to articulate an experimental space that equates and associates water with text.

The work is an eddy within the internet, a place where information – commentary, image, text, metadata – coalesce for a moment, before flowing back out into and through other channels. The written word mixes and dissolves, never static, not quite discrete. Related imagery circulates within and without the confines of the artwork, raising questions of boundary. We navigate within this work as we would through wild, quiet rivers. Reading is wayfinding. We pass through texts and text fragments, through citations, links, footnotes, self-author, other-author, patches of whimsy. Social media meets scholarly tracemaking. Categories become headwaters: comments, islands. It is a “text-fed stream”, moving with undercurrents and process.

The work extends our experience of the nature of the digital stream and invites new questions about material, temporality, repetition, and the archive in connection with the electronic word.

Kate Armstrong, 2008
Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams
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Slip into the Text-Fed Stream

Categories:  electronic literature, Tributaries and Text-Fed Streams
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I’ve officially started posting to Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review. What the heck is a Feed-Reading? What on earth is a Text-Fed Stream? I’m so glad you asked!

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review is a personal, experimental and playful re-reading of and response to thirteen essays published in a recent issue of The Capilano Review that was dedicated to new writing and new technologies. In this work I am exploring the formal and functional properties of RSS, using blogging, tagging and other Web 2.0 tools to mark-up and interlink these essays and to insert additional meta-layers of commentary in order to play with, expose, expand upon, and subvert formal structures of writing, literature, and literary criticism.

For the next four-months I will be reading and re-reading the essays and parsing them into fragments, which I will then annotate, mark-up, tag and post. Fed into an RSS stream, the fragments will be re-read, reordered, and reblogged in an iterative process of distribution intended to open up new readings of the essays and reveal new interrelationships between them.

Streams are both literally and metaphorically the central image of the work. Streams of consciousness, data, and rivers flow through the interface and through the texts. Through this process of re-reading and responding, this textual tributary will feed a larger stream while paying tribute to the original source.

The result of this process-based approach will be a web site that is part blog and part archive – an online repository for the artifacts of re-reading as well as a stage for the performance of live archiving. The final version of Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review will launch simultaneously on The Capilano Review website (Vancouver) and on Turbulence.org (New York) in May 2008.

But why wait until then? You can slip into this text-fed stream at any time via the web site, where you can post comments: http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca and/or you can subscribe to the RSS feed and have the posts come to you: http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca/feed/.

There’s also a facebook group: Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams. I’ve started a collection of literary quotations referring to rivers, streams, writing and the flow of information. If you have any to share, please send them along via a comment to this post, or to a post on http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca, or on the facebook group’s wall. Hope to see you somewhere down river soon …

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams is curated by Vancouver-based artist and writer Kate Armstrong and commissioned by The Capliano Review – a literary journal based in North Vancouver with a long history of publishing new and established Canadian and international writers and artists who are experimenting with or expanding the boundaries of conventional forms and contexts. Now in its 35th year, the magazine continues to favour the risky, the provocative, the innovative, and the dissident. TCR 2-50 “Artifice & Intelligence” was guest-edited by Andrew Klobucar and included essays by: Andrew Klobucar, Global Telelanguage Resources, Sandra Seekins, Kate Armstrong, David Jhave Johnston, Laura U. Marks, Sharla Sava, Kevin Magee, Jim Andrews, Gordon Winiemko, Nancy Patterson and Darren Wershler-Henry.

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca
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Tributaries and Text-fed Streams

Categories:  electronic literature, Tributaries and Text-Fed Streams, writing
Tags: , , , , ,

a feed-reading of The Capliano Review
a new work of electronic literature by J. R. Carpenter
curated by Kate Armstrong

The Capilano Review, a literary journal based in North Vancouver, has commissioned me to create a new work of electronic literature based on a recent issue dedicated to new writing and new technologies. TCR 2-50 “Artifice & Intelligence,” guest-edited by Andrew Klobucar, included essays by: Andrew Klobucar, Global Telelanguage Resources, Sandra Seekins, Kate Armstrong, David Jhave Johnston, Laura U. Marks, Sharla Sava, Kevin Magee, Jim Andrews, Gordon Winiemko, Nancy Patterson and Darren Wershler-Henry.

Tributaries & Text-fed Streams will be a personal, experimental and playful rereading of and response to these essays. I will explore the formal and functional properties of RSS, using blogging, tagging and other Web 2.0 tools to mark-up and interlink essays and to insert additional meta-layers of commentary in order to play with, expose, expand upon, and subvert formal structures of writing, literature, and literary criticism.

Over a four-month period I will read and re-read the essays, parsing them into fragments, which I will then annotate, mark-up, tag and post. Fed into an RSS stream, the fragments will be re-read, reordered, and reblogged in an iterative process of distribution that will open up new readings of the essays and reveal new interrelationships between them. The result of this process-based approach will be a blogchive – part blog, part archive – at once an online repository for the artefacts of re-reading and a stage for the performance of live archiving.

Streams are both literally and metaphorically the central image of the work. Streams of consciousness, data, and rivers flow through the interface and through the texts. Through this process of re-reading and responding, this textual tributary will feed a larger stream while paying tribute to the original source.

Tributaries & Text-fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review will launch simultaneously on thecapilanoreview.ca (Vancouver) and turbulence.org (New York) in the spring of 2008.
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