April 11: Bookishness
April 18: Artists’ Books
April 25: New approaches to page space
May 2: Bookwork
May 9: What are books?
May 15: Page to screen [note new date and time, Tuesday, 5:00pm]
May 23: Attention and distraction
May 30: How we read now
June 6: Networked books
“The idea of “the book” guiding design of e-books has been a commonplace, grotesquely reductive and unproductive. No single book exists, so no “idea” of “the” book could be produced in any case. The multiplicity of physical structures and graphic conventions are manifestations of activity, returned to book form as conventions because of their efficacy in guiding use. The notion of a metaphor applied to an element like a table of contents is highly misleading. This is not a metaphor at all, but a program, a set of instructions for performance. By looking to scholarly work for specific understanding of varieties of attitudes towards the book as literal space and a virtual e-space, and to artists and poets for evidence of the way the spaces of a book work, we realize that the traditional codex is also, in an important and suggestive way, already virtual. But also, that the format features of virtual spaces of e-space, electronic space, have yet to encode conventions of use within their graphical forms. As that happens, we will witness the conceptual form of virtual spaces for reading, writing, and exchange take shape in the formats that figure their functions in layout and design.” —Johanna Drucker
“[…] the overall effect is one of poetic parataxis, disjunctive but coherent.
I’d feared the stochastic arrangement might lessen the overall thrust of the piece—why read to the last page when any page could be the last?—but I hurried to reach the ending. Another reader may have ended on a note of circularity. (“The couch, along the wall, is covered with a Mexican serape. Dagmar is sitting there with her legs folded under her. Above her head, contrasting violently with her blond hair, the dark abstract painting with clots of color that seem to be on fire is still unfinished. It is called Composition No. 1.”) My Composition ended with a bloody ambush of a hideout by the Germans, while two French fighters, sitting quietly out in the woods, listened to the screams. The last line—“A tall German woman with queenly bearing nonchalantly crosses the barnyard. She would be beautiful without her uniform.”—might have had little significance elsewhere, but here I was stunned by its eerily flat tone and sculptural asymmetry. It was not so much what the author did that was impressive, but what he, deliberately, did not.” —Robert Moor
another attempt in ebook publishing.
Watch Info trailer and see if you agree:
“Our Choice, a multimedia book app from PushPop Press, opens with a video of Al Gore’s tanned, waxen face speaking directly into the camera. “Welcome to Our Choice,” he says, making a point to refer to it as an app and not a book. He then presents a tutorial on how to read the book, or app, which I found mildly patronizing the first time I launched it (part of the fun of electronic literature lies in mastering a new text’s mechanics) and downright annoying the second and third time. (I did not open it a fourth.)” —Robert Moor
StorySpace “is a hypertext writing environment that is especially well suited to large, complex, and challenging hypertexts. Storyspace focuses on the process of writing, making it easy and pleasant to link, revise, and reorganize.”
“The early hypertextualists—Joyce, Moulthrop, Judy Malloy, Shelley Jackson, Rob Swigart, J. Yellowlees Douglas—wrote about interconnectedness, flux, immateriality, and sprawl, themes that reflected the structure of StorySpace, the program most of them used to craft and publish their work.”