Tag Archives: J.R. Carpenter

New(er) Digital Literature

In Fall 2008, I taught a second-year literature course that looking at recent electronic literature. This morning my inbox had a message from the ELO regarding new exhibit of “new(er)” digital literature that is currently being hosted by Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. The exhibit has been curated by Alan Bigelow. And I am happy to see that a number of my favourite contributors to the ELC Vol 1 are including in this exhibit.

“Searching for a New(er) Digital Literature” is an exhibition of twelve multimedia works that offer readers representative examples of
new digital poetry and fiction on the web. Curated by Alan Bigelow,
it includes work by Jim Andrews, Marvin Bell & Ernesto Lavandera,
Sommer Browning & Mark Lomond & Johanne Ste-Marie, Andy Campbell, J.R. Carpenter, Chris Joseph & Kate Pullinger, Tammy McGovern, Stuart Moulthrop, Alexander Mouton, Jason Nelson, Victoria Welby, and Jody Zellen.

The exhibit is both online and offline. The offline exhibit launched
on January 15th at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, USA. The online exhibit is available at http://www.terminalapsu.org

Check it out – begin with the Victoria Welby piece!

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E-Guest 1: The Back-Story

Fact + Fiction

Fact + Fiction

By Aurelea Mahood

Here at Capilano like most universities and colleges, there is a vibrant culture of guest writers coming into speak to the students and community at large.  With this first offering of English 214 -Technology + Culture, we decided to take that tradition and twist it a little.  And so, in this iteration the guest writer does not come to the classroom but to the course blog.

Montreal-based J.R. Carpenter has been our first guest blogger.  I met J.R. earlier this year at the ELO Visionary Landscapes conference in Vancouver WA at the beginning of June.  Prior to that, she had been working on an RSS project for The Capilano Review.  With these confluences gurgling below our English 214 syllabus, it seemed fitting to approach J.R. to lead off this project.

It has been more than just fitting: it has been an immensely positive experience that unfolded like this:

  • after settling on a format for the project, J.R. began to work on a draft entry for the CultureNet blog
  • the week of scheduled in-class discussion of “The Cape,” J.R. sent me a copy of her draft to comment on
  • on October 10th, J.R. posted her guest entry to this blog (see The Cape: The Back-Story)
  • we have the equivalent to six single-spaced pages of generous candid reflections on the origins and impulses informing the writing of “The Cape” to work through in the English 214 seminar
  • after reading the entry, the discussion starts and soon the whiteboard is filled with the thoughtful scrawl of the students
  • two key areas of interest begin to emerge: i) comments/questions relating to composition and e-literature broadly and ii) comments/questions relating to memory, timelessness, family, place, mapping, and the sublime as explored directly within “The Cape”
  • nearly two hour pass – class is officially over – and we move to formalize the questions
  • by noon on October 10th, the questions for J.R. are posted on the blog
  • J.R. responds with fulsome replies over the weekend
  • we reconvene today October 14th evermore convinced that we are interested in further exploring “amnesia” (or “the art of remembering”) and the “sublime” as expressed in electronic literature

Thanks again to J.R. Carpenter for participating in this project! Fingers crossed – we look forward to reprising this in future versions of English 214.  And thank you to CultureNet and English Department here at Capilano for assistance in making this event possible.

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Questions to J. R Carpenter

By the English 214 Question Collective

A series of questions inspired by J.R. Carpenter’s THE CAPE: THE BACK STORY post:

1) As you stated in your “Back Story” guest blog, physical photographs possess a certain authority. As the transformative process of selecting a medium for publication moves “The Cape” from print-text to hypertext, does the message/meaning of your story change?

2) You mentioned that the Geological Guide photographs interest you more than your own family history. Do you find using fact with fiction allowed you to create a more authentic story?

3) As the work is entitled “The Cape”, the importance of place and memory – as you imply – are highlighted by the imagery in the erosion of the Maritime shorelines and how memories dissipate. This seems to create a strong sense of sublimity within your work.  Is this something you have reflected on?

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E-literature: E-Guest

By Aurelea Mahood

This Friday (10 October 08), CultureNet will be hosting our first e-guest writer J.R. Carpenter.  She will be talking with students about “The Cape”, a 2005 piece anthologized in the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 1, and answering the questions that emerge from this discussion.  Happily, we are catching her just before she changes locations and heads down to Providence from Montreal to participate in the Interrupt digital literature festival being hosted by John Cayley at Brown University.

On Friday, J.R. will be posting an entry on “The Cape”, its composition, and its positioning in the ELC1.  This piece will orient our discussion with J.R. and our analysis of “The Cape” as well as the questions that she in turn will field from us.

Given the attention paid to place/geography in much of J.R.’s work, it feels appropriate that my initial exposure to J.R.’s work and J.R. herself – her physical self – are firmly rooted in settings central to my own geography.

I first met J.R. in the other Vancouver – Vancouver WA – a much smaller Vancouver, but nevertheless a city with ghost echoes of its bigger sister to the north, at the Electronic Literature Organization conference.  The mouth of Fraser becomes the mouth of the Columbia.  Fort Langley becomes Fort Vancouver.  And cafes become beauty supply stores.  Quite unaccountably, there are a curiously high number of beauty supply stores in downtown Vancouver WA.  It was pleasure to meet her as I had been impressed by her Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams project for The Capilano Review.

And so now this Friday, a virtual encounter building a physical encounter building on a exploration of electronic or digital communities and literature.

’til Friday then . . .

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Electronic Literature Conference

Stop Reading

Andrew Klobucar and I have just come back from the Electronic Literature Organization conference in Vancouver WA this past weekend where 120 artists and scholars met to present and talk about electronic literature. Hosted by Dr. Dene Grigar and Dr. John Barber from the Digital Technology and Culture program at Washington State University – Vancouver, the conference offered a dizzying sense of eletronic literature’s global vibrancy with participants from Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. As the conference organizers noted, the presentations and art works demonstrated that electronic literature (however we might define the term) is very much alive and of interest to both the pioneers and a new generation of digital remixologists. I left the conference inspired by the diversity of projects on offer and a desire to collaborate with new media artists and programmers alike.

A few of the artists that caught my attention:

Serge Bouchardon
J.R. Carpenter
Ian Hatcher
Donna Leishman
Victoria Welby


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TCR Tributaries

Floating Down the Dig Lit River

What are the creative and poetic possibilities of RSS syndication and how might the introduction of 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?

Join us in Vancouver on Saturday, May 24th at 7:30 pm to launch a new artwork by Montreal-based writer and artist J.R. Carpenter.

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams is a project by J.R. Carpenter that re-purposes the original text of an issue of literary quarterly The Capilano Review (TCR) as a raw material for a new digital artwork. The work is commissioned by The Capilano Review and curated by Kate Armstrong. The work will be simultaneously launched on Turbulence.org.

The launch event will feature a reading by the artist in addition to 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 include Maria Lantin, Michael Boyce, Jeremy Venditti, Global Telelanguage Resources (Andrew Klobucar – CultureNet/CapCollege), and J.R. Carpenter.

After this short program there will be a reception. The event will take place at Helen Pitt Gallery in Vancouver on Saturday, May 24th starting at 7:30 pm.

A number of the participants are guest lecturers/instructors who were associated with Year 1 of CultureNet. This event offers a good taste of one aspect of the program’s focus. Faculty will be attending this event and can make themselves available to answer questions regarding CultureNet.

Saturday, May 24th, 2008
Launch with experimental readings and a reception to follow
Helen Pitt Gallery
102-148 Alexander Street
Suggested donation by sliding scale: $5-$10


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
Kate Armstrong: http://www.katearmstrong.com

CultureNet: http://www.capcollege.bc.ca/programs/culturenet

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