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Literary Art in Digital Performance Case Studies and Critical Positions by Francisco J. Ricardo

Literary Art in Digital Performance Case Studies and Critical Positions


Literary Art in Digital Performance Case Studies and Critical Positions by Francisco J. Ricardo

Literary Art in Digital Performance examines a dozen works of digital literature, a category comprising creative works that are principally (but not exclusively) textual in character, and which includes interactive poetry, narrative computer games, projective digital art, among other creative classifications specific to digital media. Electronic art in all its forms has presented a need for approaching its mechanism as new aesthetic. The historical change in digital literature centers on the fact that part of the creative content and the conditions for its reception are now produced by machine structures rather than exclusively through manual means and materials. With this new factor, in which the creative impetus is embedded in algorithmic decisions, the aesthetic practices and strategies of digital literature are not approachable in the same way that literature is understood. However, the rise of highly commercialized and popular fascination with media has not incorporated significant discussion about the degree to which art and literature remain as before, or are altered by this kind of widespread mediation.


New technologies like videogames, interactive installation, digital literature and data visualization are used by artists and writers before critical theory can catch up with them. Now this important collection of essays on how we read the new media of the day elucidates the underlying meanings of these media through the lens of contemporary criticism. Each of these insightful essays on a specific work of art is made all the more useful by the discerning post essay conversations Ricardo has with the authors. George Fifield, Founder of the Boston Cyberarts Festival How does each specific application of new technology reflect outward, to the broader dynamics of an electronically networked society? Are we talking about form or experience? Digital art draws upon both visual art and literature to establish a new medium that is simultaneously posited as a breakdown of those very boundaries. What results is often both work and event, realized by the audience in the process of reception. The essays in this timely book explore these ambiguities from multiple perspectives, asserting digital art as a significant paradigm shift, even rupture, yet structurally rooted in earlier traditions. Martha Buskirk, Professor of Art History and Criticism, Montserrat College of Art Literary Art in Digital Performance charts an expansive range of human/machine topologies, both local and distributed, while negotiating a highly relevant set of informed perspectives and critical positionings. The ever-expanding contextual potentials of this exciting field are clearly reflected here, pointing to a rich landscape of performative literary domains. This book is a must for those interested in new media/literary critical theory as it relates to a set of unique examples of contemporary media practice. William Seaman, Professor of Visual Studies, Duke University, and founding chairman, Dept. of Digital Media, Rhode Island School of Design

About the Author

Francisco J. Ricardo, PhD, is a Research Associate at Boston University, specializing in contemporary and new media; art theory, criticism, and history; and computational aesthetics.

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Book Info

Publication date

26th November 2009


Francisco J. Ricardo

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


208 pages


Electronic, holographic & video art
Literary studies: from c 1900 -
Media studies



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