Tag Archives: awesome


If you’re wondering how the more radical aspects of electronic lit (and/or cyber|literature, cybertext, hypertext, etc.) fit into the historical context of avant-garde art and writing, you should definitely check out the UbuWeb Anthology of Conceptual Writing as well as its Ethnopoetics collection (what’s “ethnopoetics,” you ask? Wikipedia explains.)

UbuWeb is a free online archive of experimental writing, concrete poetry, sound and video art from the 20th century to the present day. It’s a treasure trove of incredible stuff! Go exploring.

We Live in Public

A new must-see film for students of digital media: We Live in Public by Ondi Timoner, recipient of the 2009 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for best documentary!


Ten years in the making and culled from 5000 hours of footage, the film tells the story of Josh Harris, “the greatest Internet pioneer you’ve never heard of”:

Harris, often called the “Warhol of the Web”, founded Pseudo.com, the first Internet television network during the infamous dot-com boom of the 1990s. He also curated and funded the ground breaking project “Quiet” in an underground bunker in NYC where over 100 people lived together on camera for 30 days at the turn of the millennium. With Quiet, Harris proved how we willingly trade our privacy for the connection and recognition we all deeply desire, but with every technological advancement such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, becomes more elusive. Through his experiments, including a six-month stint living with his girlfriend under 24-hour electronic surveillance which led to his mental collapse, Harris demonstrated the price we pay for living in public.

We Live in Public will be released for download this coming Monday, March 1st, and on DVD March 2nd. In celebration of the online release, the film will be simulcast in six theaters worldwide (including the Egyptian in LA) followed by a Q&A with Timoner from her home base in Chicago. All six events will stream live on the film’s website, weliveinpublicthemovie.com. I can’t wait!

And now, your moment of Bollywood.

As a soundtrack to tonight’s reading, please enjoy this song from the Merchant Ivory film Bombay Talkie (later featured on the soundtrack to Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited):


Writing machines are groovy!


Since we’re in the “Writing and Inscription” portion of our class, I thought I’d mention that on Saturday I spontaneously and voluntarily decided to attend a lecture at Scripps entitled “Iliazd and the Modern Art of the Book,” by Johanna Drucker, book artist and scholar of the digital humanities. A friend of mine is in Typography and the Book Arts at Scripps; I’ve been kind of a typography nerd ever since I saw the movie Helvetica; you would be too; don’t judge; it seemed like a reasonable thing to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

The subject of the talk was the life and work of Iliazd (aka Ilia Zdanevich) a Russian-Georgian-French pioneer of avant-garde typography and graphic design. His work isn’t widely recognized outside of Europe, but he was involved in various hip early 20th century European art movements (Dada, Futurism), designed fabrics for Chanel, and created a series of artist books in collaboration with the likes of Picasso, Miro, and Max Ernst. In the age of word processing and InDesign, funky typesetting is practically cliche, but Iliazd was arguably the first to experiment with the possibilities of typesetting and seriously explore the expressive potential of the printed page. His experiments look pretty radical, even today.

Here’s one of his best-known works, a poster for Tristan Tzara’s “Soirée du coeur à barbe”: