Conference to showcase digital art, literature
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 18:06
Thanks to technology, publishers of fine literature are no longer limited to ink and paper.
The West Virginia University Center for Literary Computing and the Electronic Literature Organization have partnered to highlight transitions in literature at the 2012 Electronic Literature Organization Conference and Media Arts Show, "Electrifying Literature: Affordances and Constraints," which will be held June 20-23.
"The Electronic Literature Organization is the largest and leading organization devoted to studying literature that is written on the computer, and internet," said Sandy Baldwin director of the Center for Literary Computing and associate English professor at WVU.
Baldwin said the professors, writers, artists and members of the general public have worked together to study and compose literature that has been "born digital."
"The work is defined as being ‘born digital’," he said. "Meaning it has to be done on a computer. We have novels written using Twitter, alternate reality goggles that will tell a story and locational work that uses a GPS device on a cell phone to tell a story."
At the conference, 120 different artists from 13 countries around the globe will be present and showcasing their work along with 40 local artists.
"This conference is going to be more international than previous ones. It’s very exciting to get this experience at a local level, and having galleries where the work is interactive, so people can look and play with it," Baldwin said. "This is a good way to introduce to people in Morgantown artists and their work from all over the world."
Baldwin said while he is excited for the conference to take place in Morgantown and showcase the city’s local work, the conference is also a reflection of work going on internationally.
"It’s very clear that this is just not happening in Morgantown, but everywhere people can spend time on a computer, cellphone or Google. I’ve always said that the moment the first computer was invented, immediately people began doing creative things," he said.
While creativity online has been around for many years, Baldwin said there seems to be a "lag" in the acceptance of digital literature.
"People don’t think of it the same way they would a book they could buy at Barnes & Noble," he said.
Despite this lack of recognition of digital literature, Baldwin said he hopes the conference will help people see the "continuity" of digital literature.
"People will be able to see that these narratives are just as complex as those in the novels they can purchase at Barnes & Noble, or as moving as poetry they have read before – just with a different spin. Even if someone were to say ‘This is like no poem I’ve ever seen’ – that’s ok too."
Baldwin said while much of the work will be on display and open to the public throughout the duration of the conference, some of the work displayed at the Monongalia Arts Center will be available for viewing until the end of the month.