Recent essays

EBR

Sublime Latency and Viral Premediation

2015-07-05

In Sublime Latency and Viral Premediation, Kim Knight addresses the “eco-poetics of the viral” across the biological, social, and digital. Through an analysis of the spread of digital infection, the dynamics of anti-virus software, and digital arts practices, Knight discusses a poetics of fear and desire that is instrumental to the transmission of this virtual pathology. Knight continues, drawing parallels with crowdsourced epidemiology apps that track illness and promote physical health, and makes a powerful case for what Richard Grusin has called the “premediation” of anxiety as a strategy for managing affect in the 21st Century.

A Vital Materialist goes to The Lego Movie

2015-06-07

A serious (and playful) consideration of the power of “things,” Christopher Leise reviews Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things through the lens of the Lego Movie. The implied dynamism of the manipulable modularity of the Lego world provides strong resonances with Bennett’s take on “thing-power” and distributed agency, while the crisis in the plot of the Lego Movie offers an apt illustration of the dangers of human exceptionalism discussed in Bennett’s text.

Environmental Remediation

2015-06-07

Bridging Superfund sites and video games, Alenda Chang’s essay revisits media- and computation-centered definitions of remediation to extend media and mediation past the pale of digital visual technology. Through a parallel consideration of what’s known as environmental remediation—cleaning up or cordoning off polluted sites, using technological or biotechnological methods—Chang argues that human and nonhuman bodies and ecosystems are equally enmeshed in practices of communication and transformation.

An Interview with Steve Tomasula

2015-05-03

Steve Tomasula discusses the development and context of his work (and TOC in particular), including relations to print and electronic literature, in this interview with Kiki Benzon.

The Importance of Being Earnest in Flatland

2015-05-03

By working through the resemblances between Tomasula’s Vas: An Opera in Flatland (2004) and Edward Abbott’s much earlier Flatland (1884), Pham-Thanh establishes how Tomasula “orchestrates the downfall of the traditional hegemonic masculinity” that defined Abbott’s time.

A World in Numbers: A Review of Michael Joyce, Going the Distance

2015-05-03

Joyce’s treatment of baseball in Going the Distance isn’t merely thematic, according to Punday, who believes that baseball (and its emphasis on numerical ordering) here represents the balance of the poetic and computational that defines Joyce’s electronic literature.

Undead Letters and Archaeologies of the Imagination: Review of Michael Joyce’s Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden

2015-05-03

Ciccoricco acknowledges that Michael Joyce’s new novel (Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden), which gives a fictionalized account of Foucualt’s relationship to Jean Barraque, opens Joyce up to a broader range of criticisms, though Ciccoricco also argues that by focusing on a “productive and troubled time for Foucault,” Joyce ultimately offers a “compelling meditation on what we might call the nexus of madness, philosophy, and literature.”