An Overview of New Media Resources
The How2 site now includes an extensive links section. The sites collected are divided into categories allowing ease of navigation and an introduction to sites you may not discover through your normal browsing habits. With categories including: poetry and poetic centers, sound/performance resources, reading series/creative communities, conferences/festivals, blogs, journals/magazines, presses and other resources, the list provides access to a wide spectrum of activity.
How2 Search: www.asu.edu/pipercwcenter/how2journal/search.html
Also recently introduced to the How 2 site is a search mechanism. This makes the large collection of previously published poetry and criticism highly accessible. It frees the contents of the site from the format in which it was initially published making malleable the frames of its initial structure as a journal, revealing the rich collection of work it has accumulated. The ability to move across temporal divides opens the site as an archive and prevents the journals’ back catalogue from being unacknowledged and lying dormant.
ALT-X proclaims itself as a place where ‘the digerati meet the literati’. The homepage hosts sections including a press, audio archive, net art gallery and fiction collection. The site also incorporates the Electronic Book Review.
The Electronic Book Review houses criticism of digital media. It contains collections/forums concerned with sound/music, poetics, fiction, ecocriticism and postmodern politics to name a selection. Two sections I found of particular interest were: End Construction which aims to challenge the ‘unconsidered paradigm inherited from print media’ when publishing on the web and Writing (Post) Feminism a movement which ‘embraces pluralism and homosexuality, one which expects that women are just as involved in the electronic frontier of the Web as men are.’
The site has a current residency from The Electronic Text and Textiles Project. They have created an innovative navigational system based on the concept of ‘threads’. When choosing a section from the main page the viewer is asked whether they wish to ‘weave selected texts pulled from this thread’ or ‘thread all texts bound by this theme.’ If the first selection (‘weave’) is chosen then relevant texts from across the subsections are presented, if ‘thread’ is opted for, the section is opened as a whole. The thinking behind this structure is explained: ‘In ebr…the notion of a periodical ‘issue’ is replaced by multiple conceptual ‘threads,’ and a weaving metaphor governs the journal design. The thread structure allows content to be released continuously because each essay can be gathered not only with current items, but with past items that participate in the thread, thus extending the essay’s life and connectivity.’
Started initially as a collection centered on Concrete and visual poetry, Ubu web has expanded to include sound recordings, film and video, papers, ethnopoetics and ‘outsider art’ (formerly the found and insane section). There are also links to the 365 days project, a site that released an mp3 daily for a year and a full web version of Aspen. This expanding development features as an aspect of the manifesto for the site: ‘Ubu is an unlimited resource with unlimited space to fill.’ The Ubu Editions section places fully digitized, page by page replications of books on the web. Brian Kim Stefans’ describes this move, in his introduction to the section, as ‘bringing vital new literature to the attention of a wider public -- while moving into an area that most small press publishers are not able to approach: reprinting important works from the past decades that are too commercially unviable to do as print books.’ Featured works include Caroline Bergvall’s ‘Eclat’, Juliana Sphar’s ‘Response’ and Hannah Weiner’s ‘Little Books/Indians.’ Every aspect of Ubu is free with no monetary restrictions to access, it also promotes the reuse of its resources outside the site stating: ‘We give you permission to take what you like even though in many cases, we have not received permission to post it. We went ahead and did it anyway. You should too.’
Penn Sound: www.writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/
Focusing specifically on audio, Penn Sound restores, archives and records poetry. The collection of recordings is accessible via listings of authors, poetry series (i.e. Close Listening or LINEbreak) and podcasts. It also houses some video. The aims of the site outlined in its manifesto are to make free and accessible high quality audio, with sound files that are clearly labeled with an artists name and bibliographic information so that even when isolated from its source a file can still be clearly identified.
Electronic Poetry Center at SUNY Buffalo: wings.buffalo.edu/epc
The EPC houses a comprehensive list of American poets and incorporates the British poets featured at the BEPC. Authors’ pages vary in content, containing combinations of biography, publications, critical writings (both by and on an author), poetry and other external links. It forms an accessible starting point offering a brief insight into a poets work. The site also contains a separate section dedicated to e-poetry, a lengthy alphabetic list of links to magazines, presses, journals and other online sites of poetic interest.
British Electronic Poetry Centre: www.soton.ac.uk/~bepc/
A simplified form of its American counterpart the site has a similar structure centered on author pages. Many of these pages have been quite recently updated and generally contain a sample piece of poetry, biography and list of a poet’s publications. Containing only thirty-five names the list of authors seems slightly sparse.
New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre: www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz/
NZPEC is a resource collecting poetics from Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Pacific region. Its substantial content includes: author pages with a similar format to those described previously on the British and American EPC sites, specific sections for digital poetics, criticism and audio recordings, an electronic poetry archive, a features section that focuses on poets and poetry associated with New Zealand, a journal ‘ka mate ka ora’ and notebooks which document NZPEC activities. This is an impressive collection that is thorough and sensitive to the work it holds.
Horizon Zero: www.horizonzero.ca/
Horizon Zero is a Canadian new media website. Produced and actively updated between 2002 and 2004 it released eighteen ‘thematic’ issues (i.e. ‘write’, ‘mimic’, ‘invent’, ‘touch’) that took the form of a flash and text site in both French and English. Its objective was: ‘to commission fresh Canadian new media content; to promote and disseminate Canadian talent in digital arts and culture, both nationally and worldwide; and to facilitate dialogue and innovation in the converging fields of science, technology, media arts, and research.’ The flash versions of the site are extremely well constructed seamlessly combining media to investigate and explore the proposed issue, revealing the multiple opportunities that multimedia practice creates. For example ‘The Book’ included in the first ‘write’ issue requires the viewer to click on a central image of what appears to be a crumbling paper text, from this central point symbols emerge flashing to a percussive accompaniment, which evolves into a text that is read but fades before completion.
Meshworks is concerned with the archiving of documentation in audio and visual form of ‘writing in performance’. The site intends ‘to explore possibilities in documenting multi-media performance as well as new options for filming, recording, and otherwise documenting a range of modes of writing in performance and writing as performance.’ The archive contains film and audio performances sourced mainly from The SoundEye Festival in Cork 04 and Miami University events, it includes poets such as Sean Bonney, Bernadette Mayer, and Catherine Wagner. There is a separate film art section featuring, among others, work by jUStin!katKO.
The Electronic Literature Collection: collection.eliterature.org
The Electronic Literature Collection was simultaneously published on the web and CD-ROM so as to reach the widest possible audience. The home page offers a wall of tiled thumbnails, so that it is via an image that the viewer gains access to text. The menu bar along the bottom of the screen provides three other means of access, via a ‘keyword’ such as ‘audio’, ‘codework’, ‘flash’ or ‘hacktivist’, or through an author list or title. These multiple navigational tools make the site highly accessible and acknowledge different possible attractions and approaches to a collection of texts.
This site collects ‘creative network practice’ which manifests itself as a combination of hypertext narratives (i.e. ‘Hyperbody’ by Juliet Ann Martin), more linear fiction pieces that have a singular link between pages (i.e. ‘An Ornithology of War’ by Marianne Shaneen) and collections of poetry (30 New York and San Francisco poets). Thus ‘network practice’ ranges from work that engages with hyperlinks to collective social links formed simply by placing a text online (‘Some work takes full advantage of applied technology and can only exist on the web, while other work is presented as pure writing’.)
This archive collects work by women in new media. The site includes a link to ‘The Progressive Dinner Party’ by Marjorie C. Luesebrink and Carolyn Guertin, which is accompanied by a commentary by N. Katherine Hayles and Talan Memmott. Based on ‘The Dinner Party’ by Judy Chicago, the women writers featured at the table are sourced from the assemblage website.