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ELO 2015: The End(s) of Electronic Literature

Cavewriting Classics on the Oculus Rift

Damon Baker (Independent, USA)

Interventions: Engaging the Body Politic
Friday, August 7 • 17:30 - 18:30(Visningsrommet USF)

There are a many immersive e-lit works that require more than the affordances provided by a screen and a keyboard to experience. These get displayed rarely and even when they do get shown, they are often shown poorly, either due to a lack of facilities (CAVES are rare and expensive), lack of curation and context (a series of random technology demos does not an exhibition make), limited audience (4 at a time in a CAVE or one at a time with an HMD means that the number of people who can experience the piece is limited), rushed experience (when cramming 8 demos into a 4 hour slot with 5 pieces each most people spend more time waiting around in the dark while someone furiously clatters away at a command line trying to get the piece to launch than actually experiencing them).

There are many works in this category (Rettberg/Coover’s recent works at EVL’s CAVE 2, years of output from Brown University’s CaveWriting program, various spin off projects from that which happened at University of Louisiana Lafayette/LITE 3D, some of the output of Manifest, AR members such as Patrick Lichty, Jeremy Hight, myself, etc) I wish to show them at ELO in Bergen, as many of these works have been rarely seen in person at all, much less outside the USA, and they don’t translate well to traditional documentation techniques. (Holding a camera over someone’s shoulder while they wave their hands at blurry double images and then writing a paper that says “No really, it’s awesome in person. Trust me” seems to still be the state of the art.)

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