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ELO 2015: The End(s) of Electronic Literature

Jason Nelson Digital Magic Show and Poetic Interfaces

Jason Nelson (Griffith University, Australia)

Performances and Screenings
Wednesday, August 5 • 20:00 - 23:00 (Egget)

It is overly simplistic to state that my digital poems come entirely from building/discovering interfaces. Any artist’s creative practice is a merging/melding mix of fluid events and inspirations. But with all my digital poems there is one commonality, the emphasis on interface. Rarely do I even reuse interfaces, and when I do it is only as one section of a larger work. This continual drive to create new ways to rethink the structure, organization and interactive functionality of my digital poems comes from a variety of internal influences. 

Most importantly is how these interfaces are not just vessels for content, they are poems in themselves. In the same way digital poetry might be best defined by the experience, rather than a description. Or similar to a digital poet and their works being described by the events and stories surrounding the creation and building process, an interface is the life, the body, and a poetic construction in itself. And through the artist performance I will explore/perform numerous of my interfaces, discussing/reading from them, eluding to how they were made, their inspirations and my thoughts on how they could be reused by other poets.

But how is this a performance?

This will not just be your typical reading and/or artist talks. While nearly all my digital poetry/fiction performances are highly theatric and, dare I say, engaging, I want to involve the audience more than I have in the past.

Therefore, I will be shifting from interface to interface based on the audience’s commands. On the screen will be a series of titled links, around 20 total. The audience will choose which the title I read from. They can change those numbers at any time, and as often as they want. Choosing the links will happen via an ipad, being passed around the audience. The camera from the tablet will also be projected on the large screen in a small corner box. Then as the audience member changes the work, I will start reading it. 

And much like many of my works, the performance will be highly interactive, engaging, strange and a bit chaotic, driven, in part, by the audience’s commands.

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