[go to Streamflow Conditions]
Streamflow Conditions + TIMESTAMP was a conceptual curatorial project prompted by an invitation from Subito Press. When asked to consider the contemporary field of electronic literature, I began by questioning what it meant for a work to be included in this category. With all writing practices steeped in electronic environments and processes even those that result in printed forms, what isn't electronic writing? In this particular moment, how is the terrain of social networks and the explosion of daily real-time writing practices changing the rules of how we think about electronic and writing?

For this exhibition, I chose computational works, immersive works, works of code as language and language as code, and network-dependent procedural writing processes. The web site features an international selection of both well-known and emerging digital language artists: Mez Breeze, John Cayley, Roderick Coover, Ian Hatcher, José Carlos Silvestre, Stephanie Strickland & Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo, and Rui Torres.

I asked the selected artists to participate in a performative experiment in live writing. Each artist was given 4 hours in a continous 24 hour period to enact a concept for time-based writing. The approaches included a google wave performance, a collaborative writing game, a live translation, a lecture on live cam, and a program that translated ambient sounds into poetic texts. Whatever the 'performance space', textual artifacts were sent at intervals to a shared Twitter feed. The output tweets and any responses to these were also intercepted live in wave-like forms within the Streamflow Conditions project site. These waves have dried up (no longer accessible via api due to expiration) but can still be read in reverse order on Twitter and a belated archive will be constructed.

As the curator, I framed the project conceptually and by constructing a space to house the works.

Created in relation to a site-specific consideration of the Colorado landscape and its engineered waterways, the selection of works examines discrete markers in the contemporary data-scape of writing within networked culture. The artists and works chosen each represent an innovative use of language in conjunction with code, data, or networked spaces. The exhibition as a whole engages the overflowing boundaries between presence, process and object at a time when currents of digital literary practice meet the culture and corpus of writing online (& the imminent google waves).