WSU Vancouver Professor, Students Curate Exhibit and Volunteer as Docents at the Library of Congress
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Dene Grigar, associate professor and director of the creative media and digital culture program at Washington State University Vancouver, eight undergraduate students and one alumna are curating an exhibit in the Library of Congress’s Whittall Pavilion and will be docents for the exhibit throughout its April 3 – 5 run.
The exhibit, “Electronic Literature & Its Emerging Forms,” curated by Grigar and Kathi Inman Berens, lecturer in the Annenberg School of Communication at University of Southern California, is part of the “Electronic Literature Showcase,” hosted by the Library of Congress. The exhibit features 27 works of electronic literature––dating from 1982 – 2013––by American authors, relevant printed works from the Library of Congress collections, readings by select authors featured in the exhibit and hands-on workshops for visitors.
Along with the exhibit, the Library of Congress’s “Electronic Literature Showcase” includes an exhibit of rare books; a keynote address by Stuart Moulthrop, author of the pioneering electronic literature work, “Victory Garden;” and a panel discussion about electronic literature’s connection to major areas of knowledge and creativity featuring Berens, Grigar, Matthew Kirschenbaum, associate director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities; and Nick Montfort, president of the Electronic Literature Organization. All events are free and open to the public.
Generally defined as a “digital born” literary work, electronic literature is a “first-generation digital object created on a computer and (usually) meant to be read on a computer.” In a world dominated today by smart phones and tablets, the term computer has come to include any computing device. The electronic literature featured in the exhibit has been produced by major American artists and influential pioneers working in any language, and reflects a broad spectrum of genres and approaches, e.g. kinetic poetry, hypertext fiction, animated graphic novels and augmented reality environments. These works will be displayed on iMacs, iPads, vintage Macintosh computers, and vintage Atari game systems.
The eight CMDC undergraduates accompanying Grigar to the exhibit are volunteering as docents to assist visitors and educate them about this innovative literary form. All of the students have received training in curating and being a docent for multimedia art. Many of them have previous experience as well. Senior Greg Philbrook has assisted Grigar at “Electronic Literature,” “Avenues of Access” and “Electronic Literature Affordances and Constraints” in Seattle, Boston and Morgantown, W.Va. respectively. Seniors Setareh Alizadeh and Nicole Buckner have volunteered as docents at numerous shows and have curated their own exhibits at North Bank Artists Gallery and Nouspace. Evan Flanagan, Morgan Hutchinson, Jason Lee, Gary Nasca and Amalia Vacca have volunteered as docents or assisted in mounting at least one exhibit and have taken courses offered by the creative media and digital culture program in curating and electronic literature.
This exhibit of electronic literature is the Library of Congress’s first. It was made possible by digital humanist Susan Garfinkel, research specialist with the Digital Reference Section, CALM Division, at the Library of Congress, as well as colleagues in her department and at the Library.
For more information about the exhibit, contact Grigar, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the exhibit website at http://dtc-wsuv.org/elit/elit-loc/. For information about the Electronic Literature Showcase, contact Susan Garfinkel, email@example.com, or visit the website at http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/elit-showcase.html.
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Dene Grigar, Creative Media and Digital Culture, 360-546-9487, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601, email@example.com