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Post-digital Books and Disruptive Literary Machines: Digital Literature Beyond the Gutenberg and Google Galaxies

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The e-book has been launched several times during the last decades and the book’s demise has often been predicted. Furthermore networked and electronic literature has already established a long history. However, currently we witness several interesting artistic and literary experiments exploring the current changes in literary culture – including the media changes brought about by the current popular break-through of the e-book and the changes in book trading such as represented by e.g. Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iBooks. Several of these project include the printed book in new ways as part of the exploration.
This article focuses on how artistic, e-literary experiments explore this new literary culture through formal experiments with expanded books and/or artistic experiments with the post-digital literary economy. Examples are Ubermorgen’s The Project Formerly Known as Kindle Forkbomb, Konrad Korabiewski and Litten’s multimedia art book Affected as Only a Human Can Be (Danish version, 2010, English version forthcoming) and our own collaborative installation Accidentally, the Screen Turns to Ink. The article discusses how these projects explore how literature currently becomes part of a post-capitalistic production process through controlled consumption platforms. If the printing press was the first conveyor belt and thus an integral part of developing industrial capitalism, then this article sketches out how contemporary literary technologies is integral to the development of –and critical reflection on post- or semio-capitalism, and furthermore we will discuss how literature functions in a post-industrial software culture such as the one presented by Apple, Amazon and Google.
Keywords: digital literature, Kindle, Apple, Ubermorgen, Korabiewski, post-digital, post-capitalist controlled consumption.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFormules/Revue Des Creations Formelles
Pages (from-to)164-183
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • digital literature, post-digital, controlled consumption, digital art

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