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As a recently-enlisted editorial assistant here at DB, my first task was to read through the previous issues of Drunken Boat. It was fortunate that I began exploring with DB10, as I was able to see ten years of the electronic literature DB has published.  It was apparent that DB utilized technology by publishing online rather than mimicking a print journal.  In DB2,  Awe of World by Yael Kanarek capitalized on how you’re reading on a computer, using Flash to show a computer screen gone wrong.  This, along with Visual Chaos by Jody Zellen, bring in a level of interactivity as viewers must figure out what–if anything–needs to be clicked to continue exploring the piece.  The video art of Peter Alwast is perfectly suited to an online art journal.

Ethnopoetics was great for a project like DB, not only because audio companions to poetry is something unique to an online journal, but because of projects that push the boundaries like DIGILOGUE by Jonathan Minton in DB4, an eerie and instinctual piece.  Computerized translations are set to load a new poem every 90 seconds–#590 is currently on my screen–as if the computer just wrote it up for me on the spot. Tamar Schori’s Beadgee from DB7 pushes the boundaries in a different direction.  It is an intriguing interactive form of art that defies a name or genre.

DB10 continues to explore the possibilities of electronic literature and includes the Electronic Arts and Literature folioThat Night by Steve Ersinghaus and Jim Revillini reminds me of a poetic version of the old “choose your own adventure” stories.  You have a hand in guiding yourself, although you’re not quite sure where the choices lead–the current text might jump to the bottom of the screen as more appears, or even be split apart as text appears in the middle–a unique way of creating repetition in poetry where words are not actually repeated, but guide your eyes through the words once more.

Back in the ROK by Young Hae-Chang Heavy Industries is an interesting mix between reading a poem to yourself and having a poem read out loud for you.  While you read this poem yourself, both visual and aural effects have the ability to control the way you read it.  The enveloping audio and the pulsing words surround the reader with the smells, sights, sounds, and feelings of the chaos of traffic.

Joseph Pascale’s short fiction has been published in 365 Tomorrows, Tweet the Meat, PicFic, and in three issues of the Prism literary journal of Centenary College where he is currently studying toward his Master of Arts degree in English Literature. He has fiction forthcoming in Thaumatrope, Off The Rocks, and Everyday Weirdness. Please visit his website http://josephpascale.pyraliss.com for additional information.

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Published Sep 28, 2009 - Comments Off on 10 Years of Electronic Literature @ DB

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