Ambient literature and the beginning of a ubiquitous everything

Marcinkowski, M (2016) Ambient literature and the beginning of a ubiquitous everything. In: The End of the Book, 18 November 2016, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

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As an emerging form of pervasive media, “ambient literature” presents an opportunity for re-thinking the book’s engagement with contemporary technology and the broader social setting in which each operate. Building on themes developed in psychogeography and enacted in so-called locative literature, ambient literature utilizes techniques founded in ubiquitous and “calm” computing in order to leverage the context of the reader toward literary effect. With utopian visions of calm computing imagining a world in which computers fade into the background of experience and in which human life is inextricably linked to the technologies we use, how are literature and the book changed through this engagement? What does it mean for literature when the book is no longer a discrete moment of experience, but is entangled with both everyday experience and global communication networks? Building from already-existent understandings of the hermeneutic conditions linking reading, everyday life, and the wider world, this paper engages the question of the disappearance of the book into a generalized information system, one which is increasingly both present and invisible. With the contextual limits of the book effaced and replaced by a generalized field of computational effect, classic questions in critical informatics are reinvigorated to examine the entanglement of reading and movements of computerization. How is a literature which in its form and reception is inextricably linked to wider technological networks to be understood? Is it possible to continue to think in terms of individuated literary products? Taking cues from research in new media, philosophy of technology, cybernetics, and human-computer interaction, this paper will examine the newfound contextual conditions of literature, mapping out the ontological and ethical implications of the book’s computational turn.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: ambient literature, hermeneutics, ubiquitous computing, ubicomp
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2016 16:17
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 19:41
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