Poetics of attention and the experience of ambient literature

Marcinkowski, M (2017) Poetics of attention and the experience of ambient literature. In: MIX 2017, 10-12 July 2017, Bath Spa University, UK.

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Utilizing techniques derived from contextual and ubiquitous computing, works of “ambient literature” highlight connections between literary texts and the wider contexts of their engagement. As such, a necessary aspect of these works is the modulation of readers’ attention between the text itself and the context within which it is read. Building on Charles Bernstein’s account of the role readers’ attention plays within poetic texts, this paper examines the connections that exist between new forms of digital writing (such as ambient literature) and the poetic traditions stemming from language-centered writing. For each, attempts to locate (both literarily and theoretically) the poetic text within broader networks of social, material, and historical context serve as anchor to the relationship between the linguistic artifice and reception of the work. In focusing on the role a reader’s attention plays in both existing pre-digital and digital writing, a general model of readers’ attention is able to be developed. By bringing discussions of ambient literature together with existing traditions of avant garde practice, it becomes possible to critically engage the question of attention as it comes to be expressed in post-digital forms. In recognizing the permeability between classical analog and contemporary digital forms of writing as they both exist within a wider world, attention comes to be inscribed as a fundamental aspect of not only the reception of a work, but within the work itself. By drawing these connections between new forms of digital media and aspects of the historical landscape of avant garde textual practices, it becomes possible to both critically engage the territory of post-digital writing and develop strategies for the analysis and creation of ambient literature.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2018 10:49
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 19:41
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/9769
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