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TRIBUTARIES | Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams

TRIBUTARIES


Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capliano Review is a work of electronic literature by Montreal-based fiction writer and web artist J. R. Carpenter, curated by Vancouver-based artist and writer Kate Armstrong, commissioned by The Capliano Review, a literary journal based in North Vancouver with a long history of publishing new and established Canadian and international writers and artists who are experimenting with or expanding the boundaries of conventional forms and contexts. Now in its 35th year, the magazine continues to favour the risky, the provocative, the innovative, and the dissident.

In February 2007 The Capilano Review published an issue dedicated to new writing and new technologies. TCR 2-50 “Artifice & Intelligence” was guest-edited by Andrew Klobucar and included essays by: Andrew Klobucar, Global Telelanguage Resources, Sandra Seekins, Kate Armstrong, David Jhave Johnston, Laura U. Marks, Sharla Sava, Kevin Magee, Jim Andrews, Gordon Winiemko, Nancy Patterson and Darren Wershler-Henry.

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capliano Review is a personal, experimental and playful rereading of and response to these essays by J. R. Carpenter. In this work, Carpenter explores the formal and functional properties of RSS, using blogging, tagging and other Web 2.0 tools to mark-up and interlink essays and to insert additional meta-layers of commentary in order to play with, expose, expand upon, and subvert formal structures of writing, literature, and literary criticism.

Over a four-month period Carpenter read and re-read the essays, parsing them into fragments, which she then annotated, marked-up, tagged and posted. Fed into an RSS stream, the fragments could then be re-read, reordered, and reblogged in an iterative process of distribution that opened up new readings of the essays and revealed new interrelationships between them. The result of this process-based approach is part blog, part archive – an online repository for the artifacts of re-reading and a stage for the performance of live archiving.

Streams are both literally and metaphorically the central image of the work. Streams of consciousness, data, and rivers flow through the interface and through the texts. Through this process of re-reading and responding, this textual tributary feeds into a larger stream while paying tribute to the original source.

This textual tributary feeds into a larger stream while paying tribute to the original source.

The final version of Tributaries & Text-fed Streams was launched on Saturday, May 24th at 7:30 pm at Helen Pitt Gallery, 102-148 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC.

The launch event featured an introduction by the curator, a performance reading by the artist and a program of experimental readings by practitioners in disparate fields such as quantum physics, geography, and poetics, arranged to explore ideas of streams, seriality, or flow. Participants included Michael Boyce, Babble Brook, Maria Lantin, Billy Mavreas, Jeremy Venditti, Global Telelanguage Resources, and J.R. Carpenter.

Tributaries & Text-fed Streams launched simultaneously on turbulence.org.

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