E-lit experiments in post-print literary culture

New title and abstract: -> Post-digital Books and Disruptive Literary Machines 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 – changes that have been described with the concept of controlled consumption (Striphas, 2011, Andersen & Pold, 2012). One striking example from popular gaming culture is the new Harry Potter game Book of Spells, where the user interacts with a magic Wonderbook. In our paper we want to focus on how artistic, e-literary experiments explore this new literary culture through formal experiments with expanded books and/or artistic experiments with the post-print literary economy. Examples of the first are 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 Coincidentally the Screen has turned to Ink (presented at the Remediating the Social conference, Edinburgh 2012). Examples of the second are Ubermorgen’s The Project Formerly Known as Kindle Forkbomb which will be released in January 2013 and is an intervention into the Amazon Kindle book production and distribution platform with a new form of literature generated from YouTube comments. Another example is John Cayley and Daniel Howe’s Common Tongues, which generates a copyright breaking version of Beckett’s How It Is through automated Google searches in a complex literary reading process or Jason Huff & Mimi Cabell’s American Psycho (2010), which is a book documenting the relational Google ads generated by sending Bret Easton Ellis’ novel through their Gmail accounts. The paper will discuss how such 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 (such as famously argued by Elizabeth Eisenstein and Walter J. Ong), then this paper will aim to sketch out how contemporary literary technologies is integral to develop and reflect critically 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. References Andersen, Christian Ulrik and Søren Bro Pold "Cultural Business Interfaces in Digital Art and Culture: Between controlled consumption and free culture". In Andersen, Christian Ulrik and Cox, Geoff (ed.).: World of the News - The World's Greatest Peer-reviewed Newspaper of In/Compatible Research. 2 udg., Aarhus, Berlin. 2012. 24-24. Striphas, Ted. The Late Age of Print : Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control. Paperback edition. ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. Print.