Modes of production and reception of electronic literature in Latin America. An analysis of “Tierra de extracción” from Doménico Chiappe and Andreas Meier

The question of what are the aesthetic- politics of electronic literature in Latin America, constitutes the point of departure of this research. In this paper I aim to discuss about this issue regarding the electronic novel “Tierra de extracción” from Doménico Chiappe and Andreas Meier. Using macromedia director, this polyphonic novel was presented to the public for the first time in 2000 and it is available on internet since 2007. It was included in the 2010 second volume of electronic literature presented by the Electronic Literature Organization, in the category of multilingual or non-English narratives. The analysis considers two dimensions, the modes of production of electronic texts and its forms of reception. The first dimension — production— is related to the decisions of the authors about aesthetics, levels of interaction/participation of the readers and technologies used to produce the texts. The second dimension — reception — refers to two “sub-dimensions”. The first one is the creation of alternative ways of distribution/circulation of the texts (mainly internet). The second is related to changes on reading behavior and the development of creative communities (or collective-interpretative intelligences), which are directly related to a conception of the relation with technology contained in posthumanist theories. Terry Eagleton poses that modern literature has a contradictory function. On one side, literature cannot be detached from the ideological forms belonging to the modern society of classes. Thus, literature reflects the context where it is produced and, to some extent, it reproduces that context. On the other side, literature creates spaces that allow us to think in alternatives and transgressions to the dominant contexts we are living in. The ways electronic texts in Latin America are developed reflect Terry Eagleton’s proposals. In summary, from the analysis of Chiappe and Meier’s electronic novel we propose a definition of a mode of literary production characterized by the uses of the new digital technologies that derived into practices of distribution and reception, related to forms of appropriation of these technologies, which are creating cultural meanings and social relationships in the context of informational capitalism.

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