EXTENDED DEADLINE – Thinking through the digital in literature – 29 nov–1 dec, 2017

The research project REP+REC+digit – Representations and Reconfigurations of the Digital in Swe­dish Literature and Art 1950–2010 – and Linköping University, Sweden, invite scholars in media archaeology, digital culture, artistic practice, media history, electronic texts, comparative literature and adjacent fields to the conference THINKING THROUGH THE DIGITAL IN LITERATURE – REPRESENTATIONS+POETICS+SITES+PUBLICATIONS, to be held at Linköping University, Sweden, 29 November to 1 December, 2017.

REP+REC+DIGIT explores different aspects of how digital technology and digital culture have influenced aesthetic and literary expressions since 1950, including digital artifacts, the digi­tization as motif, post-digital aesthetics and digital epistemology.

The topics of this event are derived from the questions that have been asked and explored throughout the project. The conference subtitle suggests four aspects of these explorations: The actual representation in art and literature; Aesthetic forms and critical reflec­tions; The material sites for writing and reading texts; and New interfaces for dissemination. Thus, we especially invite presentations (20+10 min) and panels (3 x 15 + 15 mins) covering one or more of the following topics:

  • Media archaeological perspectives on literature, art and digital media
  • Digital epistemology
  • Digital works of art and electronic literature
  • Post-digital aesthetics and analogue nostalgia
  • Practise-based research in digital art and culture
  • Digital culture and premodern aesthetics
  • Algorithmic criticism and poetics
  • Interfaces of the Humanities – labs, platforms and open access


Papers should be submitted to the RepRecDigit 2017 Easy Chair Website


Confirmed keynote speakers:

KENNETH GOLDSMITH (Department of English, University of Pennsylvania)

Kenneth Goldsmith is the author of numerous books of poetry, among them No.–10.20.96 (1997), Fidget (2000), Day (2003), the trilogy The Weather (2005), Traffic (2007), and Sports (2008), and, most recently, Capital (2015). He has published two books of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age (2011), and Wasting Time on the Internet (2016), and has edited I’ll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews (2004) and co-edited Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing. Gold­smith teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and is, not least, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb.

ELENA LAMBERTI (Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Bologna)

Elena Lamberti is a specialist of Modernist Literature, Cultural Memory, Literature and Media Ecology, and War Literature. She pursues an interdisciplinary methodology of research where literature stands at the core of inno­vative investigations of complex ecosystems. Her book Marshall McLuhan’s Mosaic. Probing the Literary Origins of Media Studies (2012) received the MEA Award 2016 (Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecolo­gy). She serves in a variety of editorial boards including Explorations in Media Ecology (EME); Journal of Mobile Media; and The International Journal of McLuhan Studies. She is affiliated to the Mobile Media Lab, Concordia University di Montreal.

We’re looking forward to meet you in Linköping in November!

REP+REC+DIGIT: Jonas Ingvarsson and Cecilia Lindhé, University of Gothenburg, Jakob Lien and Jesper Olsson, Linköping University

Contact and questions:




Omformateringar: det digitala i svensk litteratur och konst

Hur har det senaste halvseklets digitala teknologi bearbetats i de estetiska praktikerna i Sverige? Vilka avtryck har AI, kod och signaler, kretskort och skärmar, hårddiskar och databaser lämnat i litteratur och konst? Under en eftermiddag avsöker forskningsprojektet RepRecDigit (Representations and Reconfigurations of the Digital) tillsammans med författare och konstnärer denna terräng – från 1960-tal till idag – i en serie samtal, föreläsningar och verkpresentationer. Avslutningsvis följer mingel med dryck och tilltugg.

Medverkande: Jonas Ingvarsson, PC Jersild, Jakob Lien, Cecilia Lindhé, Jesper Olsson, Carl-Johan Rosén, Pär Thörn och Ulla Wiggen

Tid: Lördag den 12 november, kl. 13–16

Plats: Rönnells antikvariat, Birger Jarlsgatan 32 B, Stockholm

Arr. RepRecDigit & Rönnells antikvariat

Info: jesper.olsson@liu.se.

Evenemangsbild: Förutsättningar – Ulla Wiggen [1967]

I samarbete med RepRecDigit, Rönnells vänner, Studiefrämjandet, Stockholms stad, Kulturrådet och Humlegården Fastigheter.

Digital Salon with RepRecDigit


1.     Jesper hälsar välkommen och presenterar RepRecDigit (4 min)
2.    Jonas pratar om digital epistemologi och salongen (4 min)
3.    Cilla redogör för programmet (3 min)
4.    Olle presenterar sitt projekt och påbörjar arbetet (10 min)
(vi uppmanar åhörarna att gå fram och kolla)
5.    Jonas agiterar utifrån Olles projekt (4.30)
(i princip kan åhörarna fortfarande gå omkring nu, jag använder nog ingen .ppt)
6.    Jakob pratar om Ekbom (10 min)
(nu får de sitta ner!)
7.    Johannes framför/presenterar Evolution (10 min)
8.    Cilla pratar om Heldén, Ekman, skogen och texten… (10 min)
9.    Imri framför Flapping Flapping Flapping Flapping, Across och The Hiss of History
10.  Jonas pratar om Thistory (4.30)
11.  Jesper avslutar om McCarthy och Heldén (10 min)
Ganska exakt 70 minuter. Lägg till 10 minuter för »transitions» så är vi på 80. Ganska lagom, va?



Welcome everyone to one of last seminars today, a seminar with the perhaps cryptic title ”Digital Salon with RepRecDigit”. I’d like to say something about the latter part of the rubric, i.e. about who we are – after that Jonas will say something about the first oart, i.e. why we are here.
RepRecDigit is short for “Representations and Recofigurations of the Digital in Swedish Literature and Art 1950–2010” – and you can hear why we need an abbreviation … This is the name of a research project, funded by the Swedish Research Council, and which includes myself as project leader – my name is Jesper Olsson and I’m from Linköping University – the senior researchers Jonas Ingvarsson from the University of Skövde, and Cecilia Lindhé from the University of Gothenburg, and the PhD student Jakob Lien, from Linköping University.
We began our project, in earnest one might say, two years ago – and we have since then arranged a series of seminars and have collaborated, for example with poet, artist, and musician Johannes Heldén, who is also one of our guests here today – together with artist, bookbinder, writer, and, lecturer Olle Essvik and performance artist, poet and PhD student at Valand, Imri Sandström. 
The aim of RepRecDigit is to map how digitalization has affected literary and artistic activity in Sweden during the last sixty years. This pertains, to a discussion of how computers, man-machine interaction, and so on have entered novels and poetry as motifs, metaphors etc. But also to an analysis of the digital as way of thinking in an around literature – and a discussion how digital technology actually has been used by poets and artists. 
This more general description is of course relevant for what will take place in our event today – but the specifics of ours session – or rather – our salon – will now be outlined by Jonas …


The Digital Salon

And today we take our starting point in the more abstract relation between digital culture and history. Because it is the concept of »Digital epistemology» that is responsible for the conversion of this seminar to a salon, inspired, of course, by the salon culture so popular in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Instead of regarding »the digital» as something entirely new, something bound up in a set of technologies, machines, gadgets, databases, codes and networks, the concept of digital epistemology is a way to regard »the digital» as a structure for perception – the digital is a lens through which we observe our contemporary culture, as well as our history. By so doing we have become aware that digital culture share many features and expressions with early modern and premodern genres and modes of thought, such as the rhetorical concepts of enargeia and ekphrasis; the collage aesthetics of the cento; the assembling of skills, technology and art in the notion of techné; the multimodal and composite nature of the emblem; the seemingly (but indeed not) random organization of the Wunderkammer; the old archival principle of pertinence (which I will return to later). From the perspective of digital epistemology it may seem »the modernity» is a parenthesis between the early-modern and the digital eras.
In short: digital culture provides us with unique opportunities to revisit the cultural history. There is no excluding demarcation line between digital humanities, digital art, and aesthtetic theory. For those of us who have been somewhat hesitant towards »the digital», in fear of losing what once was called »Bildung», and scholarship, in a maze of databases, computer games and teaching platforms – well, to you we today proclaim the Gospel: Fear not, for thou – and the Humanities – shall be saved and born again. 
As you may guess, through the lens of Digital Epistemology, the Salon seems to share many features with our contemporary digital culture. The Salon Culture was an informal yet well-structured meeting place for intellectuals flourishing in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Conversations and confidences shared space with tableux vivants, lectures, readings, musical entertainment and political intrigues. The Salon Culture favoured the conversation, the diary, the letter, the oral and the private genres. You could describe it as an informal channel of »early modern file sharing». 



Le Salon de Madame d’Houdetot

A majority of the hosts of these gatherings were women, and experiments with roles, gender, and identity were encouraged. In short the Salon – where art, politics and cultural analyzes mix with the private and subjective – share many characteristics with the social media of today, with their 50 shades of confidences, role-playing, informal conversations, intellectual and political discussions and agitations…
Against this historical backdrop RepRecDigit have now transformed our session panel to a digital salon. We have invited three artists, Olle Essvik, Johannes Heldén and Imri Sandström, and together we will reflect upon the book as a medium from different digital points of view, and by so doing we also challenge our own roles and identities as academics and performers.     

OLLE ESSVIK (with Wiliam Blades) 

Death of Dr Sarolea/Enemies of Books

books.google.com: I end up there by accident. I did a search on the Internet. For books on books.

The first thing that greets me is a search box. The text I type is processed through millions of published books. Older books that have been digitized. Books that have been scanned and added to a database to be searchable.


The page of the book is turned to the camera. Gets scanned. It happens fast. Another page is scanned. Paper and ink become zeroes and ones. The machine turns the page. A new page. When the page has been scanned the computer collects the pages to a file. Digital formats. A dot and a letter combination. .pdf .txt .xml. Continue reading

Jessica Pressman’s article on Electronic Literature as Comparative Literature

In a new article by Jessica Pressman in The 2014 – 2015 Report on the State of the Discipline of Comparative Literature she writes about the importance to understand Electronic literature as Comperative Literature. In a discerning way Pressman points out both what is unique about Electronic literature and what the benefits are to approach Electronic literature comparatively, what we have to gain from comparing it to earlier literary traditions, such as modernism etc. But the real crux of the matter is Pressmans argumentation for the need of “a paradigmatic shift within the discipline of Comparative Literature”. What she chose to call “a medial turn”, where we acknowledge that we no longer only can compare language and text but also need to compare media formats, the technologies and “ecologies that support them”.

You can find her article here: http://stateofthediscipline.acla.org/entry/electronic-literature-comparative-literature-0 And the report in whole here: http://stateofthediscipline.acla.org/