The ELO (Electronic Literature Organization) organized its 2017 Conference, Festival and Exhibits, from July 18-22, at University Fernando Pessoa, Porto, as well as several other venues located in the center of the historic city of Porto, Portugal. Titled Electronic Literature: Affiliations, Communities, Translations, ELO'17 proposed “a reflection about dialogues and untold histories of electronic literature, providing a space for discussion about what exchanges, negotiations, and movements we can track in the field of electronic literature.” Its aim was “to contribute to displacing and re-situating accepted views and histories of electronic literature, in order to construct a larger and more expansive field, to map discontinuous textual relations across histories and forms, and to create productive and poetic apparatuses from unexpected combinations.” Volume 6 of MATLIT: Materialities of Literature publishes selected articles from the ELO 2017 Conference. These have been divided into three issues according to the conference threads: 6.1 Affiliations, 6.2 Communities, and 6.3 Translations. Essays and research articles are published in the “thematic section,” while texts about artistic projects and installations are presented in the “meadiascape” section.
We quote from the Translations thread description: “Electronic literature is an exchange between language and code. It contains many voices. We want to understand electronic literature as translation in the broadest possible sense.” Starting with Stuart Moulthrop’s provocative state-of-the-electronic-nation diagnosis, the broad sense of translation reflected in this issue extends to remediation or appropriation of European modernists such as Raymond Roussel and Fernando Pessoa, and the recreation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Other topics include algorithmic and human cognition, Inanimate Alice’s translation into Portuguese, electronic editing of self-censorship, a revisit to the effects of hyperfiction on children’s reading, and an account about the use of digital resources for developing literary literacy in the Brazilian context. Simon Biggs’ article on his immersive motion tracking installation provides yet another approach to the expanded notion of translation as an embodied material mediation.
Rui Torres (University Fernando Pessoa)
Manuel Portela (University of Coimbra)