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 original description of the Affiliations theme: “This thread addresses multiple diachronic and genealogical perspectives on electronic literature, providing room for comparative studies; untold archaeologies and commerces between electronic literature and other expressive and material practices.” Starting with Friedrich Bloch’s analysis of the paratextual construction of the field, the articles gathered here address diverse historical contexts and literary practices for understanding electronic literature. These include the early history of generative and combinatory texts, the reinvention of Mallarmé’s spatial poetics, the relation between concrete and computer poetry, but also the heterogeneity of digital practices when we consider the social semiotics and technological specifics of diverse geographical locations and literary traditions.
Rui Torres (University Fernando Pessoa)
Manuel Portela (University of Coimbra)