E.LIT / NET.ART is a loose confederation of pop-up galleries, courses, screening programs, and websites that explore the contours, vocabularies, and histories of electronic literature, Internet art, and digital cinema. The project’s goals are to explore what the aesthetics and histories of digitality across the written word and moving image, and to collect representative works of the genres under one roof. The individual pieces that together constitute E.LIT / NET.ART are unabashedly aimed at audiences unaquainted with the fields of electronic literature or the digital humanities: they are introductions, and sites of future exploration and conversation.

E.LIT / NET.ART began as a series of grant-funded one-off galleries in various spaces across the Five Colleges of Western Massachusetts from 2013 to 2014. Each gallery hosted a core group of twelve electronic literature pieces across multiple genres, including hypertext fiction, interactive text adventures, and digital animations. The core group was curated less as a canon of electronic literature (could such a thing be said to exist), and more as a demonstration of a range of aesthetic, technical, and imaginative possibilities for the form. Some galleries hosted additional pieces, including a gallery of historical video games and the screening event “Procedure, Structure, Algorithm: A Survey of Cinema’s Digital Turn”.

In January 2015, E.LIT / NET.ART’s curator, Jeffrey Moro ran a week-long course at Smith College called E.LIT / NET.ART: An Extraordinary Brief Survey of Digital Literature, 1975 – 2015. As the tounge-in-cheek title suggests, the course aimed to introduce participants to a range of digital literatures, organized, as with the galleries, by expressive strategies rather than by chronology. The course was a part of Five College Digital Humanities’ larger effort to offer short experiences designed to develop participants’ abilities to critique and historicize digital media.

Navigating this site

This website is an interactive record of the various individual projects that constitute E.LIT / NET.ART. The curatorial captions from both the gallery and screening programs are reproduced in full, and the syllabus and assignments from the course are publicly available. In order to respect artists’ legal rights, this site does not actively host any of the individual pieces represented in the gallery or screening programs: where possible, links are provided to pieces’ long-term archival homes at the Electronic Literature Collection, Rhizhome’s ArtBase, or individual artists’ websites.

The primary way to navigate this site is through the text-based Terminal at the top of each page. In order to allay any opacity in navigation, visitors should know that any word they find in code style is a potentially useful search term. There are, however, many others hidden away.

Who built this site?

Jeffrey Moro is a researcher and artist with Five College Digital Humanities, a Mellon-funded program in the Five College Consortium of Western Massachusetts. He wears many different hats at 5CollDH, including running a fellowship and microgrant program, consulting on and assisting with grant-funded projects, managing a speaker series, teaching classes and workshops, and creating digital resources. In his research, he works on electronic literature, interactive and games, software studies, and the history of media forms and technologies. Current projects include E.LIT / NET.ART, The Recirculator, and The_Critical_Is, which was a recipient of a microgrant from the Association for Computers and the Humanities. He is also collaborating with Marisa Parham on Still Life in Digital: Black Life, Trauma, and Social Media. He holds a BA in English and Theater & Dance from Amherst College.