January 31, 2012
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Gesture-Based Interface

Eugenio Tisselli has announced that he will temporarily stop creating electronic literature. HTLit covers the news.

By its own definition, electronic literature ‘lives’ within electronic media. But have we, as an academic community, realized what electronic devices are doing to the environment? Do we know where the minerals that are necessary to manufacture computers come from, and under what conditions they are extracted? What about the slave labor involved in the manufacturing process? Have we deeply studied the economic implications of using computers as literary tools, in a time in which all our economic systems are collapsing? In one word, are we being responsible? I have seriously asked these questions to myself.

Tisselli’s CV explains that Tisselli is pursuing a doctorate at The Zurich Node of the Planetary Collegium. Institute of Cultural Studies, University of Applied Arts. In recent years, Tisselli has given talks about electronic poetry in New York, Addis Ababa, Barcelona, Córdoba, Málaga, Santiago (Chile), Paris, Montevideo, Providence, Beijing, Helsinki, Salamanca, Porto, Goa, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City.

That’s a lot of kerosene turned into carbon dioxide, and lots of avionics.

Suppose we all abjured the use of electronic devices right away. Would we get more work done? We would not. We would raise fewer crops, make less stuff. People would be hungry. People would die.

Have we studied the economic implications of using computers as literary tools in a time in which all our economic systems are collapsing? Well, some of of us have been trying.

Folks: this is not news. Ask Augustine. Go to Greece with Lord Byron, or take a swim with Robert Byron, or ride shotgun in Ernest’s ambulance. Have a talk with William Morris. Review your Ruskin. Take a walk in the woods with Thoreau.