Portuguese Electronic Literature Collection

Portuguese Electronic Literature Collection

Texto de Álvaro Seiça sobre a colecção de literatura electrónica portuguesa, por ele criada e mantida na ELMCIP Knowledge Base, e na qual estão representados vários autores e obras deste Arquivo. Inclui entrevista a Manuel Portela e Rui Torres. [Texto. Ligações. Vídeo]

Seiça, Álvaro (ed.). “Portuguese Electronic Literature Collection.” ELMCIP KB (Aug. 23, 2013). Originally published in http://elmcip.net/node/8255

Description >

The Portuguese Electronic Literature Collection (PELC) at the ELMCIP KB aims to address and collect the most relevant creative and critical works produced by Portuguese authors in the field of electronic literature during the past forty-five years. The collection also brings together authors, events, organizations, publishers, journals, publications, conferences, performances and exhibitions related to the Portuguese context.

The first works of electronic literature produced in Portugal have primarily dealt with computer-generated literature (CGL). Pedro Barbosa’s A Literatura Cibernética 1: Autopoemas Gerados por Computador (1977) and A Literatura Cibernética 2: Um Sintetizador de Narrativas (1980) can be understood as the first major works combining literary creation with computational programming. In these volumes, besides a critical framework, Barbosa published a selection of the outputs (poetry and fiction) of his text generators programmed in a mainframe computer, a practice developed in other media and languages since the 1980s until nowadays. Meanwhile, between 1981 and 1983, Silvestre Pestana developed a series of kinetic and visual poems, Computer Poetry, yet using a personal computer Spectrum. E.M. de Melo e Castro, a pioneer of videopoetry, e.g. Roda Lume (1968), created several videopoems during the 1980s with the assistance of electronic equipment, and worked with image editing software, coining the term ‘infopoetry’ to describe his poetic work with electronic media. Furthermore, Melo e Castro has been widely theorizing on many aspects of literary experimentalism, videopoetry and infoliterature.

In the contemporary scene it is worth noting authors such as Antero de Alda and Manuel Portela, who began their artistic trajectory in the late 1980s in the context of visual and, then, digital poetry, being Portela’s theoretical oeuvre singularly strong. From 2000 onwards, there is a new generation of creators-programmers, such as André Sier, a digital artist who has also developed textual works, and Rui Torres, a writer whose creative and critical work, influenced by Barbosa, has proved decisive not only in elaborating combinatorial and networked digital poems, but also in disseminating the PO.EX legacy and cyberliterature in the panorama of literary studies.

PELC uses sources from different essays and monographs – e.g. Poemografias: Perspectivas da Poesia Visual Portuguesa (1985), edited by Fernando Aguiar and Silvestre Pestana, E. M. de Melo e Castro’s Poética dos Meios e Arte High Tech (1988), Pedro Barbosa’s A Ciberliteratura: Criação Literária e Computador (1996) and Christopher T. Funkhouser’s Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archaeology of Forms, 1959-1995 (2007) – in addition to online databases and archives, such as the ELMCIP KB and the PO.EX, benefiting from the collaboration with Manuel Portela and Rui Torres, principal investigator of the Digital Archive of Portuguese Experimental Literature.

As a further media contribution, PELC contains a video interview with Manuel Portela and Rui Torres recorded during the Electronic Literature Organization 2013 conference “Chercher Le Texte,” in Paris, bringing into question some of the important characteristics, influences and future directions of Portuguese e-lit.

For PELC’s synopsis in Portuguese, read the PDF in “PELC/CLEP: Portuguese Synopsis/Sinopse em Português”: http://elmcip.net/node/9990

Note > A full critical analysis of the collection and the specific literary, political, historical and media elements that run from the Portuguese Experimental Poetry movement to current e-lit environments, will shortly be published in Portuguese and English. PELC was presented during the ELO 2014 conference, in Milwaukee, US (June 19-21) and at the Doctoral Programme in Advanced Studies in the Materialities of Literature (June 25, 2014), School of Arts and Humanities, University of Coimbra, Portugal.

+ info >

Vídeo >

Description: Álvaro Seiça interviews Manuel Portela and Rui Torres on the Portuguese Electronic Literature Collection at ELMCIP.net. The conversation brings into question some of the important characteristics, influences and future directions of Portuguese E-Lit. Video recorded on September 26, 2013, during the ELO 2013 conference “Chercher le Texte” at the ENSAD, Paris.

[Agradecemos a Álvaro Seiça e à ELMCIP KB a autorização para disponibilizar este artigo no Arquivo Digital da PO.EX]