The Institute was founded in May 2014 by Maja Murnik, Mojca Puncer and Janez Strehovec.
It is a platform for research in the field of new media art and e-literature. The research on this platform is driven by the question of what happens to art, textuality and literature in the world of new media, smart technologies, techno-sciences and (social) networks, how they are formed, preserved and disseminated. The starting point is the relationship between human beings, their creativity, advanced technologies and their context, including the Anthropocene, social and biopolitics. Such a dispositif is considered in terms of a nomadic cockpit (a term coined by Janez Strehovec).
The Institute is registered as a non-profit and non-governmental organisation.
New Media Art: From high-tech special effects to the performative and sustainable
New Media Art is addressed as a technical umbrella term that brings together, for the purpose of definition, several artistic practices concerned with cultural and artistic content shaped by new media technologies and advanced interfaces. The new media are getting older with each new media introduction, so rather than new media art, which is considered in its technological advances, the Institute’s researchers refer to post-internet art (another technical term), which is deeply embedded in the social and challenged by political and biopolitical paradigms. Post-Internet art raises essential questions about the impact of the Internet on artistic creativity, which takes place in the world of the performative and social turn.
Electronic Literature: From born digital to born corporeal and political
While the established scholarship on electronic literature foregrounds the born digital criterion and questions the e-literariness of such a practice, the Institute’s researchers extend their analysis to the broader interaction of e-literature with the corporeal, environmental, social and political. The question is raised as to the fate of the letter, the word and the text under new media conditions and in relation to new social paradigms. The e-literary is discussed at the intersection of digital textuality, new media literacy, popular culture, mobile media, technoscience, the Anthropocene paradigm, activism and new modes of storytelling.
The mainstream of e-lit is currently confined to techno-solutionism and other techno-determinisms, which is linked to the Americanisation and privatisation of the field, which is content with a marginal place within the digital humanities. Two decades ago and more, e-lit was a much more promising field, with Latin American, Canadian, Australian and European authors and theorists intervening alongside American ones on an equal footing. Brazil, for example, was considered a superpower in the field of e-poetry.
Today, the pinnacle of Americanised e-lit development seems to be Jhave Jonston’s ReRites (2017-2018) as a project of an AI and Human editor, which the editor had printed in a 13-unit bookset (12 books of poetry plus a book of essays about them) and which is available from Anteism Books for 1500 Canadian dollars. The line of experimental poetry projects defined by Shelley Jackson’s explorations (from My Body to SKIN and Snow), Mez’s poetry and Agrippa’s self-eaten text, the work of Gibson, Ashbaugh and Bezos Jr. has retreated from e-lit incorporated.
A critique of the Americanised and privatised mainstream of contemporary e-lit is also a task for the Institute’s researchers.