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Social archive at WRT: Writer Response Theory

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PowerPoint has been an artistic medium perhaps since David Byrne’s IEEE, but as more students grow up on PowerPoint, its place in our culture is becoming more and more dubious. Recently, several artists used PowerPoint to create PowerPoint Valentines, which parody the pervasive medium, by imagining lovers whispering sweet nothings with fly-on effects or delivering dear john letters on custom “bad news” templates. These stand-alone pieces raise the question: what is a slideshow without a presenter?


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Much has been made of the viral outbreak of Michael Wesch’s “Web 2.0…The Machine is Us/ing Us” (first noticed on Frank Gruber’s Somewhat Frank) Some of the reactions, including my initial one, have suggested that the piece is overly optimistic. However, we should not let the pulsing soundtrack, speed, and magically moving text and images distract us to miss his playfulness with these ideas, a montage of reactions to the notion of Web 2.0 more than a manifesto for it. Matt Kirschenbaum has commented on one of these moments, the use of the WayBack Machine. Below is a further analysis (or annotation) of the first 26 seconds or so of the film:


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[This post offers context for a work-in-progress entitled “Marginalia in the Library of Babel.” alpha release.]

Let us write stories in the margins of the Web:

The web is becoming ours to write with. Whether supplying, ranking, or reviewing its contents or reordering the web with our folksonomic tagclouds, we are becoming the owners of more than just our Craig’s list and Ebay possessions. We are orchestrating this web and making of it what we will. Jeremy and Matt Kirschenbaum have reported on the moments when the tagclouds become art (see inset image made via TagCrowd.com). And now the web pages themselves have become our surfaces, our building blocks. Here’s

Blogs in Space


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Anousheh Ansari plans to write some very unusual blog entries. The Iranian born Texas telecommunications tycoon may be only the fourth person to pay millions for a flight…
…but she will be the first person to blog from space:
Ms Ansari says she will write the first blog from space. She says that her ultimate goal is […]


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I have to confess I’m moonlighting in another world. I’ve started working in the virtual world Second Life as an “embedded journalist”. SLATE Magazine (Second Life Arts & Total Entertainment Magazine) is a new Second Life magazine that covers the arts in SL. There are 14 authors in the collective so far and we’re a […]






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