Digital literature is written for and read from a computer, and its structure, form and meaning are dictated by and in dialogue with the digital context in which it is produced and received. This exhibition tracks the historical development of digital literature from experimental print antecedents through to pre-web text-based forms and current multimodal incarnations. It includes Interactive Fictions (IFs) and electronic text adventure games, hypertext and hypermedia fictions, Flash fictions, kinetic poetry, and literary videogames. The works shown in this exhibition are not e-books. Rather than existing as a digital version of a print text, digital literature is “born digital” – that is, it would lose something of its aesthetic and/or structural form and meaning if it were removed from the digital medium. Is this the future of reading?
The exhibition forms part of the Reading Digital Fiction project at Sheffield Hallam University and Bangor University. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and sponsored by the Electronic Literature Organisation.