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Open Access Publications from the University of California

E-Ject: On the Ephemeral Nature, Mechanisms, and Implications of Electronic Objects

  • Author(s): Grigar, Dene
  • Tabbi, Joseph
  • Kirschenbaum, Matt
  • Tata, Michael Angelo
  • Heckman, Davin
  • Angel, Maria
  • Gibbs, Anna
  • et al.
Abstract

In his post on Empyre, Michael Angelo Tata coined the term, “eject.” Alluding to Walter Benjamin’s notion of an artifact generated from “the technological innovation of mechanical reproducibility,” Tata suggested that the e-ject “creates a culture industry by making culture maximally mobile, available to even the lowest social strata.” Questions raised in this statement focused on whether or not such an object is “genuine” to how one goes about “collecting” “commodif[ying], and discussing it.” This presentation extends that discussion by focusing on the ephemeral nature, genres, and criticism of electronic objects in a roundtable discussion led by members of the Electronic Literature Organization. Thus, the theorization of e-jects looks specifically at those objects that have a literary quality but that are not reproducible in print-based contexts.

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