Reconstructing Mayakovsky

– Reconstructing Mayakovsky (2008), Illya Szilak –

The absurdist spirit of Russian Futurism infuses this work which otherwise resembles a commercial website gone amok. While certain sections feel like conventional narrative literature, others include invitations to imagery theater events, warped Google searches, a manifesto addressed to the future of humanity, a propagandistic movie in support of “Monad Technologies” and other less-definable digital genres. Whether this work is a cry from the past or from the margins of today, the Modernist communicative logic of broadcasting has clearly succumbed to the more prevalent logic of communication today: participation culture. While September 11th is evoked as an illustration for why we need to think “beyond the human” because people gum up the perfections of (military) technology, Reconstructing Mayakovsky as a whole corrupts the panoptic logic of the database, the 19th century novel and the internet itself.

in Electronic Literature Collection 2

About The Author:

lllya Szilak is an independent scholar, writer and new media artist. In her art practice, she uses open source media and collaborations forged via the Internet to create multimedia narrative installations online. Shaped by her experience as a physician, her artistic practice explores mortality, embodiment, identity, and belief in a media inundated by an increasingly virtual world. Cyril Tsiboulski is her interactive designer/collaborator. Her first work Reconstructing Mayakovsky was included in the second Electronic Literature Collection and has been taught both as an example of innovative narrative game and literature at the university level. Her second work Queerskins was included in the third Electronic Literature Collection. Chosen for the Oculus Rift Launchpad lab, she is currently working on Atomic Vacation, a post-apocalyptic narrative journey through virtual landscapes. She is the recipient of a residency in digital narratives at BANFF. She writes frequently in the popular press on new media art and electronic literature.


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