Introducing the ELMCIP Knowledge Base

Screencast: Introducing the ELMCIP Knowledge Base (HD) from Scott Rettberg on Vimeo.

I’m pleased to announce that we have just flipped the switch and made public the ELMCIP Knowledge Base, the central project being produced at the University of Bergen as part of ELMCIP. The Knowledge Base is an information resource including information about works of electronic literature, critical writing, authors, publishers, organizations, teaching resources, and events in the field. The Knowledge Base is both an information resource and a research archive. Although there are a number of features still in the pipeline and you’ll notice that many of the records in the database are still being developed, we have decided to open the Knowledge Base to readers and contributors while our development process is taking place. It is no longer necessary to log in to access the information in the Knowledge Base. We are also looking for a few brave beta-testers to join the team at Bergen and the researchers working around Europe on the ELMCIP project in contributing to the Knowledge Base and helping us to develop it. As you will see by browsing it, it is developing into quite a powerful research resource that will be useful for everyone working in the field, and it will get even more useful and new records are added and existing ones are developed. If you are a researcher or writer working in the field and would like to join the research community as a submitter or contributor, contact Eric Rasmussen at

We are also planning to collaborate and share information with other databases in the field that document the works and practices of electronic literature, such as the Electronic Literature Organization’s Electronic Literature Directory. I recently published a paper about the Knowledge Base and our plans for an international Electronic Literature consortium based on sharing and making accessible information about electronic literature titled The ELMCIP Knowledge Base and the Formation of an International Field of Literary Scholarship and Practice which is available in full-text. The Bergen team will also be publishing a number of screencasts showing you how to use and contribute to the Knowledge Base in coming days and weeks.

Thing 16: Walking in Bergen: From the Front Door to the Bus-stop

It’s a busy week with a lot of deadlines, so I’m exploring the possibilities of capturing banality via cellphone video rather than writing or doing anything else very head or labor-intensive for my create-a-thing-a-day project. I suppose I could just post the academic essays I’m writing or the job applications I’m filing, but, eh, no. Come, walk with me.

Rare Weather Events in Bergen

rare weather events in bergen

Today will be the 75th consecutive day that it has rained in Bergen. This breaks the record even here, in the rainiest city in Europe. In the above short video I have documented two rare weather events in Bergen. On December 11th, 2006, I saw blue sky as geese frolicked in the park. Yesterday, it snowed in the afternoon, after the morning rainfall. Though I didn’t capture the lovely dusting of snow on the pines up the mountainside, I did capture the snow itself falling as black birds circled over Lille Lungegårdsvannet in the center of town.

Academics Firing Guns

scholars with guns

From November 3rd to 4th, a group of brave academics gathered in Bergen, Norway for the Worlds of Warcraft seminar, a project that will result in a critical anthology of writing about the world’s most popular massively multiplayer online game, World of Warcraft, to be published by MIT Press in 2008. After two days of closely reading and discussing essays on topics ranging from representations of feminism, postcolonialism, and capitalist economies in World of Worldcraft, to character naming conventions, spatial representation, narrative conventions, deviant strategies, and roleplaying in the game, these scholars gathered for a group activity at a shooting range, where they were taught to fire shotguns at clay pigeons by a retired special forces combat sniper. Using the video camera in my N73 cellphone, I tried to document the event in the above short video.