Revisiting Little Brother – Reading the novel as an anaphor

April 5th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

You wouldn’t want the Nazis running the country.
“You wouldn’t understand.
“You wouldn’t believe it.
“You wouldn’t –”
You would have ended up in jail in a week, two tops.
“You won’t get caught,” I said.
You won’t be able to fight the feeling that you’re dying.
“You will tell him,” she managed.
You will never speak of what happened here to anyone, ever.
“You will.
You were very generous to give it to me and I’ll try to repay the gift, but you don’t get the right to edit anything out, to change it, or to stop me.
“You were right.”

Read the entire text
» Read the rest of this entry «

1984:revisiting – on hold

April 5th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

This is how far this project goes for now. Twelve hours have past since the first commit.
And I prefer to freeze the concept instead of freezing the spirits by inducing my colleagues, friends and myself into a risky business of working with illegal material.
Luckily there is someone like Cory Doctorow, who rewrote 1984 for youngsters. He managed to get Little Brother published under a Creative Commons Non-commercial Share Alike, ready to remix.
So today I start a new project with a new repository: 1984:revisited.
But not without making a statement first. » Read the rest of this entry «

1984:revisiting – a gitnovel

April 4th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Screenshot from 2014-04-18 16:04:5230 years after the setting of George Orwell’s 1984, the novel is frequently referenced in articles on privacy, data protection and the surveillance society. Search for ‘Big Brother’ in this database f.ex.:
The novel was written in 1948, speculating on a totalitarian society that would not allow for any possible resistance.

Do these references to 1984 make sense? And to what extent? That is the question for which this project is a thinking tool. Today there is not one government, not one system. The surveillance society is a fragmented one, Big Brother has such a friendly face we do not organise a big protest after the heroic act of Snowdon, and the human minds seem far too messy to be able to control them. But then there are a lot of similarities too.

This revisiting journal is launched on gitorious today, on 4th April 2014, exactly thirty years after the main character Winston started his journal in Orwell’s novel. The methods for revisiting are inspired by the ideas living at Constant and Variable in Brussels, the experiments with video and archives of Michael Murtaugh, Stéphanie Villayphiou’s Blind Carbon Copy, discussions with members of Algolit and the belief that Kenneth Goldsmith might be right when he states in ‘Uncreative Writing’ that the literary digital revolution is only about to start.

Gutenberger à l’aide des moines

January 24th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Dans le cadre de l’atelier ‘Libérez les Oeuvres!’ au KBR, quelques Gutenbergiens numérisent une lettre de Camille Claudel, rentrée en domaine public depuis le 1er janvier 2014, à Auguste Rodin.

Les moines d’aujourd’hui s’appellent Tesseract, Gocr ou Cuneiform. Ils transfèrent l’image au texte, mais comme ils ne savent pas lire tout comme beaucoup de moines au Moyen-Age, ils introduisent des erreurs. Aux Gutenbergiens d’aujourd’hui de les enlever. Ou comment le cours de l’histoire invertit certains sens de mots. » Read the rest of this entry «

Tot Later 2.0

October 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Tot Later, Bezige Bij, 2013

De roman Tot Later, uitgegeven bij De Bezige Bij, werd feestelijk gepresenteerd in Ateliers Mommen op 14 september 2013.
Je vindt het boek in alle boekhandels en kan het ook online kopen.


Enkele echo’s

Brussel Deze Week sept 2013

“Als er een roman uitkomt waarin Brussel als locatie een belangrijk woordje meespreekt, dan is dat nieuws. Zeker als het om de minder bekende kanten van Brussel gaat, zoals in An Mertens’ doorleefde debuut Tot later.” Michaël Bellon, Brussel Deze Week, 13 september 2013


TV Brussel

“An Mertens praat op tvbrussel over haar stadsroman ‘Tot later’. Daarin eist Brussel de hoofdrol op.” TV Brussel Avondjournaal, 19 september 2013


Interview FM Brussel

“Héél Brussel? Jawel. Of toch een hele hoop straten en stemmen, twintigers die het leven en de stad ontdekken, zevenkoppige draken en een cafékat. Schrijfster An Mertens vertelt over haar debuutroman ‘Tot later’, hoe ze de vijfhoek in een zeshoek stopt, en waarom ze niet zonder schrijven kan.” Interview met Johan De Smet in king Kong, Fm Brussel, 16 oktober 2013




Weekend Knack, Inzicht, door Peter Van Dyck, 10 september 2013

Hoe de vijfhoek in een zeshoek past

October 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Schermafdruk van 2013-10-22 12:56:56 Tijdens een interview op FM Brussel over de roman Tot Later vroeg Johan De Smet of ik een jaar lang met een muur vol post-its had geleefd, want dat hij onder de getuigenissen van de personages een strakke structuur vermoedde. Nee, geen post-its, en ja, wel een strakke structuur. » Read the rest of this entry «

Après avoir cherché le texte

October 18th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

During Chercher Le Texte, a conference held in Paris in October, an initiative of ELO (Electronic Literature Organisation), some of the ideas that are (latently) present in the workgroup of Algolit, were described and confirmed. This post is a subjective reading of several conferences I attended, meant as an invitation for discussions and exchanges. » Read the rest of this entry «

Tot Later BBA – feest!

September 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Tot Later in de versie van de Bezige Bij Antwerpen werd feestelijk gelanceerd in Ateliers Mommen op 14 september 2013.
Met dank aan iedereen die erbij was!

0_137925329620739400_resized » Read the rest of this entry «

Scanning Neel Doff – print & OCR qualities

July 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

In order to be able to remix the work of Neel Doff, the content of the old books needs to be converted in plain text-files. Therefore, I used a bookscanner, I would have loved to use this one, but it needs some repairing; and an OCR-software that turns the image into legible text.

There is a direct relationship between the history of printing techniques and the quality of the final text-file. Could it be an interesting topic for a research project one day? For the moment, comparing the results is already an adventure. » Read the rest of this entry «

Scanning Neel Doff – from pdf to text

July 23rd, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

After the consumer-like scanning process of two books of Neel Doff, I thought I was in heaven. The pdf that it gives as result is neat, keeps the nice texture of the old book and reads very well on an e-reader.
But to make this work accessible for machinal agents, the text needs to be non-formatted in a plain text-file. » Read the rest of this entry «