The INTRE:FACE Digital Conference (06.02.2016-07.02.2016), organized by Katharina Deloglu and Tom Bresemann, hosted by Andreas Bülhoff, tackled many important questions regarding digital literature. In a series of articles we bring you the speeches and discussions held at the INTRE:FACE Digital Conference, dealing with problems regarding digital literature and different tools used to construct it, for example how can digital tools be used to offer new approaches to production, what digital tools already exist and how are they structured, to more applied problems, such as how can literary activists use digital means to connect with one another, how we can make most of digital material and many other interesting topics.
Max Höfler works works for Forum Stadtpark and writes experimental prose of the genres ‘avant-garde’, ‘neo-avant-garde’ and ‘up until now’. Forum Stadtpark is an association of artists, founded 1959 in Graz, and was one of the first places where avant-garde art was shown. It houses different departments of the arts that all work closely together (architecture, literature, art, film, photography, media, fashion, music, theatre, performance, theory).
The association is made up of artists, who themselves organize events and are not promoters by trade. They use traditional publicity channels, such as Facebook, newsletters etc. to create a community that is interested in new forms of art as well as new ways of living. As such Forum Stadtpark often utilizes new media, an example of which was presented by Höfler with Glory Hole.
By nature it is a “Leinwandliteratur Magazin” and was at first developed because the silver cinema screen hanging outside of Forum Stadtpark needed something to liven it up. A digitized poem is projected onto the screen in the evening and is shown on a loop for a whole month. The first ever poem to be projected was titled ‘Gewald macht glücklich’. Each slide in the projection can hold up to 40 characters, but some artists, as can be seen in the issue submitted by Dimitra Charamanda, try and break away from the form.
The Internet is involved in this form as far as archiving the project goes, but it is by no measure an actual creative means. If you want to use the digital media, you still need real connections – a certain real input. There may be a live stream, but even then the face-to-face communication is still needed because it has an existential potential that can’t be replicated through digital communication.
How do you compare the real life experience and the digital experience?
Max Höfler: With art, you’re not concerned with the numbers at the end – with the number of likes you get for example. You want to have someone to show it to.
How do you get people to come and see it in the flesh?
Max Höfler: It is shown every month in the park – it is seen by passers-by.
How do you approach artists? Do you select them?
Max Höfler: I plan one year in advance, some artists approach me. The artists have the choice to do what they want with the format parameters if they have good reason to.
How does this type of project create a community? Is it not very centered on individual experience?
Max Höfler: There is contact between the authors and the writers that grows every year in the Forum Stadtpark in general.
Could you use #gloryhole to subvert other hash trends, to make the project more visible? Could you imagine in what ways the language barrier could be overcome?