literature, virtuality and inter-media conflict
a forum on positions for new literature in the infomation society
30th May - 1st June 1997

"so language is back in fucking vogue again as projectile of the will because the fucking will with its tongue of fire is cavorting up and down in its reservation where you can go and visit it on sundays with the kids so that their kidbrains get a good look at it: how awful it would be, this dreck as the world, if only the willfire of language were a force to be reckoned with. finally, the idea of "the audience" is defined by THE ABNORMAL, which draws the line between the paying seats and the piss-soaked sawdust of the arena. and the UNIVERSAL PERformer as the minority audience wants to stage gigantomanic dying and terrible happiness and then go for an exquisite little goblet of something somewhere with the majority audience afterwards, whereupon the majority audience actually offers to buy the manic minority a glassful of liquid."

(Werner Schwab)


Literature is not something comfortable to sit down on. Literature is an instrument, a weapon and a drug. Literature has a ready supply of solutions, its curiosity can never be satisfied and it never lets go, neither of its victims nor of its protégés, of its friends nor of its foes. Literature is not outside the sphere of influence of the advent, exponentially increasing usage and constant further development of the new media. This influence is pervasive, affecting literature throughout its production process and far beyond. It is possible that what we think of as mainstream has been dead for a long time. Inspite of this, the literary scene is split down the front, down the back and straight up the middle. While impressive guerilla wars continue to rage in the Gutenberg jungle, the 'new media' are already just another heap of rusty tools in the garden shed of the commercial entertainment industry. Added to which, all the most advanced projects of technocratic culture appear to be borrowed from the realms of classical literary production. During a period of cultural change, literature has to face new challenges in terms of both form AND content. The new technologies provide potential subjects and territories for 'new' experiments. Which patterns are emerging? As it thrives in the rich soil of a dying underground, fresh perspectives are opening up for literature in the new public spaces of the Internet. The inherited hierarchy of the literary operating system can be re-engineered. Books, periodicals and other works can now be distributed in new ways, published and discussed in online editions of print magazines and in e-zines, thus providing a rich source of material to a captive global audience. Hartmoderne brings together players and practicians from analog and digital text galaxies who confront the unnerving yakerty yak of those riding on cyber-bandwagon with expertise and calm curiosity about the literary potential of computer networks. Hartmoderne does not propagate illusions of a new digital literature which is out there just waiting to be discovered. Residing in a literary territory somewhere between cabbalistic nursery and communal text-dump, Internet and computer texts are likely to remain less significant than books for longer than people are currently so fond of prophesying. Hartmoderne sees this marginal role as an opportunity and sides with the waste. (...)


Hartmoderne will be organizing readings, discussions, lectures, workshops, presentations and performances over several days. The readings will form a major focus, running parallel to all the other events and occasionally breaking with any thematic limitations which may or may not have been set ('literature as a knuckle sandwich'). There follows a preliminary outline of some of the proposed subject areas and program items:

The events will run from May 30th to June 1st 1997. Location: Das Stille Museum, Linienstr. 154a, 10115 Berlin (Tel. 030 2807701 Fax: 030 2807701). One of our events will take place in the Roter Salon at the Volksbühne, another as part of the concurrent Videofest/Transmedia festival.

(in progress ...)


Rike Anders, Stefan Beck (unconfirmed), Frank Benz, BRUT, Monty Cantsin, Holger Castritius (unconfirmed), Petra Coronato (Tongue Tongue Hongkong), Florian Cramer, Claudius Hagemeister, Herwig Finkeldey, Knut Gerwers, Buddy Giovinazzo, Lothar Glauch, Nick Grindell, Mark Hartenstein, Harry Hass, Stefan Heidenreich (unconfirmed), Dr. Sabine Helmers (WZB Berlin), Ralf B. Korte, Dr. Verena Kuni, Erich Maas, Andreas Matz (unconfirmed), Susanna Mende (Romanisches Büro), Mario Mentrup, Neid, nettohouz, Wolfgang Neuhaus, Norman Ohler (unconfirmed), Pakt (unconfirmed), Perspektive, Enno E. Peter, Albert Rindfleisch, Salbader (unconfirmed), Eric Schmidt, shelter performance group, Sklaven, Julia Solis (Spitting Image, New York), Stephan Stamborski, Rudi Stört (unconfirmed), T-Ina, Toni Vakuum, Verstärker, Ambros Waibel, Arnd Wesemann, Heiko Wichmann, Writers' Room (Hamburg), Joey Zimmermann (unconfirmed), ...


We are still open for contributions. Please send descriptions of less than half a page by 30/4/97. We also still urgently need private and public sponsors for material and financial support in order to cover our costs and further improve our overall presentation of the program.

Hartmoderne c/o The Thing, Bergstraße 21, 10115 Berlin, Tel. 030/28391180, Fax 28391179, email
Ulf Schleth coordination, Tel. 030/28391180, email
Claudia Reinhardt Tel. 030/4406850, email
Cristina Moles-Kaupp Presse, Tel. 030/5329311, email
Wolfgang Neuhaus conception, Tel. 030/6244112, email
Jutta Franzen Tel. 030/61702002, email
Sylvia Egger email

Amsterdam: R . A . L . F ., email
Basel: Barbara Strebel, email

Account for donations: U. Schleth (usage: 'hartmoderne'), Berliner Sparkasse, BLZ 100 500 00, Kto.-Nr.: 950182362


(in progress ...)

For the period up to and until immediately after Hartmoderne we have set up an accompanying newsgroup.


german literature projects and magazines
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translation of this page: Nick Grindell. This page is being constantly updated! V0.94ß, 10/03/97