Performative Reading:
Attending The Last Performance [dot org]

by Scott Rettberg

The Last Performance [dot org] by Judd Morrissey, Mark Jeffrey, the Goat Island Collective, and more than 100 other contributors, is a work of database literature that exists in a number of different manifestations online, in performance, and in museum installations. The work-in-progress was initiated in 2008. It was composed using a constraint-driven collaborative writing process that invites user contributions. In this essay, Scott Rettberg considers the difficulties of attempting a close reading of this type of electronic literature, and suggests some strategies for attentive reading, driven by close reading of fragments of the work and awareness of how the work functions as a computational and narrative system.

Strategies for Attentive Reading
Reading by Node / Lens
Reading by Constraint
Reading Contextually
Reading Textual Cannibalism
Reading Networked Reading
Works Cited

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