J. R. Carpenter
Since the beginning
Works in Totnes United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

J. R. Carpenter is an artist, writer, researcher, performer and maker of zines, poetry, very short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction, web-based non-linear intertextual hypermedia narratives and computer-generated texts of various and sundry sorts. She studied Life Drawing and Anatomy at the Art Students’ League of New York and Fibres and Sculpture at Concordia University in Montreal, where she served as President of the Board of Directors of OBORO, an artist-run gallery and new media lab 2006-2010.

She began using the Internet as a medium for the creation and dissemination of experimental texts in 1993. In 1995, she stumbled across the Web at the Banff Centre for the Arts Thematic Residency, “Telling Stories, Telling Tales.” She made her first web-based art project for Netscape 1.1. It is still online and it still works. She has since worked in every aspect of the internet industry, as a writer, artist, designer, teacher, programmer, consultant, and manager of the web development team for a multinational software company. Her pioneering works of electronic literature have been presented at museums, galleries, conferences and festivals around the world including the Musée de Beaux-arts de Montréal, OBORO, Dare-Dare and the Biennal de Montréal (Montreal), the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and Images Festival (Toronto), Interactive Screen and In(ter)ventions (Banff), Helen Pitt Gallery (Vancouver), Dalhousie Art Gallery (Halifax), The Rhizome ArtBase at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Arnolfini (Bristol), Jyväskylä Art Museum (Finland), The Web Biennial 2007 (Istanbul), Cast Gallery (Tasmania), Interrupt Festival 2008 (Brown), Media in Transition Conference 2009 (MIT), the Electronic Literature Organization Conference 2008 (Vancouver, Washington), E-Poetry 2009 (Barcelona), E-Poetry 2011 (Buffalo), &Now 2012 (Paris) and Translating E-Literature 2012 (Paris). A number of her works are included in the Electronic Literature Collection Volumes One and Volume Two. She was honored with a retrospective of her work at “Electrifying Literature: Affordances and Constraints” is the Electronic Literature Organization’s 2012 Media Art Show held in conjunction with the ELO’s conference in Morgantown, WV, from 20-23 June 2012.

Her essays, art reviews, poems and short fiction have been broadcast on CBC Radio, translated into French, Italian and Spanish, and published in numerous anthologies and journals across Canada and internationally including Crannog, Dandelion, Geist, Rampike, The New Quarterly, Matrix, Ryga, and Blood & Aphorisms. Carpenter was named a Montreal Mirror Noisemaker in 2009 and is the winner of the QWF Carte Blanche Quebec Award (2008), the CBC Quebec Short Story Competition (2003 & 2005), and the Expozine Alternative Press Award for Best English Book for her first novel, Words the Dog Knows, published by Conundrum Press in 2008. Her second book, GENERATION[S], a collection of narrative codeworks, was published by TRAUMAWIEN, Vienna, 2010.

Carpenter has been awarded grants in literature and new media from the Conseil des Arts de Montreal, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec and Canada Council for the Arts. She was E-Writer-in-Residence at Dartington College (UK) in the autumn of 2009, and is a fellow of Yaddo, Ucross, Caldera, The Vermont Studio Center and the Banff Centre, where she now serves as faculty for the innovative new writing residency program In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge. In 2010 she was awarded a full studentship to pursue a practice-led PhD Research degree at University College Falmouth, incorporating Dartington College of Art, in association with University of the Arts London. She is currently working in the emerging and occasionally converging fields of digital literature, performance writing, locative narrative and network archaeology.
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in absentia

Tue Jun 24, 2008 00:00 - Wed Jun 18, 2008

in absentia - a new web-based writing project by J.R. Carpenter with guest authors: Lance Blomgren, Andy Brown, Daniel Canty, Alexis OHara and Colette Tougas. http://luckysoap.com/inabsentia

in absentia is presented by DARE-DARE Centre de diffusion dart multidisciplinaire de Montral, located in Montréal in a park with no name between Saint-Laurent and Clark, between Arcade and the Rosemont/Van Horne overpass. http://dare-dare.org

The launch party will take place on June 24th 5-11PM in the park with no name. This event is free and open to the public. There will be DJs and a cash bar and a possibly a laser light show if we find the time.


in absentia is a web-based writing project that addresses issues of gentrification and its erasures in the Mile End neighbourhood of Montreal. In recent years many long-time low-income neighbours being forced out of Mile End by gentrification. So far fiction is the best way I've found to give voice these disappeared neighbours, and the web is the best place I've found to situate their stories. Our stories. My building is for sale; my family may be next. Faced with imminent eviction I've begun to write as if I'm no longer here, about a Mile End that is no longer here. By manipulating the Google Maps API, I am able to populate “real” satellite images of my neighbourhood with “fictional” characters and events. in absentia is a web “site” haunted by the stories of former residents of Mile End, a slightly fantastical world, a shared memory of the neighbourhood as it never really was but as it could have been.

The project will launch in Montreal in the Mile End's parc sans nom on June 24, 2008 from 5-11PM. New stories will continue to be added until November 30, 2008.

The launch of in absentia marks the end of DARE-DARE's Dis/location: projet d'articulation urbaine. On July 1st, DARE-DARE's blue trailer will leave the vacant lot that was its home for two years and move towards Montréal’s downtown, in Cabot Square, corner Sainte-Catherine and Atwater. The launch of in absentia will be the last event held in the Mile End's parc sans nom, so come on out and help make it a great one.

For more information please visit: http://dare-dare.org


Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams

Sat May 24, 2008 00:00 - Mon May 12, 2008

What are the creative and poetic possibilities of RSS syndication and how might the introduction of iterative publishing processes affect our experience of digital literature? How can a book be transformed and reworked through an exploration of the formal and aesthetic structure of the stream?


Join us on Saturday, May 24th at 7:30 pm to launch a new artwork by Montreal-based writer and artist J.R. Carpenter.

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams is a project by J.R. Carpenter that re-purposes the original text of an issue of literary quarterly The Capilano Review (TCR) as a raw material for a new digital artwork. The work is commissioned by The Capilano Review and curated by Kate Armstrong. The work will be simultaneously launched on Turbulence.org.

The launch event will feature a reading by the artist in addition to a programme of experimental readings by practitioners in disparate fields such as quantum physics, geography, and poetics, arranged to explore ideas of streams, seriality, or flow. Participants include Maria Lantin, Michael Boyce, Jeremy Venditti, Global Telelanguage Resources, and J.R. Carpenter.

After this short program there will be a reception. The event will take place at Helen Pitt Gallery in Vancouver on Saturday, May 24th starting at 7:30 pm.

Saturday, May 24th, 2008
Launch with experimental readings and a reception to follow
Helen Pitt Gallery
102-148 Alexander Street
Sliding scale: $5-$10


Tributaries & Text- Fed Streams: http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca/
The Capilano Review: http://www.thecapilanoreview.ca/
TCR Issue 2-50 : “Artifice and Intelligence”: http://www.thecapilanoreview.ca/archive.php?id=series2/2_50
J.R. Carpenter: http://luckysoap.com/
Turbulence: http://www.turbulence.org


Adventures in Electronic Literature

Sat May 03, 2008 00:00 - Fri Apr 11, 2008

Out of the Box: Adventures in Electronic Literature

Since the computer was invented, writers have been using it to forge new literary forms. This year the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival moves into the cutting-edge field of Electronic Literature. Join us for an exploration of topics ranging from the early days of hypertext fiction to the latest in narrative gaming with an all-star panel of authors who write beyond the book and way outside the box:

J. R. Carpenter's electronic literature has been published internationally (http://luckysoap.com). She is a two-time winner of the CBC Quebec Short Story Competition and a Web Art Finalist in the Drunken Boat PanLiterary Awards 2006.
Jeff Parker’s stories, non-fiction and hypermedia have appeared in several magazines and anthologies, including Stumbling and Raging: More Politically Inspired Fiction (MacAdam/Cage, 2006). His latest book is The Back of the Line.
Jason E. Lewis is a poet, digital media artist and software designer. His creative work has been featured in exhibitions internationally. He conducts experiments in visual language, text and typography at his research studio http://www.obxlabs.net.
Alice van der Klei wrote her doctorate on hypertext in 2004 and teaches at UQAM where she is responsible for information and communications for Laboratoire NT2 (http://www.nt2.uqam.ca).

This event hosted by Nora Young of Spark, CBC Radio’s audio blog of smart and unexpected trendwatching: http://www.cbc.ca/spark/

Saturday, May 3 at 7PM
Room: Régence A.
Delta Centre-ville Hotel, 777 University Street (metro Square Victoria).
You can buy tickets at ADMISSION by telephone at 514-790-7245 or 1 800 361-4595 or on their website, http://www.admission.com.

The 10th Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival will take place April 30 to May 4, 2008.
For more information visit http://www.bluemetropolis.org.
Blue Metropolis Foundation is a non-profit organization located in Montreal. Its core purpose is to bring people of different cultures together to share the pleasures of reading and writing in English, French and other languages. To this end it produces a range of literary activities, educational and literacy programmes, including the multilingual Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival. Blue Metropolis Foundation plays a leadership role in the literary, educational and literacy community in the Montreal area as well as nationally and internationally.


Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review

Sat Feb 09, 2008 00:00 - Sat Feb 09, 2008


Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review is a personal, experimental and playful re-reading of and response to thirteen essays published in a recent issue of The Capilano Review, a literary journal based in North Vancouver, that was dedicated to new writing and new technologies. Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams explores the formal and functional properties of RSS, using blogging, tagging and other Web 2.0 tools to mark-up and interlink these essays and to insert additional meta-layers of commentary in order to play with, expose, expand upon, and subvert formal structures of writing, literature, and literary criticism.

For the next four-months I will be reading and re-reading the essays and parsing them into fragments, which I will then annotate, mark-up, tag and post. Fed into an RSS stream, the fragments will be re-read, reordered, and reblogged in an iterative process of distribution intended to open up new readings of the essays and reveal new interrelationships between them.

Streams are both literally and metaphorically the central image of the work. Streams of consciousness, data, and rivers flow through the interface and through the texts. Through this process of re-reading and responding, this textual tributary will feed a larger stream while paying tribute to the original source.

The result of this process-based approach will be a web site that is part blog and part archive - an online repository for the artifacts of re-reading as well as a stage for the performance of live archiving. The final version of Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: A Feed-Reading of The Capilano Review will launch simultaneously on The Capilano Review website (Vancouver) and on Turbulence.org (New York) in May 2008.

But why wait until then? You can slip into this text-fed stream at any time via the web site, where you can post comments: http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca and/or you can subscribe to the RSS feed and have the posts come to you: http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca/feed/.

There's also a facebook group: Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams. I've started a collection of literary quotations referring to rivers, streams, writing and the flow of information. If you have any to share, please send them along via a comment to this post, or to a post on http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca, or on the facebook group's wall. See you somewhere down river soon ...

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams is a new work of electronic literature by J. R. Carpenter, curated by Vancouver-based artist and writer Kate Armstrong and commissioned by The Capliano Review - a literary journal based in North Vancouver with a long history of publishing new and established Canadian and international writers and artists who are experimenting with or expanding the boundaries of conventional forms and contexts. Now in its 35th year, the magazine continues to favour the risky, the provocative, the innovative, and the dissident. TCR 2-50 "Artifice & Intelligence" was guest-edited by Andrew Klobucar and included essays by: Andrew Klobucar, Global Telelanguage Resources, Sandra Seekins, Kate Armstrong, David Jhave Johnston, Laura U. Marks, Sharla Sava, Kevin Magee, Jim Andrews, Gordon Winiemko, Nancy Patterson and Darren Wershler-Henry.

Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams: http://tributaries.thecapilanoreview.ca
J. R. Carpenter: http://luckysoap.com
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les huit quartiers du sommeil ==

les huit quartiers du sommeil de Montreal -1990-2006

a new web map writing project by J. R. Carpenter


I moved to Montreal on the night train. I've lived in eight neighbourhoods since and each has had a different quality of sleep. There are eight hours for sleeping in. There are four quarters in each hour. But there are many quarters in each city. Some quarters never sleep, or so they say. Others seem built for dreaming in. These are les huit quartiers du sommeil: Car Crash Sleep, Bamboo Blind Sleep, Waterbed Sleep, Louvered Door Sleep, Purple Parakeet Sleep, Break and Enter Sleep, Gondola Sleep and Greek Sleep.

To navigate these neighbourhoods of sleep, take the night train to Montreal (warning: this method may take 16 years). Or do a Google Maps search for “J. R. Carpenter les huit quartiers du sommeil de Montreal 1990-2006” and view user generated content (warning: this method may return variable results). Or follow the direct link to the Google Map of les huit quartiers du sommeil here: http://luckysoap.com/huitquartiers

A Note on the Type: I wrote the text of les huit quartiers du sommeil during a bout of insomnia at Yaddo January-February 2007, thanks to everyone at the Yaddo dinner table who listened to the thunks and whirrings of this text coming to life. I built the Google Maps and HTML versions in Montreal May-July 2007, thanks to Sandra Dametto for the brilliant idea and to Michael Boyce and Lisa Vinebaum for their careful readings. The aerial photographs are totally copyright Google Earth. Thanks in advance Google, for having a sense of humour. The other images were found using Google Images and then altered using Photoshop filters until they looked like something I would do. Except for the street maps, those I drew by hand as you can probably tell. Merci Daniel Canty, your English is better than mine. Et merci Stephane Vermette pour tous.

J. R. Carpenter is a poet, fiction writer and web artist based in Montreal. She is a two-time winner of the CBC Quebec Short Story Competition and a Web Art Finalist in the Drunken Boat Panliterary Awards 2006. More of her writing and web art projects can be found at: http://luckysoap.com