> Archive Fever

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Poetry

SPAM Zine delves into the archive

Archive Fever is SPAM's permanent venue for retrospective essays, reviews and pieces responding to poetry's long existence on the internet and its techno-social entanglements since the advent of the World Wide Web. Archive Fever aims to recover, curate and showcase work which might otherwise be lost in the permanent flux, death and re-emergence of online spaces, communities and poets' responses to them. Archive Fever is not wedded to any particular timeline, methodology, aesthetic or idea of what poetry or the internet are and welcomes work which challenges received narratives of what the internet is and how it has transformed our existence.

 

We aim to contract the fever of online spaces and communities which have meant something sensuous, powerful and thrilling to their users ⁠— from fringe usenet poetry groups, GeoCities and mailing lists; public online archives and poetry journals; the lived chaos and intensities of LiveJournal, Wattpad and Tumblr; and even past and ongoing poetic experiments, posts and memes within the ubiquity of social media. Archive Fever likewise extends to the pre-internet and the writing, computer dances and poetic action at a distance that prepared us for the unprecedented leap into being more than merely IRL. From Ada Lovelace’s Analytical Engine to Ted Nelson’s hypertexts, Project Cybersyn, Aaron Swartz’s hacktivism and Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, we’re looking for unexpected collisions of poetry, material culture, politics and internet history. 

 

The portal is the figure under which Archive Fever gathers its materials and presents them to the world: a gateway rather than a feed; space carved out by the collective and horizontal custodianship of communities and users distributed across the world rather than by algorithms. The portal beckons those who come across it into potentially transformative interactions while letting go of their identity at the threshold. How might going into the archive forge anew these vertiginous encounters, alterities and social scenes? What remnants and holdouts of earlier online cultures are still with us today? What kind of art and poetry did they produce? What mode of memory is generated through the exploration of the broken sites of Web 1.0? How does this all feel in poetry from old journals and sites? What is simply really amazing yet overlooked?

 

Whether you find yourself pulled ineluctably towards the beckoning of Web 3 and the metaverse, or longing for the commoning promise of cyberspace, this is your chance to engage with internet history.

Archive Fever considers pitches of up to 500 words for articles, reviews of individual poems or titles, retrospectives, oral histories, interviews, etc. Send your idea to spamzine.editors@gmail.com, under the heading ‘Archive Fever Submission’! We aim to get back to you within 3 weeks, and acceptance of pitches is at the editors’ discretion. 

 

If you have specific questions relating to a pitch, please contact Mau Baiocco at mau.spamzine@gmail.com

 

Venturers through the portal may explore such themes as (but not limited to):


the transition from web 1.0 to 2.0 (and beyond); broken links; load times; hauntology; fax and Xerox machine aesthetics; forum talk as poetics; fan fic communities for poets; modernists who somehow predicted the internet; Blogspot musings; stylised gossip and in-jokes; memes and image macros; virtual subcultures; the noughties; glitch feminism; dial-up ekphrasis; MSN epistolaries; spells against nostalgia; ASCII and accidental concrete poetries; internet-inspired trend cycles; Alice Notley; Webring relationality; bad VR; life as an avatar; poetics of cyber-optimism; comment scene cultures; online eros and sex before streaming; socialist cybernetics; iconography of the stock image; the movie Hackers (1995); neocolonialism of frontier motifs; metaverse hauntology; emergent affects; Y2K revival; chatbots; LiveJournal poems; flarf; Net Art; gendernauts; scene queens and proto-influencer culture; pop-up advertising; pre-2010 JRPGs; Limewire phenomenologies; from emoticons to emojis; utopias as imagined ten, twenty, thirty years ago...