Miekal AND and Maria DAMON
Literature Nation


"Poetry & fiction have been replaced by "the text" & the practice of any art has enlarged to intimacy with all arts, with an investigation into the culture beneath the culture. Because information & ideas are bombarding our sphere so rapidly the procedure of invention & experimentation is simultaneous with instant printing, rapid communication & the chameleon quality of the artist. More appropriate terms for the new art may be velocity, impact, shifting, compounding etc rather than "this is a good poem, that's a bad painting." Perhaps utility & pleasure are closer specifics. The sensations received & their usefulness completely bypass the critical faculty until they become more than an unconscious reaction. From the standpoint of information, there is no reason to maintain formal separation between different media. In the dreamtime of synaesthesia, a world rife with critical dyslexia, an equilibrium of signal & noise are the map of a world vastly different than the aesthetic fortress constructed by 20th century academia. A hypercultural environment is not described by virtuosity & hierarchy. In an info intensive world, such specialization is clearly not culturally sustainable. Imagination & activity are organized by their appearance & their velocity, by the way that they resonate within the event of media. One no longer resorts to identifying themselves as a poet or a painter since the processes of creation endlessly resort to all available resources."

Miekal And is a longtime DIY cultural anarchist & the creator of 20 years worth of visual-verbal lit, audio-art, performance ritual & hypermedia for the Macintosh, distributed by Xexoxial Editions (http://net22.com/neologisms/xe.html) Since 1991, he has made his home at Dreamtime Village (http://net22.com/dreamtime/index.shtml), a hypermedia/permaculture village project, located in the driftless bioregion of southwestern Wisconsin. His hypermedia works reside at Qazingulaza (http://net22.com/qazingulaza/index.html) including a downloadable version of Zaum Gadget, an hypermedia arttoy created with Hypercard in 1987. He also devotes much time to creating edible wilderness indoors & out, growing such things as figs, citrus, cherries, grapes & chestnuts. 1998 marked the creation of THE DRIFTLESS GROTTO OF WEST LIMA, a permanent public grotto/park/installation which when finished will feature a bird-operated time machine in a 25 ft blue glass tower.

Conceptual Description

excerpts from an interview by Bob Holman at the miningco / poetry website

Maria Damon:
Miekal calls our style of collaboration "interwriting," which i like. We have another piece, though, "pleasureTEXTpossession," which to my mind is even more truly "interwriting" because we continue each other's sentences, adding and twisting, disrupting and elaborating each other's words from inside the structure of the sentence. "Literature Nation," by contrast, is a fairly straightforward trade-off where we alternate passages, finding evocative links in each other's offerings and then riffing off of them.

To me, writing opportunities are sacred and I very much respected the work he's done both as a writer and as a publisher, and all-around practical visionary. So even though I am not nearly as computer literate as Miekal, and although my relationship to hypertext is not as technologically uptodate (as a scholar I regard all texts as hypertexts, because any word you focus on will take you on a journey through the history of consciousness, and scholarly writing is the interwriting you engage with a "primary" text --in other words my concept of hypertext is not computer- dependent), I was happy to embark on the textual adventure.

Miekal And:
I was trying to think of how we came to the title of the work. Over the years, I've found that most of what I've created, whether it be text, music, hypermedia, performance or permaculture design always begins with the naming. The title for me evokes the promise of digital literature, that the historical passage of writing thru time & across the planet does not have to be limited to an official verse culture. That this writing & digital lit in general can mingle with someone I will never meet in someplace I could never travel to in realtime, AND not be dependent on institutionalized media for its promotion. Ted Nelson's Xanadu is an unfulfilled digital fantasy that is alive & well, an out-of-control bastard of the original hypertext visions.

the complete interview can be read at: