Jay Bushman: The Spoon River Metblog: Net-Native Anthology and Hyperlocal Culture Wars

  • ©, Jay Bushman, The Spoon River Metblog: Net-Native Anthology and Hyperlocal Culture Wars

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    The Spoon River Metblog: Net-Native Anthology and Hyperlocal Culture Wars

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    Internet based, fictionalized hyperlocal group news blog

Artist Statement:


    The Spoon River Metblog, an Ambient Fiction, or A Hyperlocal Blogging as Epic Poetry Cycle. Ambient Fiction embeds story and fictive content in web-based locations that are traditionally used for non-fictive purposes. Hijacking these tools for the repurposing of classic texts allows them to slip past objections to the ‘old’ and ‘irrelevant’. The Spoon River Metblog is a modernization of the 1915 Edgar Lee Masters poetry classic ‘Spoon River Anthology’ in the form of a hyperlocal group news blog. ‘Spoon River Anthology’ is an epic cycle of 245 one-page poems, each the voice of a deceased resident of the town. The 245 individual voices combine to give a picture of life in Spoon River, and multiple meta-stories are woven throughout the narrative.

    The Spoon River Metblog updates this complex narrative to today. The story is told in the form of a Metblog. Metroblogging.com is a worldwide syndicate of city-specific blogs, where groups of authors write stories about life in their city from a personal, hyper-local perspective. Bode Media, the publishers of Metroblogging, built a fictional Metblog site in the middle of their real-world network for Spoon River where the epitaphs were published in small batches over several months. Each blog post is written in a syllabic prose that contains coded messages leading to hidden parts of the story.

    The Spoon River Metblog was first published on the web in the second half of 2008, and can be found at http://spoonriver.metblogs.com


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