- Dec 2016
As a term, performative publications have a lot in common with Katherine Hayles’s concept ‘technotexts’. In her book Writing Machines (itself a technotext, beautifully designed by Anne Burdick in a hybrid print and ‘webtake’ version) Hayles introduces the term technotext as an relative and alternative to concepts such as hypertext and cybertext. She defines a technotext as something that comes about ‘when a literary work interrogates the inscription technology that produces it’ (Hayles 2002, 25) and elsewhere as ‘a book that embodies its own critical concepts (Hayles 2002, 140)’. In Writing Machines Hayles then goes on to analyse 3 technotexts, Talan Memmott’s work of electronic literature Lexia to Perplexia (2000), Tom Phillips artist’s book A Humument (1970), and Mark Z. Danielewski’s novel House of Leaves (2000).