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Alan Bigelow

Alan Bigelow

Born: New York City, New York, United States

Alan Bigelow is part of the Living Legacy Project at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Click here to listen to his artist interview. 



Alan Bigelow is a writer of electronic literature who lives in Buffalo, New York. Trained as a traditional fiction writer using time-tested modes of expression, he began exploring the literary possibilities of the internet in 1999. To date he has created more than 30 works of "Flash fiction" (with the term "Flash" punningly referring both to the brevity of the format and to the programming language of the same name that he used for many years).

His digital projects typically include text, image, and sound to create a multi-sensory experience. In Bigelow's hands, storytelling becomes an invitation to play. In many works, the viewer participates in the telling of the story by manipulating the narrative or other elements. (See "The Quick Brown Fox" and "This is Not a Poem" for examples.)

When describing this innovative approach to writing, Bigelow mentions his delight in working in an emerging art form as he is "exploring the undiscovered territory where the signposts are mostly the ones that you put up. And you put them up not for others, but for yourself so you know where you've been, and how to get back, so you can go someplace else." [1]

Born in New York City, Bigelow has a BA from Bard College, an M.A. in English (with an emphasis in creative writing) from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and an MA and Ph.D. in English from SUNY at Buffalo. He has taught for more than 20 years in the Humanities Department at Medaille College, Buffalo, NY.

Bigelow's work has been exhibited at SFMOMA, the Library of Congress,,, Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts, the National Art Center: Tokyo, MLA 2012-2013, FAD, VAD,, the Museum of New Art (MONA, Detroit), Art Tech Media, FILE 2007-2013, Blackbird, Drunken Boat, IDEAS, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center,, and elsewhere. In 2013 he was designated a "Living Legacy" artist by the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

His digital art is collected at

[1] Bigelow, Alan. "Ten Reasons Why I Write Digital Literature." 2013. accessed 11/27/2103 <>.


Listen to Alan Bigelow's interview with Heather Gring of the Burchfield Penney Art Center on August 15, 2013. In it, he discusses the field of electronic literature and the democratization of the Web, along with ways that changes in computer language have changed his way of writing. He mentions some of his early influences, an eclectic list drawn from many disciplines. And he offers advice to emerging practitioners of his artform: “Always take risks; … push yourself further than you would have imagined.”