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Above is the actual location (via Google Maps) of Samantha’s Earth Sandwich coordinates in New Zealand, as described in Douglas Coupland’s Generation A. Without the extra material available on Coupland’s website, the Earth Sandwich idea is presented casually and with little explanation in the Generation A preview, as in, “you know, just making an Earth Sandwich.” Leaving www.coupland.com, the origins of the Earth Sandwich are available with very little effort, because its creator, Hosea Frank of www.zefrank.com is a little angry, with the project website asserting: “The Earth Sandwich is featured in Douglas Coupland’s book Generation A, without any credit towards the original. His publisher responded to inquiries by stating: ‘Doug’s fiction is many things, but one of the things he creates in his novels is a tapestry of ideas and objects and turns of mind he’s noticed in the world.’ What a wank.”

While this dispute over intellectual property is understandable, it seems that Coupland and Frank have similar missions when it comes to the creation of their respective works. In his interview for Scott Kirsner’s book, Fans, Friends, and Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age, Ze Frank says, “For me, experimentation is not about the technology. In an ever-changing technological landscape, where today’s platforms are not tomorrow’s platforms, the key seems to be that any one of these spaces can use a dose of humanity and art and culture.” In this statement, Ze Frank is acknowledging the significance of the growing mediums available, but is using them to connect people throughout the world. Specifically with Earth Sandwich, Ze Frank provides individuals with the tool to then get up and go away from their computers, to go put a piece of bread on the ground. This way, he is actually pinpointing the networking between people that occurs virtually on the Internet. In this same sense, Coupland connects fictional individuals in “an ever-changing technological landscape” in each character-specialized chapter of Generation A, organically bringing them together with bee stings.



Amelia Wagner


~ by ameliabwagner on February 28, 2010.

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