Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Envisioning the Visionary

This week I will be actively participating in the Electronic Literature Organization's 2008 conference. The theme is "Visionary Landscapes" and is being held in Vancouver, Washington, on the far outskirts of Portland. The hosts (Conference Chairs) are Dene Grigar and John Barber.

Some info on the conference announcement reads:
Producing a work of electronic literature entails not only practice in the literary arts but sometimes also the visual, sonic, and the performative arts; knowledge of computing devices and software programs; and experience in collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and hybridity. In short, electronic literature requires its artists to see beyond traditional approaches and sensibilities into what best can be described as visionary landscapes where, as Mark Amerika puts it, artists “celebrate an interdisciplinary practice from a literary and writerly perspective that allows for other kinds of practice-based art-research and knowledge sharing.”

To forward the thinking about new approaches and sensibilities in the media arts, The Electronic Literature Organization and Washington State University Vancouver’s Digital Technology and Culture program are inviting submissions to the Electronic Literature Organization 2008 Conference to be held from May 29 to June 1, 2008 in Vancouver, Washington.

“Visionary Landscapes: Electronic Literature Organization 2008 Conference” is interested in papers that explore forms of digital media that utilize images, sound, movement, and user interaction as well as––or in lieu of––words and that explore how we read, curate, and critique such works. Topics may include:

• New, non-screen, environments for presenting multimedia writing and/or electronic literature
• Research labs and new media projects
• Strategies for reading electronic literary works
• Curating digital art
• Innovative approaches to critiquing electronic literature
• Emerging technologies for the production of multimedia writing and/or electronic literature
• Building audience for new media literary works and writing
• Digital, literary performances
• Publishing for print or electronic media connecting literature and the arts through common archiving and metatag strategies
• Artistic methods of composition used in intermedia storytelling (improvisation, collaboration, sample and remix, postproduction art, codework, hactivism, etc.)

In conjunction with the three-day conference, there will be a juried Media Arts Show.
In addition to delivering the conference keynote at the end of our Saturday night dinner, I will be leading a workshop on Remix Writing and Postproduction Art. The workshop starts at 9:30 tomorrow morning and is filled to the gills with participants. The agenda for that ninety minute morning session goes something like this:
What is remixology? What is postproduction art (PP Art)?

In this workshop, we will investigate a small selection of experimental literary texts, websites, music videos, and audio tracks that employ different remix strategies to develop new works of art. These remix artworks will trigger a more general discussion on the emergence of hybridized art forms that are growing out of a thriving interdisciplinary media arts scene.

Media art forms that will make their way into the workshop mix include electronic literature, net art, digital video, and live A/V performance.

Given our time limitations, the workshop will be targeted at introducing participants to the way contemporary media artists may turn to remix and/or postproduction methods to create unexpected works of art.


Can you imagine remixing Gertrude Stein's "Tender Buttons" into a philosophical treatise on technicity and the loop and then using the treatise as a script for your spoken word performance in Second Life?

Is it possible to sample from the spam email that finds its way into your inbox every day and use it as source material for a long narrative poem?

Can one improvise a literary "cut-up" as part of a spontaneous creative act without the use of scissors?

How can one create a video mashup of Situationist cinema?

What exactly does a VJ [visual jockey] do and why are they getting paid every time they perform a live narrative remix of their theoretical tendencies?

How can one appropriate and remix a selective set of literary and philosophical texts to create the subtitle track to their own feature-length film?

Is your mobile phone your new writing instrument, one ideally positioned to enable your next live writing performance?

Does excelling at the fine art of remixology enable you to expand your creative and critical research practice into an ongoing performance that manipulates ("remediates," "versions," "postproduces") a wide array of media genres and platforms?
My keynote is entitled "Artists, Personas, Mediums, Instruments: Envisioning the Visionary" and I will post an Extended Remix Version of the address (which samples a lot from this blog) sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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