Two Conferences (Three I Guess)

Okay, so next August, I intend to go to ISEA 2004, a three Baltic city (Helsinki, Tallinn, and Helsinki) and a boat conference with a bunch of digital artists and critics and probably lots of interesting happenings provided they accept one or both of the proposals I was part of submitting, a panel on Network Literature with William Gillespie and Joseph Tabbi, and the sticker novel / web art / mail art / situationist type project, Implementation, that Nick Montfort and I have been working on in recent months and will launch in January. Oh I don't know if I'll be able to afford it, but I'm betting I'll be on the boat. All those new media people packed onto a ferry should give new meaning to the phrase “don't want to sail on no ship of fools.” In other words, it rates high on the funometer. Plus Tabbi just bought a place in Latvia and is musing doing some kind of new media center or at the very least new media crashpad and it's really not too far from where Jill Walker lives, and she's the smartist Australian Norwegian blogger I know. Plus her accent makes my knees weak. The combination of those three things convinces me that I need to go to Scandinavia and the Baltics this summer to widen my horizons.

Not sure that I'll be able to shirk my teaching duties, but I'd sure like to go to Copyright and the Networked Computer: A Stakeholders' Congress in Washington D.C., November 6-8, 2003. Forget Montfort and Wardrip-Fruin and all the really great experts on copyrights and wrongs, this conference has Negativland. I'll probably try to make it into DC for at least a day or two of that.

And this year's standard institutional conference engagement will be the AWP in Chicago. It will be the AWP, so there will be lots of poets desperate for other poets to read their work (conferences with hundreds of writers sound like fun until you're a writer surrounded by hundreds of other writers at which point the whole thing starts to feel like an unwholesome undertaking — writers getting institutionalized together, sigh — last time I went to one of these it was in Albany, and it was like some kind of dystopia — a writers' conference in a town that had a law against having bookstores downtown). But, on the upside, it'll be in Chicago, so I'll see my friends and the pizza will be great. and it will be fun as always to discourse with other ELO people as we try to convince a bunch of print writers that we have no intention of eliminating books but want to coexist peacefully and drink wine at the same parties and bullshit about obscure Irish fiction and ancient Japanese poetry just like they do. That's March 24-27, 2004. Maybe I'll dance with some poets or score some free books or blow off most of the conference and catch a show or two at the Hideout or Empty Bottle instead or run into Curt White and talk politics.

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