Netartery — new network writing blog

Jim Andrews has launched a new collaborative blog, NetArtery, together with Andy Campbell, Chris Funkhouser, Cliff Syringe, Gregory Whitehead, and Jhave Johnston, an innovative and funky group of writers who play in a number of interesting forms of digital and other writing on the network. Should be an interesting one to watch.
# Jim Andrews

All Tomorrow’s Parties

I posted the talk/skit I performed with Rob Wittig at the ELO_AI Conference, All Tomorrow’s Parties. I was planning a talk on the early days of the ELO, but a few weeks before the conference, John Cayley asked if I could modify my talk to make it more specifically focused on the Tribute to Robert Coover, which was a subtheme of the conference. My goal was to keep some elements of that early history, while delivering the sort of light roast that Coover deserved. That is, to make Coover laugh. I think that Coover and the members of the audience who had actually read some of his books appreciated it, though it did leave me with some explaining for the literalists in the audience who actually thought I was seriously considering spanking my maid.

Robert Coover Infinite Lit Crit

This week’s ELO_AI conference is dedicated to Robert Coover, the American novelist and Brown University professor who cofounded the ELO and has taught electronic writing workshops at Brown since the 1980s. He has been an important advocate for electronic writing, and did a great deal to make it part of the American literary conversation. I’ll be saying more about Coover during my talk at the conference and during the banquet. But I thought I would share this Robert Coover Criticism, a little generator I threw together to mark the occasion. The generator is built from reviews of his work and interviews he has done over the years.

Fulbright Scholar at UiB in Digital Culture

We will have a Fulbright Scholar position available at UiB Digital Culture in 2011-2012 and in 2012-2013. The position is now advertised on the CIES site. Fulbright scholarships are available to US citizens residing in the US. This position is for a PhD with at least two years of related teaching experience. The scholar will teach 1.5 courses per term in electronic literature or digital media aesthestics courses at the undergraduate and graduate level with 50% research time, and will have the opportunity to participate in the European ‘Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice” (ELMCIP) HERA research project events. We will also facilitate lecture visits to other European institutions. The pay is 25,000 NOK per month, and travel expenses are covered by the Fulbright. Although the cost of living in Norway is high, the cost of housing, work-related travel and meals are tax-deductible for the scholar. Travel expenses for dependents are not covered, but there is an allowance of 2000 NOK per month per dependent. Depending on needs and expertise, courses the scholar might teach include DIKULT103: Digital Genres: Digital Art, Electronic Literature and Computer Games; DIKUL105: Web Design; DIKULT203: Electronic Literature; DIKULT251: Critical Perspectives on Information Technologies and Society; DIKULT303: Digital Media Aesthetics; or DIKULT304: Graduate Seminar: Topics in Digital Culture. The position is available either for a semester (5 months) or a year (10 months). A letter of invitation is recommended. If you know anyone who might be interested, they should get in touch with me via the address in the advertisement.

Implementation Bergen

As we prepare to publish a photo book of Implementation we have been gathering and tagging new photographs submitted by people around the world at a dedicated Flickr site. We have gotten in hundreds of new photos and the process of using flickr to organize the material has been very interesting. I’ll write more about that process later, but for now I wanted to share this. Along with some others I have been putting Implementation stickers up in Bergen. As I photograph the stickers that people have put up, I have been recording the location information and adding that to flickr. Above is a Google maps/flickr mashup created with iMapFlickr. With this map, you can explore Bergen and explore Implementation. Have fun.

Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice: €1.000.000 Research Project Funded

Humanities in the European Research Area

Humanities in the European Research Area

Shortly before Christmas, we received some excellent news from the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) review panel. Our project “Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice” has been recommended for funding, pending final contract negotiations with the European Science Foundation to be completed in January 2010. Scott Rettberg, of the University of Bergen Linguistic, Literary, and Aesthetic department’s Digital Culture Group, will be the Project Leader. The total budget for the project as a whole will be just under 1.000.000 Euros.

“Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice” (ELMCIP) is a 3-year collaborative research project which will run from 2010-2013. The project will be funded under HERA joint research project theme: ’Humanities as a Source of Creativity and Innovation’.

ELMCIP involves seven European academic research partners and one non-academic partner who will investigate how creative communities of practitioners form within a transnational and transcultural context in a globalized and distributed communication environment. Focusing on the electronic literature community in Europe as a model of networked creativity and innovation in practice, ELMCIP is intended both to study the formation and interactions of that community and also to further electronic literature research and practice in Europe.

The partners include: The University of Bergen, Norway (PL Scott Rettberg, Co-I Jill Walker Rettberg), the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland (PI Simon Biggs, Co-I Penny Travlou), Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden (PI Maria Engberg, Co-I Talan Memmott), The University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (PI Yra Van Dijk), The University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (PI Janez Strechovec), The University of Jyväskylä, Finland (PI Raine Koskimaa), and Univerity College Falmouth at Dartington, England (PI Jerome Fletcher), and New Media Scotland.

The project will fund three post-docs and one PhD. The positions that will be advertised include: a 20-month post-doc in electronic literature bibliography at the University of Bergen, a 12-month post-doc focused on electronic literature publication and education at Blekinge Institute of Technology, and a three year PhD in electronic literature and design at the Edinburgh College of Art. The project also funds a three-year post-doc in ethnography of digital culture at the Edinburgh College of Art (Penny Travlou).

The research outcomes of the project will include: a series of case studies and research papers on electronic literature, a series of public seminars on electronic literature in different cultural contexts, the production of an extensive online knowledge including papers and presentations from the seminars, project information and bibliographic records of works of electronic literature, a workshop on electronic literature and education and a companion anthology of electronic literature including pedagogical materials, a major international conference, a public exhibition of electronic literature artworks and performances. All publications resulting from the project, including conference proceedings, exhibition catalog, project documentation and the DVD anthology, will be made available on an open access basis.

As the lead partner, the University of Bergen will be responsible for overall project administration, for research and a seminar on electronic literature communities to take place in 2010, for the production of the project’s online knowledge base, and for the production of the project’s final report. UiB’s share of the project budget, pending ESF approval, is 298.625 Euros.

More information, including a website for the project, details of planned public events, and calls for projects and positions associated with ELMCIP, will be forthcoming soon.

PhD Stipend Opportunity at the University of Bergen, Digital Culture

The University of Bergen department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies will have two PhD stipends available in 2010. The stipends are awarded competitively to two of the top candidates who apply. Candidates must have completed an MA degree, have an excellent educational and research record, and have a well-developed project description. Digital Culture is one of the groups within LLE. We have a strong possibility of securing a stipend in this round should an exceptional candidate apply. Applications are accepted internationally. The pay for a PhD candidate in Norway is very good. It is treated as a research job, and pay and benefits are commensurable with many assistant professor positions in the US. I strongly encourage researchers who have completed their MAs with a strong research record in digital culture, particularly electronic literature, to apply. The application deadline is Jan 31, 2010, for three year PhD candidacies to begin in September 2010.

Implementation Photo Book Project Call for Participation

scarNick Montfort and I are working with a designer to develop a coffee-table photo book version of Implementation, the sticker novel we published in 2004-2005. Originally, most of the photos submitted were of a resolution only suitable for the Web. We are currently looking for readers to help re-implement Implementation and to send in higher resolution photos of stickers in situ. To participate:

1) Email at implementationphotos at gmail dot com with your postal mailing address, and we will send you an installment of stickers from the novel.

2) Choose interesting places to put the stickers up in public environments and stick them there.

3) Photograph the sticker, attempting to get photos of the sticker both at a close/legible view and from some distance, showing the placement of the sticker in its environment.

3) Standard or high photo resolution on most contemporary digital cameras will work for this — we are trying to get photos that would be of suitable resolution for a book project.

4) Send the photographs to implementationphotos at gmail dot com — in the subject of the email include the location (City, State/Region, Country – you can be more specific if you like) where the photograph was taken and the installment number, which will be indicated on the back of the sticker sheets. Please also indicate if you would like the photo to be attributed to you, or if you would prefer to remain anonymous.

For the purposes of the book project, photos received over the course of the next month (returned before 15 January 2010) will be most useful. By submitting the photos, you agree to grant us the rights to use the photos for the book project and online versions of the project.

Gmail takes up to 25MB attachments per email message.

If you enjoy the experience and would like to put up more stickers, let us know and we will send you another installment.

Happy implementing! stickers

The Network as a Space and Medium for Collaborative Interdisciplinary Art Practice

I’m organizing a small conference, The Network as a Space and Medium for Collaborative Interdisciplinary Art Practice in Bergen, which will take place from November 8-10 at UiB and at Landmark Café. The gathering is focused on the increasing use of the network as a space and medium for collaborative interdisciplinary art practices including electronic literature and other network-based art forms. Researchers will present papers exploring new network-based creative practices that involve the cooperation of small to large-scale groups of writers, artists, performers, and programmers to create online projects that defy simple generic definitions and disciplinary boundaries. Panel topics (abstracts) include:

  • Social Networks and Networked Cultural Practices
  • The Evolving Cultural Landscape of Electronic Literature
  • Remix Culture, Machinima, and Mash-ups
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Producing Interactive Audiovisual Art Forms
  • Collective Narratives Online, and
  • Approaches to “Close Reading” and “Close Writing” Digital Artifacts

The seminar will be organized by the LLE Digital Culture group, which has invited contributions from about 20 international researchers and artists. In addition to the scholarly seminar Nov. 9th and 10th at the University of Bergen, two evening programs will take place Nov. 8th and 9th at Landmark Café at Bergen Kunsthall, to showcase innovative work (performance descriptions) and will be open to the public. Anyone interested in attending can register on the conference site. We will also be filming the performances, and intend to make some version of those recordings publicly available after the event. As with the Electronic Literature in Europe conference we held here at UiB last year, which helped to strengthen a European electronic literature network, it is my hope that this conference will serve to help build new relationships and strengthen connections between artists, writers, and researchers working in different aspects of collaborative interdisciplinary network-based art, and to suggest some directions for future creative activities and research. It should also be a good deal of fun. I’m looking forward to it.

Two interesting locative gaming experiences

I’m at a seminar in Oslo focused on mixed reality narrative. A couple of interesting projects: Julianne Pierce from the UK artist group Blast Theory presented Ulrike and Eamon Compliant, in which the interactor is put in the role of one of two IRA terrorists, about to undergo interrogration, and Rider Spoke, an interactive performance piece for cyclists. Petr Svorovsky from the Oslo National Academy of the Art also presented Flirtman, a mobile phone game in which players control a human avatar. Petr had some interesting observations about how people related to social codes differently when controlling the actions of another human being than they did when controlling a virtual avatar.

Nordic Digital Culture Network Launched

Nordic Digital Culture Netwrok I’m pleased to announce the launch of the Nordic Digital Culture Network, a Nordplus Higher Education network which we have been working to develop for the past year. Linking together digital culture programs from the Nordic and Baltic region, the Digital Culture Network facilitates curriculum development, student and faculty exchanges, and innovative teaching ideas and best practices. Students studying in the programs in the network will benefit from increased student and teacher mobility and enhanced opportunities for study. All the programs in the network — the University of Bergen in Norway, Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden, IT University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland — are leaders in the field of digital culture in their respective countries. Network participants will facilitate student and faculty exchange ranging from express visits to semester or yearlong exchanges, joint programs and master’s degrees. We are launching network activities this activities this fall and spring with faculty exchanges between the institutions, and will add programs, such as student exchanges and a summer school for digital culture, in coming years. I also encourage students from other countries in Europe, North America, and elsewhere to explore the exchange and M.A. program opportunities detailed on the site. For instance, both Bergen and Jyväskylä welcome applications to our M.A. programs in digital culture from well qualified international students. While international students are responsible for their own living expenses, they are not required to pay tuition.

Cybraphon

Cybraphon is a project from Edinburgh-based artist collective FOUND (Ziggy Campbell, Simon Kirby and Tommy Perman). Inspired by early 19th century mechanical bands such as the nickelodeon, Cybraphon is an interactive version of a mechanical band in a box. Consisting of a series of robotic instruments housed in a large display case, Cybraphon behaves like a real band. Image conscious and emotional, the band’s performance is affected by online community opinion as it searches the web for reviews and comments about itself 24 hours a day.

Cybraphon Demo Song from Cybraphon on Vimeo.

Binary Katwalk’s “Line of Influence” with Kate Pullinger

The new edition of Binary Katwalk features the interactive narrative work of Kate Pullinger and works by Caitlin Fisher, Reneé Turner and Christine Wilks.

Binary Katwalk is an online exhibition space for experimental digital work, edited by Jeremy Hight. Each edition will feature artists from around the world and from different points in the spectrum of new media. This edition features five new mini-stories created for Pullinger’s Flight Paths project which is a mixed media communal net based narrative on a large scale, along with three artists she has selected. The next edition of BK will feature codework auteur Mez.

Two turntables and a microphone and a mac and a website

Just a quick post here to say I think Beck gets the Web in ways that a lot of contemporary recording artists don’t. While a lot of bands give you discographies and tour dates and bios and the like, maybe a few sample tracks, I’m impressed with the Web strategy Beck is embracing on his site. As far as I can tell, he is not directly promoting his albums, his tour dates, or his merchandising on is site at all. Instead, he is using the Web site as an occasion to make and distribute cool stuff with his friends. His new site has features including Record Club, a project to informally re-record a classic album in a day with other musicians, and release a new track on the site every week. Irrelevant Topics will feature Beck informally interviewing other musicians at length about whatever comes to mind, released in serial installments. The first part of the first interview, with Tom Waits, is a fantastic discussion with one of America’s best songwriters. Planned Obsolescence is a weekly DJ set mixed by Beck’s crew. In an age when anybody can put on a pirate hat and download any album without paying a dime, this type of creative approach to using the web as a experimental platform for music and its environments is exactly the type of thing that might make me want to support an artist by buying his CD or MP3 or concert ticket or T-shirt. Beck’s crew is using Web 2.0ish tools and social media like facebook and vimeo to reach their fan base and share their funky new readymades.

Record Club: Velvet Underground & Nico “Venus In Furs” from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Drunken Boat #10 and “Electronic Literature in Performance”

The mammoth 10th anniversary issue of the online journal Drunken Boat is now out. I have a piece “Electronic Literature (in Performance)” in the DB Electronic Arts and Literature folio about the work presented at last year’s Electronic Literature in Europe conference, describing many of the works and including video documentation of many of the performances. Jessica Pressman also has an excellent essay, “Charting the Shifting Seas of Electronic Literature’s Past and Present” close reading e-lit from the Drunken Boat archives and discerning emerging genres, and there is a new hypertext poem, “That Night” by Steve Ersinghaus and James Revillini, among other delights. The other folios in the 10th anniversary issue of Drunken Boat include the Mistranslation project, with contributions from a number of digital poets, a huge collection of materials from Black Mountain College, 100 new poems, conceptual fiction, visual poetics, nonfiction, and a folio on arts in Asia. It is less a journal issue than an entire library of interesting literary production. I look forward to exploring it in more depth.