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

2 November 2009 in Flight Paths The Mistress of Nothing

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This is where I’ll be next week, #network09, in Bergen, Norway.  Really looking forward to it.  After a week of total immersion in the world of books of the non-digital sort, it will be good to head off to Norway to touch base with other digital writers, artists, and academics.  Not that there’s anything wrong with the world of books, just that the two events (this one and IFOA last week) will provide a healthy contrast to one another.

Not that IFOA was totally non-digital of course.  There was plenty of twittering and blogging going on during the week. And we even had the obligatory-new-media-event-tech-meltdown one evening. I got off the plane from London Monday afternoon and had to go pretty much straight onto the stage for the Governor General Literary Awards Readings (did I mention I’m on the shortlist?).  Two of the shortlisted writers, Annabel Lyon and Michael Crummey, were in Ottawa, so they were appearing on stage via a Skype webcamera call.  Not only did this mean that they were represented by huge distorted videos of their heads (you know how your face gets distorted when you lean up too close to the camera?), but their voices kept cutting out and breaking up.  It was so bad that the audience become unruly, heckling and shouting about the ticket price!  Unheard of for a book audience, let alone a Canadian book audience! However, we redeemed ourselves in the second half with some actual real-person-on-the-stage readings. Also, the chair of the event, Lewis De Soto remained calm, and during the interval helped calm us all down when he said it was ‘an easy act to follow’.  Still, how thrilling to witness a new-media-style-tech-meltdown at a venerable literary event!!!

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