RCA seminar in the hybrid realm

This week, as well as continuing to be a participant in Tino Sehgal's These Associations at Tate Modern I've been working to build the community of readers around the regenerated International Times where this image comes from, from a Situationist poster in 1968. 

I was also the guest speaker at a seminar at the Royal College of Art's MA Critical Writing in Art and Design on Media Platforms: Writing re-imagined in the age of hybrid media, convened by Monika Parrinder. The session was very stimulating and included the students writing collaborative on google docs about their nearly incidents for the www.nearlyology.com website. I'll post their contributions there next week. Here's the course description and a useful booklist too. 

"A big issue for writers today is that media and audiences are constantly changing. The promiscuous developments of new technologies – say Apps – and the constant emergence of web platforms – including blogs, Google Docs and many many more  – open up alternative and exciting ‘spaces’ for writing to inhabit. In these spaces, writers can become publishers, unexpected writing collaborations and communities can emerge and a more demotic relationship between writers and readers is possible. All the while, reading habits themselves are changing …although not, of course, totally: for the book thrives. It’s in this hybrid realm – in the feedback loops between page and screen, ink and 0s and 1s, writers and readers – that writing now operates. For some, this expanded space is post-digital… But labels aside, this series of workshops will explore the processes and relationships, both practical and philosophical, which emerge as pertinent. The kinds of questions we will ask are these:

- How can we inhabit new writing spaces?
- How can we develop writing as a set of encounters between people, media and contexts?
- What roles can writing – as critical practice – play in this culture?
Rather than simply jump on the bandwagon of new developments, how can writing weave things back into a framework for thinking?

Indicative browsing/reading:
• Visual Editions – new writing and book innovations/collaborations
• www.electronicbookreview.com/ - a peer-reviewed journal of critical writing produced and published by the emerging electronic literary network
• www.media-ecology.org – promotes the study, research, criticism, and application of media ecology
• ‘Wired’ magazine http://www.wired.co.uk/
• ‘New Media and Society’ – a research journal in communication, media and cultural studies
• ‘Theory, Culture & Society’ – a research journal in the social and cultural sciences
• Anthony Bryant and Griselda Pollock (eds). ‘Digital and Other Virtualities: Renegotiating the image’ (New York: IB Tauris, 2010)
• N. Katherine Hayles, ‘Writing Machines’ (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002)
• Arthur and Marilouise Kroker (eds), ‘Critical Digital Studies’ Book/Website (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010) http://criticaldigitalstudies.net/
• Lawrence Lessig, ‘Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy’ (New York: Penguin Press, 2008) Read online here: http://www.archive.org/stream/LawrenceLessigRemix/Remix-o#page/n349/mode/2up
• Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, ‘Linked: The new science of networks’ (Cambridge MA: Perseus, 2002)
• Friedrich Kittler, ‘The history of communication media’ http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=45
• Vilhem Flüsser, ‘The future of writing’ and ‘Images in the new media’ in ‘Writings’ (Minnesota: Minnesota University Press, 2002) and http://www.flusser-archive.org
• A Concise Lexicon Of/For the Digital Commons http://www.raqsmediacollective.net/texts4.html

The introductory session… aims to situate new writing practices in a ‘feedback culture’. This is a broad cultural condition where media are hybridised and distributed, and production and consumption occupy the same space; and people’s clicks and comments are looped into the process. What are the implications for word and image, writer and reader? In high-tech, high-speed, high-res world, how can words compete with the image? Should they even try? Perhaps writing has a renewed importance, as refuge …reflection …as what?

We will map some of the emerging roles and modes of writing in this realm. On a practical level, we will be asking what possibilities and challenges all this provides for writers, writing and reading. On a philosophical, we will be thinking about what implications they have for future-possible writing.

Indicative reading
• Colin Davies and Monika Parrinder, ‘Re-writing Design: Responding to a feedback culture’ (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2010)
www.limitedlanguage.org – a platform for generating research/writing about visual culture
…and it’s affiliated Limited Language Daily http://paper.li/limitedlanguage
• Matthew Fuller, ‘Media Ecologies: Materialist energies in art and technoculture’, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) Download: http://findebookee.com/m/media-ecology
• Malcolm McCullough, ‘Digital Ground: Architecture, pervasive computing and environmental knowing’ (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005)
• Caroline Bassett, ‘The Arc and the Machine: Narrative and new media’ (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007)
• Lawrence Lessig, ‘Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy’, (New York: Penguin Press, 2008)
• Mikhael Bhakhtin, ‘The Dialogical Imagination: Four essays’ (Austin: University of. Texas Press, 1981)
• Jenny Sundén, ‘Material Virtualities: Approaching online textual embodiment’ (New York Peter Lang, 2003)
• Naomi S. Baron, ‘Always On: Language in an online and mobile world’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)


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