Situating Change: Combinatory Writing, Interdisciplinary Collaboration,
Technology, and Political Reality
Monday, December 8th 2014
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
This hybrid conference will situate interdisciplinary arts collaborations produced by Scott Rettberg, Roderick Coover, and Nick Montfort, within contexts of combinatory writing practices and avant-garde literary history, the electronic literature movement during a period of transition to digital textuality, and the conditions of living during a period of global environmental change within an increasingly oppressive and ubiquitous network-based security apparatus in Western societies since September 11, 2001.
Scott Rettberg will present, read from, screen and situate works including:
Implementation (2004), the sticker novel Rettberg co-authored with Nick Montfort, a constrained and distributed narrative of the tertiary effects of the war on terror, which was published and photographed on public surfaces around the world.
Katastrofetrilogien (2010-2012), a series of three bilingual (English and Norwegian) films Rettberg produced with Roderick Coover that re-situate historical disasters (volcanic eruptions, the plague, and a tsunami) in present contexts in order to consider the nature of our contemporary relationship to catastrophe and cycles of forgetting.
Three Rails Live (2012), a web-based combinatory film developed by Rettberg, Coover, and Montfort, which produces new juxtapositions of image and text on each run, delivering narrative fragments from a story of personal and environmental dissolution sandwiched betweeen “perverbs” that deliver a “moral” to each story.
Toxi•City (2013-14), a feature-length combinatory climate change film by Coover and Rettberg that layers segments of a speculative narrative of life in the toxic environment of the Delaware River Estuary after a series of hurricanes have devastated the landscape with the actual stories of area residents who perished during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project (2014), a project developed by Rettberg, Coover, Daria Tsoupikova, and Arthur Nishimoto for the CAVE2™ immersive virtual reality environment. Based on interviews of American soldiers who witnessed or participated in the torture of detainees in Iraq during early 2000s, Hearts and Minds is a multimedia performance that presents us with difficult personal testimonies and the consequences of policies that have left a generation of soldiers scarred with PTSD and the memory of choices they would rather forget.
In presenting these projects, Rettberg will contemplate the "ends" of electronic literature, both in terms of the narrative and aesthetic impact of collaborative, computational, multimedial, and combinatorial techniques, and the purposes that electronic literature and related arts practices can serve in reflecting and contesting aspects of contemporary networked society and political reality.