jp In harbours the fig trees drop roots, soil as foundation as wondrous waves or wires
mcr Over the spine is a highway, over the path is the stem, under the snow is climbing hope
jn Alinta is my home, and my heart is tied to her solar lines

ICIDS Exhibition 2020 ===>>> TEXTS OF DISCOMFORT ===>>> Schedule <<<===


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TEXTS
OF DISCOMFORTS


Statement from the Curators

The 2020 ICIDS Art Exhibition “Texts of Discomfort”
Welcome to a very special ICIDS Art Exhibition. For the first time the exhibition is entirely online, and we all know the reason why! But, we are delighted to say that the exhibiting artists have all shown how powerful digital interactive storytelling can be, by making their works available to a fully online audience, even where the original submission was not intended for this virtual platform. We have been amazed at the range of stories told and the diversity of approaches.

The exhibition call asked for works which explored Texts of Discomfort, texts which address uncomfortable stories or which present their stories in discomforting ways. But discomfort is, as Barthes said, what gives rise to the text of bliss:

the text that imposes a state of loss, the text that discomforts… unsettles the reader’s historical, cultural, psychological assumptions. (Barthes 1973)

In one of the most discomforting years of recent history, we wondered therefore, where has this diverse art of digital, interactive storytelling reached in terms of its ability to give narrative pleasure, whilst at the same time unsettling us to re-think our preconceptions of narrative and narrative’s subjects? We think the works presented here demonstrate the richness of digital art and its power to move and stimulate.

We also look forward to meeting you in the live discussions, at which the artists will also be present, to discuss how these brilliant artworks have made you feel. Were you happily settled, or did the pieces exhibited here cause you to pause and re-assemble your assumptions? We are sure you will find much to enjoy and reflect upon in this year’s selection.

Please make sure you ‘sign up’ for the live performance pieces!

Enter the exhibition, and explore the many versions of discomfort presented within...


Jury:

Alejandro Angel

- Filmmaker and Director at #NarrarElFuturo: Creative Commons & New Media Bogotá Film Festival (Colombia) Audiovisual producer and documentary filmmaker, he is currently Executive Producer of Armadillo: New Media & Films, Director of #NarrarElFuturo: CC & New Media Bogotá Film Festival, from where he coordinates the experimental spaces #NewMediaLab and #HackathonVR360, General Tutor of the Project 360 Filmmakers lead by CDI and Facebook, and advisor of New & Interactive Media division of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia.

Agnes Bakk

- Researcher and Curator - Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest (Hungary) Ágnes is PhD-researcher (MOME), conference founder, producer and curator. She is the founder of the immersive storytelling conference Zip-Scene (zip-scene.com), that will take place for the third time in March 2021. She is the cofounder of Random Error Studio, a lab that supports various VR productions and is currently the curator of Vektor VR section in the frame of the Verzio Film festival. She is teaching escape room design, immersive VR- storytelling and speculative design at MOME.

Mara Dionisio

- Professor - Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (Portugal) Mara is finalizing her PhD in Digital Media under the UT Austin-Portugal International Program. She studied informatics engineering in University of Madeira. She enrolled a Master of Entertainment Technology a joint program between Carnegie Mellon University and University of Madeira. Currently, she works on entertainment technologies at the Interactive Technologies Institute where she explores how to leverage on transmedia entertainment to raise tourist awareness towards local cultural and natural heritage.

Simon Duflo

- Non-fiction Interactive Filmmaker and Trainer (France) Simon is a non-fiction filmmaker and a trainer in cinematic VR and interactive documentary. He's a specialist of Wonda VR and Klynt softwares. He works in France and worldwide, running creative workshops and as a speaker in conferences and festivals. He was tutor for interactive documentaries Pregoneros de Medellín and Target: Bacrim by British journalist Mathew Charles. He ran creative hackathons of cinematic VR in Bogota, Taiwan, Lisbon.

Vaiva Grainytė

- Writer, Playwright, and Poet (Lithuania) Vaiva Grainytė is a writer, playwright, and poet. Her creative practice tends to cross the confines of desk work and be manifested in interdisciplinary practices: radio plays, site/dance performances, and musicals. Her latest work, the opera performance Sun & Sea (Marina) (2019), was chosen to represent Lithuania at the 58th Contemporary Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, where it was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. The author and her colleagues received Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts (2019).

Chris Hales

- Interactive Filmmaker and Professor - RISEBA University in Riga (Latvia) Chris has exhibited a variety of interactive film installations. His enquiry is the use of novel interface technology including facial emotion recognition and brain-computer interfaces. Plenty of academic articles have been published, and empirical research was carried out to discover the secrets of the world’s first interactive film Kinoautomat (1967). He is visiting lecturer in numerous universities and academies. In 2013 he was instrumental in developing a new practice-led doctorate at Liepaja University (Latvia) and in 2020 was appointed Assistant Professor at RISEBA University in Riga.

Pia Tikka

- Interactive Filmmaker and Professor - Tallin University (Estonia) Dr. Pia Tikka, is filmmaker and EU Mobilitas Research Professor at the MEDIT Centre of Excellence, Tallinn University. She holds the honorary title of Adjunct Professor of New Narrative Media at the University of Lapland. She is the founder and principal investigator of NeuroCine research group, and a core member of the directory group of naturalistic neuroscience research project aivoAALTO at the Aalto University (2010-2014). She is a voting member of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image and European Film Academy.

Stella Wisdom

- Digital Curator - British Library (UK) Founder member of the British Library’s Digital Research team, which instigated the innovative British Library Digital Scholarship training programme, also BL Labs (www.labs.bl.uk), which works with the research community to promote innovative use of British Library digital content and collections. Her role as Digital Curator is to explore and promote new methods of research using both born digital content and digitised collections.

Creative Chairs:

Dr Maria Cecilia Reyes

- Researcher, Film Editor and Screenwriter - CNR (Italy) Colombian researcher and screenwriter based in Italy and working as a researcher at the Institute of Educational Technologies at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ITD). She holds a double PhD degree in Digital Humanities from the University of Genoa (Italy) and in Communication Sciences from Universidad del Norte (Colombia). Her research focuses on interactive digital narratives and immersive technologies. Screenwriter and editor for cinema, and creator of interactive VR projects.

Dr James Pope

- Principal Academic - Bournemouth University (UK) His interests are: how digital media are changing narrative forms, and reading and writing practices; the teaching of creative writing in digital media environments; children's literature. As well as several publications around his research into readers’ reactions to digital fiction, James has also published six novels for children and teenagers. He is the director and co-founder of the annual international New Media Writing Prize. James created the Genarrator software, a dedicated, accessible package for writing and publishing digital interactive stories.

Web bits/exhibition site built by Jason Nelson ==>> Ephemerlab.com



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Serge Bouchardon
Loss of Grasp


link = lossofgrasp.com

DESCRIPTION:

Loss of Grasp is an interactive narrative about the notions of grasp and control. Under which circumstances do we feel we have grasp on our life or not? Six scenes feature a character who is losing grasp. At the same time, this play on grasp and loss of grasp mirrors the reader's experience of an interactive digital narrative. In the Plaisir du texte, Roland Barthes makes a distinction between the text of pleasure (texte de plaisir) and the text of bliss (texte de jouissance). The text of bliss is presented as follows: the text that imposes a state of loss, the text that discomforts [perhaps to the point of a certain boredom], unsettles the reader's historical, cultural, psychological assumptions...

The interactive narrative Loss of Grasp is a text of discomfort that makes us reflect on the feeling of loss of grasp that we can sometimes experience in our life.



BIOGRAPHY:

Serge Bouchardon is Professor at the University of Technology of Compiegne (France), where he teaches interactive writing. His research focuses on digital creation, in particular digital literature. As an author, he is interested in the way the gestures specific to the Digital contribute to the construction of meaning.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

A high quality interactive work that makes us reflect on the connection between control and lack of control… Playful and disturbing.


Download: Google Play
Download:App Store

==>> Artist's Website <<==

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Elizabeth LaPensee
When Rivers Were Trails


link=WhenRiversWereTrails

DESCRIPTION:

When Rivers Were Trails is a 2D point-and-click adventure game that reveals the impact of colonization on indigenous communities in the 1890’s.

In When Rivers Were Trails, you play as an Anishinaabe person who has been run off by gun shot from their home territory during the use of land allotment as a colonial strategy to displace Indigenous people in North America in the 1890's. You begin a long journey west to find your place, coming across people from many Indigenous nations who are each experiencing their own struggles and overcoming them in their own ways. You are challenged to balance your wellbeing and survive while also being called on to contribute to resistances and share foods and medicines.




BIOGRAPHY:

Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. is an award-winning designer, writer, artist, and researcher who creates and studies Indigenous-led media such as games and comics. She is an Assistant Professor of Media and Information and Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures at Michigan State University.

Game development involved over thirty Indigenous contributors with creative directing by Nichlas Emmons, creative directing and design by Elizabeth LaPensée, art by Weshoyot Alvitre, and music by Supaman and Michael Charette. Indigenous writers include Weshoyot Alvitre, Li Boyd, Trevino Brings Plenty, Tyrone Cawston, Richard Crowsong, Eve Cuevas, Samuel Jaxin Enemy-Hunter, Lee Francis IV, Carl Gawboy, Elaine Gomez, Ronnie Dean Harris, Tashia Hart, Renee Holt, Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, Adrian Jawort, Kris Knigge, E. M. Knowles, Elizabeth LaPensée, Annette S. Lee, David Gene Lewis, Korii Northrup, Nokomis Paiz, Carl Petersen, Manny Redbear, Travis McKay Roberts, Sheena Louise Roetman, Sara Siestreem, Joel Southall, Jo Tallchief, Allen Turner, and William Wilson, alongside guest writers Toiya K. Finley and Cat Wendt.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

Very illuminating point and click adventure narrative about the displacement of Indigenous people in North America in nineteenth century. It explores an uncomfortable part of North American history.


==>> Artist's Website <<==

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David Thomas Henry Wright
The Data Souls


link= TheDataSouls

DESCRIPTION:

Set in a distant future, The Data Souls imagines the discovery of seven rusted data storage devices that define our contemporary age. Their contents use various data sets to generate multiple text performances. This data is then used to 3D model and print correlating artefacts. Each flash fiction or ‘soul’ contains images and recordings of the 3D printed artefact. This work is discomforting to the reader in that, while the data is knowable, its causes and reverberations are not. It also suggests that the vast oceans of information that define our information age have done little to ensure humanity’s survival or stability.

For example, Soul #5, Mes/s/se©, tells the story of an interdisciplinary Cambodian scholar who escapes Pol Pot’s regime, and uses global temperature anomalies to grow an ‘exploding sun’-like space that consumes the text. This data is used to cut craters into a desolate Earth.




BIOGRAPHY:

David Thomas Henry Wright won the 2018 QLD Literary Awards’ Digital Literature Prize and 2019 Robert Coover Award (2nd prize). He has a PhD from Murdoch and a Masters from The University of Edinburgh. He is currently co-editor of The Digital Review and Associate Professor at Nagoya University.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

Sprawling, complex and surreal web-based work of pieces of flash-fiction whose texts are then reworked via a poetry generator. Each story is thought provoking and disturbing; together they create an atmosphere of discomfort.


==>> Artist's CV <<==

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Ofer Getz
Temporary


link= Temporary

DESCRIPTION:

Temporary is an interactive experience about Alzheimer's disease. A day in my grandmother's life. This disease is slowly erasing the personality of its victim. My intention is to show this harsh reality not by trying to simulate what is it like to be in this position, or how people with this disease might see the world. Instead I am focusing on letting the user of my work feel how it is to try and catch a fading moment.

This is an experimental system, dealing with linearity and free choice in an illustrated story. It attaches an image to a sound. Once a key is pressed, the next image and sound are played. In this way, the user "plays" the story. The work also has a grid mode, in which the user can play the story in a non-linear way. Pressing through my work could be a discomfort, but the music that is created in each button press should carry the user to the end.



BIOGRAPHY:

I have a Master's degree in visual communications from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. My main focus in my Master's program was interactive storytelling, trying to find alternative ways to address this subject matter.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

Great proposal. Smart, compelling, moving. The intention as well as the creation are good. Simple but good illustration and single sound per image: less is more.


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Andy Campbell + Judi Alston
Digital Fiction Curios


link= Digital Fiction Curios

DESCRIPTION:

Digital Fiction Curios re-purposes three of our Flash works originally made as far back as 1999. Flash is a technology that will be removed from all major web browsers at the end of 2020. Curios offers an immersive glimpse into Dreaming Methods' signature world of dream-inspired narratives, living texts and lost realities. Curios places you inside a mysterious and atmospheric ‘curiosity shop’ where all manner of digitally historic items and gadgets can be picked up and explored.

Dreaming Methods' works have always been described as being 'discomforting' compared to traditional texts and reading experiences – this unique archive explores how those works emerged, offers the original versions in VR, and also gives a glimpse of how they might look and feel if they'd been created using the immersive technologies of today.



BIOGRAPHY:

Andy Campbell is founder and lead writer/developer for Dreaming Methods and the Digital Director of One to One Development Trust. His work combines literature, gaming and immersive technologies spanning over 20 years and has won many international awards.

Judi Alston is a digital artist and writer for Dreaming Methods and the Creative Director/CEO of One to One Development Trust. Judi has a long track record as a documentary film director, producer, camera person and editor.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

This is a must in the ICIDS art-exhibit as it brings a unique opportunity to interact with narrative that could have been lost in time.


==>> Artist's Website <<==

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Mez Breeze
Perpetual Nomads


link= Perpetual Nomads

DESCRIPTION:

Perpetual Nomads is an Australian-Canadian Coproduction that’s part of the long-running Inanimate Alice digital story franchise. The main character Alice Field is a young woman who finds herself tackling crucial contemporary challenges such as navigating perpetually connected and dynamic (yet potentially alienating) digital spaces, negotiating geographically remote relationships, and handling escalating social tensions.

But underlying all of these everyday challenges lies a more sinister one concerning privacy, surveillance, and corporate corruption. Perpetual Nomads tackles the discomforts of ugly climate-emergency-denying corporations and their sinister attempts to greenwash their way around [or indeed directly out of] any responsibility associated with their role in perpetuating our current climate emergency. The main protagonist, Alice, attempts to comprehend shifting scales of social cohesion in a time of propaganda-laced corporate corruption while navigating 3D/Virtual Reality environments directly affected by social realities laced with uneasiness [a hint: please do make sure to play PN right through to the end, past the credits]. Perpetual Nomads is available as both a 360 video, and as a full interactive VR experience for the Vive or Rift.



BIOGRAPHY:

Mez Breeze creates experimental storytelling, digital literature, VR sculptures + paintings, XR experiences, games, and other genre-defying output. In the early 1990’s Mez first started using the Internet to create digital works and she hasn't slowed since.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

This piece offers a remarkable storytelling experience, not only on the entertainment side of experience but also on the educational side.


==>> Artist's Website <<==

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Mez Breeze
V[R]ignettes


link= V[R]ignettes

DESCRIPTION:

V[R]ignettes is a series comprised of Virtual Reality microstories. Each individual microstory, or vignette, is designed to encourage a kind of narrative smearing. This narrative smearing encourages a rethink of the norms governing traditional interactive storytelling techniques, where narrative building blocks are truncated and mutated into smears (kinetic actions and mechanics/collage-like layered building blocks/visual distortions/two-tiered text annotations) which requires a reader to make active – and sometimes uncomfortable – choices in order to navigate each microstory space. Each storybox contains a microstory displaying narrative smears to evoke a sense of disquiet in the audience. V[R]ignettes illustrates how XR projects can act as relevant social commentary at a time when it is sorely needed.

To load each microstory, a gallery patron will press the white arrow in the middle of each V[R]ignettes storybox. After clicking on the white arrow, to begin reading the text, they then click on the Select an annotation bar at the bottom of each storybox screen: from there, they choose how they experience all other narrative smearing possibilities. If they need help with navigation and controls, they can click the [?] located in the bottom right side of each storybox.



BIOGRAPHY:

Mez Breeze creates experimental storytelling, digital literature, VR sculptures + paintings, XR experiences, games, and other genre-defying output. In the early 1990’s Mez first started using the Internet to create digital works and she hasn't slowed since.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

Really intriguing and mesmerising piece of Virtual Reality poetics.


==>> Artist's Website <<==

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Abraham Falcon
Holy Fire


link= Holy Fire

DESCRIPTION:

Holy Fire represents the self-immolation protests by Tibetans in China: 148 people have died since 2009. The subject matter of the piece is inherently politically and emotionally uncomfortable.

Holy Fire allows users to struggle as a member of a marginalised group from a first-person perspective. The viewer will ‘play’ as a local monk; witness the injustice against their people; and fail repeatedly at attempting to help and make the situation better. In the end, the player is forced to make the life-defining choice as to whether or not they will commit ritual suicide in public protest.

The artist also desires that viewers, if they are physically able, sit uncomfortably cross-legged on the floor, in near-complete darkness, lit by but a few candles, for the duration of the viewing. This uncomfortable physical posture directly replicates the physical posture of the game characters.

The tiring and uncomfortable nature of the interaction with the piece is intentional.



BIOGRAPHY:

Abraham Falcon is a pseudonym of an undergraduate student. Their real identity cannot be associated with the piece because its contentious political nature may affect their future professional career.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

The player has little agency and cannot directly interact with the non-player characters, but in this case the form of the game is actually also self-explanatory: it expresses how one cannot do anything to save people in danger, and how there is no free will in these kinds of political systems.


==>> Artist's Twitter <<==

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Fast Familiar
(Dan Barnard, Rachel Briscoe,
and Joe McAlister)
The Evidence Chamber


link= Fast Familiar

DESCRIPTION:

Participants have to work with a group of strangers to reach a collective decision.

In the live version, 12 participants assemble in a room. Each participant has an iPad, on which they watch videos of witness testimonies, examine documents, receive prompts to vote on whether they currently think the accused is guilty or not guilty. Participants must choose between the discomfort of speaking out against the majority or the guilt of remaining silent and watching what you perceive as an injustice unfurl.

After the jury have agreed their final verdict, there is a debrief designed by neuroscientist Kris de Meyer. One of the key concepts explored in the debrief is the sense of discomfort we feel when we are behaving in a way that is inconsistent with our past actions.

The online experience is the same as in the live performance except that instead of a co-located audience, participants join a bespoke web-based platform which allows them to interact via a video chat.



BIOGRAPHY:

Fast Familiar’s piece The Justice Syndicate has received 4 star reviews from The Stage and the Irish Times. Smoking Gun was one of The Financial Times’ “Top Ten Dramas to Enjoy at Home” and one of The Guardian’s “hottest front-room seats”.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

Very interesting concept! It's unlike anything that I have seen in ICIDS art-exhibits and it would provide a really cool experience!


==>> Dan Barnard Twitter <<==

==>> Fast Familiar Twitter <<==

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Through the Eyes
of Women in Engineering


Created By:
Hui-Yin Wu,
Johanna Delachambre
Marco Winckler,
Lucile Sassatelli


link==>> Artwork


DESCRIPTION:

Through the Eyes of Women in Engineering immerses users, with VR, in three scenes from the lives of women in engineering, to experience first-hand the implicit behavioral biases — gaze, gesture, speech — that women frequently face in a field that is predominantly male, and to reflect on how to adopt more accommodating interactions.

After the experience, the user will have the opportunity to view a replay of their experience that is reconstructed from captured head pose and motion data, through a third person perspective, either as a person accompanying the user’s female avatar, or from the collective viewpoints of the other NPCs. This replay can be viewed either with the headset, or exported as a video.



BIOGRAPHY:

Hui-Yin Wu is a postdoc at Université Côte d’Azur. Her research interests are primarily in interactive and multimedia storytelling.

Johanna Delachambre is a Masters student in computer sciences and management at the Université Côte d'Azur.

Marco Winckler leads the Human Computer Interactions group at the I3S laboratory at the Université Côte d’Azur.

Lucile Sassatelli is an associate professor at Université Côte d’Azur. Her research focuses on interdisciplinary approaches combining network streaming strategies with storytelling.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

The concept is brilliant… its theme, its purpose, and it is well related to the notion of discomfort.


==>> Lucile Sassatelli <<==

==>> Johanna Delachambre <<==

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MENU NEW GAME PLUS
Steven Sych


link= MENU NEW GAME PLUS

DESCRIPTION:

Main menus are the first thing we see when they start a video game. We often ignore them entirely. But through a main menu, it’s possible to envision an entire game: from its atmosphere and graphics

MNG+ explores this marginal, ignorable corner of games by presenting a series of main menus for games that do not exist. Each menu invites the audience to imagine a specific game with its own history of development, gameworld, set of mechanics, graphical style, and so on.

Players are invited to imagine a series of games and gameworlds through main menus. I’m well aware, however, that most players will simply skip past the main menu of a game. It’s a knee jerk impulse. This is why the initial experience of players in MNG+ is designed to be one of slight confusion and discomfort.

The hope here is that interacting with these fictitious objects will allow players to view the medium and its future anew.



BIOGRAPHY:

Steven Sych received his PhD. in Philosophy at McGill University in 2016. Currently, he is an instructor at John Abbott college - his research interests focus on speculative design and self-reflexivity in games, with more recent work exploring notions of softness in relation to the digital.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

An original and thought-provoking artwork. The participant will deliberately volunteer for experiencing the discomfort of not being able to play the game that one mentally constructs in the process of menu selection.


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Bairro 112


Created By:
António Ramos,
João Freitas
Louis Michael,
Roberto Rodrigues


link= Bairro 112


DESCRIPTION:

In a time of pandemic and quarantines, where isolation has become a bigger issue, the goal of this experience is to encourage the audience to pay attention to look beyond, to look to the “next-door neighbour”, to ones who might be struggling with problems and issues that we rather choose to ignore, and instead act and give them a hand before it is too late.
Bairro 112 offers a virtual narrative experience to the audience, one in which they become a silent character in an episode of mental issues and suicide awareness. As the experience unfolds, the audience is able to understand what were early signs of mental distress and hopefully makes one more aware of future situations.
Using the point of view of the next-door neighbour, Bairro 112 allows the audience to engage in a story that can be our own, of a family that isn’t perfect in so many ways. Most of all, it makes one open its eyes to see what is hidden behind a curtain of appearances and what causes discomfort in so many of us: loss.



BIOGRAPHY:

António Ramos graduated in Design through the University of Madeira. As a professional, Antonio describes himself as a creative person with great communication skills with a continuous desire to learn.

Louis Michael graduated at the University of Madeira. Currently, he works at M-ITI as a researcher on a project where the job is to create 3D content and some products.

João Freitas is a Portuguese student currently attending Master’s degree in Interactive Media Design at the University of Madeira. João always thrives to expand his knowledge in the game development area.

Roberto Rodrigues has been a Designer since 1999, developing several works for web and communication companies. He's currently attending the Master's degree Interactive Digital Media at University of Madeira.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

This piece succeeds in placing the viewer in uncomfortable immersive situations that communicate well the underlying issues of mental health.



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Fantasy Spoils: After the Quest
Mark C. Marino
Rob Wittig


link= Fantasy Spoils: After the Quest

DESCRIPTION:

Having just completed the epic saga, Ultimate Final Victory!, you have now returned home to deal with the aftermath. Gone are the orcs, hobgoblins, and dragons. In their place, you must contend with your wounds, property damages, and ensuing lawsuits. How will you deal with life here in Muddled Earth after the glorious quest? Can you face your most daunting enemy: your own irritation? Because at the end of every epic quest, you will find fantasy spoils!
By seeking not the glorious moments of epic battle but the inglorious aftermath, Fantasy Spoils is a Text of Discomfort that helps players explore the unpleasant work of recovery, the daily struggle to regain strength, and the demons that prevent that recovery. The monsters of Fantasy Spoils are not fierce, fire-breathing dragons, but vampires that suck motivation or mists that spread indecision.



BIOGRAPHY:

Mark
C. The lion reaches a creased heart in granite pathways
Marino (http://markcmarino.com), author of Critical Code Studies, is a writer and scholar of electronic literature – he is a professor of writing at the University of Southern California.

Rob Wi
t You find a scroll. The scroll bears this text: Your finding of this scroll is an unscripted error. It can not have happened. That you are reading this that you are reading this that you are reading this.

Means. Means if/then -you have won the game once and for all; no further play on the part of any player is possible- and/or means if/then -we owe you $4.95 US payable in chips redeemable at the casino cashier’s window-
tig plays at the crossroads of literature, graphic design and digital culture. He co-founded the legendary IN.S.OMNIA electronic bulletin board with the literary and art group Invisible Seattle.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

The concept is intriguing, calling for the participant's attention to the painful after-math of every battle, be that mental or physical, taking place in the game or in one's everyday life.


==>> DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS TO PLAY <<==

==>> Artist's Website <<==


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The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp
Wendy Bevan-Mogg
Carina Westling
Annja Neumann


==> Blog about work.

DESCRIPTION:

This piece was commissioned by Cambridge Digital Humanities as part of the CDH Open series, responding to Rembrandt’s painting. Together with a cast of three, the authors explore how liveness translates to virtual theatre. They create discomfort by challenging the dependability of the frames of the Zoom window and the computer screen to contain precarity and establish order.

Four audience members attend Dr Tulp’s anatomy lesson as ‘medical students’. Dr Tulp presides over the autopsy of a deceased person that ‘shapeshifts’ during the play, from George Floyd, to a Grenfell victim, a COVID-19 victim, and finally, a more uncertainly contained deceased. During the short play, the audience members will find themselves drawn into narrowing, intimate complicity where their role, too, shapeshifts.

Immediately following the screening/performance, we will run a QandA panel discussion to elicit audience reactions and critical responses to the work.



BIOGRAPHY:

Annja Neumann is a researcher and spatial practitioner with a background in Cultural Anthropology and Digital Humanities. She has a particular interest in site-specific theatre and embodied practices.

Wendy Bevan-Mogg is a writer, lecturer and filmmaker at Bournemouth University. She has produced/line produced feature films; current projects include Tragic End, Pulsars and the graphic novel Voyagers.

Carina Westling researches cross-platform media, with particular focus on the infrastructures of interaction in multimedia environments, and design for immersive AR/VR and blended applications.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

Participating in the real-time theatrical performance via the online video conference platform generates a unique experience of intimacy and immersion.


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Corporate Poetry
Alex Saum


link= Corporate Poetry

DESCRIPTION:

Corporate Poetry is an exploration into how corporate language relates to that other corpora that is our body. Through a series interactive “rooms,” this work repurposes the language of a variety of online forms and platforms (Google Forms, Survey Monkey, Zoom and Qualtrics, among others) in order to domesticate the neoliberal intent of these data gathering technologies. By bringing attention to language and our embodied reality, these works of poetry make visible the digital infrastructure that is unintentionally brought into our homes whenever we participate in an online survey or take a video conferencing call. In a time where measures to contain the global pandemic are forcing citizens to shelter in their homes, these works illuminate a new dimension of our everyday confinement.

Although it may sound counterintuitive, the destruction of natural resources and human life is directly related to the evolution of digital technologies that project a perverse sense of immaterial existence. By rethinking the materiality of digital languages these two poetry rooms aim to further disjoint that relation.



BIOGRAPHY:

Alex Sau
m matter becomes, it never is.
-Pascua
l matter is not, it always becomes.
is Associate Professor of Spanish and New Media at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches Contemporary Spanish Literature and and Electronic Literature.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

Thought provoking and novel use of online forms; the sterile, banal and functional platform interfaces, jars with the two narratives’ questions - on subject matters of motherhood, war and death.


==>> Artist's Website <<==


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Most Powerful Words
David Thomas Henry Wright


link= Most Powerful Words

DESCRIPTION:

This is a digital literary work comprised of 54 computer-generated poems.
This collection allows contemporary readers to lightly, quickly, precisely, visibly, and consistently traverse the infinite use and misuse of past and present language.
The work uses controversial and at times discomforting texts from contemporary and early Australian and Queensland history to generate poetry. PM DMs uses the vocabulary of speeches delivered by the first nine Australian Prime Ministers. Most Powerful Words uses speeches delivered by the nine most powerful people in the world today. Money Speaks uses letters, notes, diary entries, poems, speeches and books written by the nine individuals that appear on Australian currency. Indigenous Silence uses historical policies, speeches, rulings, log-books, and Wikipedia entries that are about/have impacted Indigenous Australians. No words written by Indigenous Australians are used in this section. Concessions uses concession speeches or regretful musings of the past nine Queensland Premiers. Finally, New Beginnings uses the first pages of nine notable Queensland novels and works of non-fiction.



BIOGRAPHY:

David Thomas Henry Wright won the 2018 QLD Literary Awards’ Digital Literature Prize and 2019 Robert Coover Award (2nd prize). He has a PhD from Murdoch and a Masters from The University of Edinburgh. He is currently co-editor of The Digital Review and Associate Professor at Nagoya University.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

Thought provoking computer generated poetry experience about power dynamics, use and misuse of language, and propaganda.


==>> Artist's Website <<==


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The False Unlimited
Jason Nelson


link= The False Unlimited

DESCRIPTION:

The False Unlimited is an interactive digital poem/art-game hybrid exploring the dangers inherent in the death of truth in political/social language. Each level explores a different political narrative: climate change, environmental/wildlife protection, corruption, tax cuts for the rich, divisive/attacking language and tyrannical tendencies.

This entire work explores text as discomfort as its central theme. The work allows readers/players to explodes and re-contextualise the horrid, uncomfortable, painful texts of politicians.

The False Unlimited uses a game engine where the reader/player shoots timer based explosive spheres at phrases and language used by political leaders to mislead the public and fog scientific and factual narratives.

The goal of each level is to throw the spheres, so when the timer ends, the player/reader explodes that phrase, with five-six phrases per level.

And with each new phrase explosion new phrases are formed from the breaking and dispersing of the language, creating alternative narratives, determined by the reader’s play/interaction. In essence the False Unlimited is a visceral and cathartic digital poetry game that allows those who have found the past three years maddening, frustrating and shocking the chance to explode those frustrations and break apart dangerously and intentionally false narratives/language.



BIOGRAPHY:

Australian/Oklahoman
Jason And this remains
and remains
and remains
and remains
an artificial
sense
of an
economic
something
something
Nelson creates digital poems and fictions, art games and digital creatures and has won 12 individual awards and prizes for that work. He professes Net Art and Electronic Literature at the University of Bergen.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

The concept is original and timely, expressing concerns over the new standard of the political discourse, this is, fake statements. Participants will be able to release their socio-political and intellectual frustrations.


==>> Artist's Website <<==



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PATTERnINGS:
(Apartment 3B, 2020)
Lissa Holloway-Attaway
Jamie Fawcus


Artwork Link

DESCRIPTION:

This is a web-based audio experience documenting our troubled times. Here, routines and intimate space-time proximities are tested.

Constructed as a web-based interface, but with no identifiable graphics, other than a black square, the eavesdropper wears headphones (and ideally a face mask and blindfold) and may only move a computer mouse blindly across the flat surface of a desk in front of the blackened computer monitor. Hidden sound files, which also move and shift, must be discovered by the eavesdropper-user, who accesses them through a further limited sense of human touch, mediated through the technology of the mouse, a necessary prosthetic arbitrating social intimacy. The sound files shift and are layered to create the manifold and multiplicitous spaces of Apartment 3B. A restriction of visual stimulus gives the ear space to paint its own pictures, to distort, illuminate, and amplify. Paranoia and the imagination creep forward into daily life as the usually ignored sounds of our two-metre sphere become ever alive, deeply present in new configurations, patterns of recognition.



BIOGRAPHY:

Lissa Holloway-Attaway is an Associate Professor at the University of Skövde, Sweden. Her current research is focused on emergent media (AR/VR/MR) and experimental narrative.

Jamie Fawcus is a composer, sound designer and performer. Jamie is currently Senior Lecturer in electronic music and sound design/production in the Division of Game Development at the University of Skövde, Sweden.

REVIEWER'S COMMENTS:

Refreshing to come across an audio-only piece, which shows that creators do not always need to showcase the latest and flashiest technologies to produce strong works that resonate with audiences.




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Haunted Blessings

"How I learned to cherish life after a trip to hell"

When I was in the islands nearly a generation ago, I was acquainted with a young American couple who had among their belongings an attractive little son of the age of seven—attractive but not practicably companionable with me, because he knew no English. He had played from his birth with the little Kanakas on his father’s plantation, and had preferred their language and would learn no other. The family removed to America a month after I arrived in the islands, and straightway the boy began to lose his Kanaka and pick up English. By the time he was twelve he hadn’t a word of Kanaka left; the language had wholly departed from his tongue and from his comprehension. Nine years later, when he was twenty-one, I came upon the family in one of the lake towns of New York, and the mother told me about an adventure which her son had been having. By trade he was now a professional diver. A passenger boat had been caught in a storm on the lake, and had gone down, carrying her people with her. A few days later the young diver descended, with his armor on, and entered the berth-saloon of the boat, and stood at the foot of the companionway, with his hand on the rail, peering through the dim water. Presently something touched him on the shoulder, and he turned and found a dead man swaying and bobbing about him and seemingly inspecting him inquiringly. He was paralyzed with fright.

His entry had disturbed the water, and now he discerned a number of dim corpses making for him and wagging their heads and swaying their bodies like sleepy people trying to dance. His senses forsook him, and in that condition he was drawn to the surface. He was put to bed at home, and was soon very ill. During some days he had seasons of delirium which lasted several hours at a time; and while they lasted he talked Kanaka incessantly and glibly; and Kanaka only. He was still very ill, and he talked to me in that tongue; but I did not understand it, of course. The doctor-books tell us that cases like this are not uncommon. Then the doctors ought to study the cases and find out how to multiply them. Many languages and things get mislaid in a person’s head, and stay mislaid for lack of this remedy.

Several of our passengers belonged in Honolulu, and these were sent ashore; but nobody could go ashore and return. There were people on shore who were booked to go with us to Australia, but we could not receive them; to do it would cost us a quarantine-term in Sydney. They could have escaped the day before, by ship to San Francisco; but the bars had been put up, now, and they might have to wait weeks before any ship could venture to give them a passage any whither. And there were hardships for others. An elderly lady and her son, recreation-seekers from Massachusetts, had wandered westward, further and further from home, always intending to take the return track, but always concluding to go still a little further; and now here they were at anchor before Honolulu positively their last westward-bound indulgence—they had made up their minds to that—but where is the use in making up your mind in this world? It is usually a waste of time to do it. These two would have to stay with us as far as Australia. Then they could go on around the world, or go back the way they had come; the distance and the accommodations and outlay of time would be just the same, whichever of the two routes they might elect to take. Think of it: a projected excursion of five hundred miles gradually enlarged, without any elaborate degree of intention, to a possible twenty-four thousand. However, they were used to extensions by this time, and did not mind this new one much.