Thank you to Lisa for choosing to explore High Muck a Muck, a collaborative work that I think is worth our consideration together. High Muck-a-Muck: Playing Chinese is an interactive poem, consisting of a website and eight videos which explores the narratives and tensions of historical and contemporary Chinese immigration to Canada. High Muck a Muck is most intriguing especially because it was formed through an interdisciplinary collaboration of nine Canadian artists and programmers including Fred Wah, poet, Jin Zhang, composer; Nicola Harwood, project director and designer; Thomas Loh and Bessie Wapp, video artists and performers:, Hiromoto Ida, dancer; Patrice Leung, filmmaker; Tomoyo Ihaya, visual artist and Phillip Djwa, creative technologist. The convergence of so many gifted practitioners has produced an exceptionally rich and complex piece, which definitely pushes beyond the traditional confines of “text”. The addition of an installation version of this piece lends further complexity by offering the work up as an event.
Lisa walked us through many of the most significant images/tropes of the piece, while sharing her sense of the diverse options for navigation. The piece explores the multi lenses of diaspora and globalism, while provoking us to think further about the impact of dreams steeped in the challenges of exile or migration. We could see the way in which embodiment (the body) is wrapped up in conflicted pasts and presents, and how the myths of immigration are often a gamble with many different resulting outcomes. The final tone of the work is ambiguous and dispersed, with a haunting lack of resolve. There is loss despite gains in this journey to a new world.
Next up, Sophie helped us explore our first #netprov-as-#elit piece of the semester entitled “Being Spencer Pratt“. This piece brought to light the key provocations of the form. #Netprov or networked improvisational narrative unfolds in social media spaces as a performative act of collaborative writing (either in real time or read as an archive). Bending the boundaries of fiction and reality, “Being Spencer Pratt” is the hijacking of a reality celebrity’s twitter feed by a fictional British poet, calling into question the assumptions about authenticity and identity that take place on social media platforms. Sophie’s questions at the close her presentation made us think more closely about the implications of the form – especially regarding time and performativity, truth and fictions, as well as the ethical dimensions of #netprov (as hoax or art form?). I am glad we stepped into this world for a moment, since we will be able to participate soon in a forthcoming #netprov entitled “One Star Reviews”.
Next up, Daniel Sebastian will take us through the piece entitled Facade. Please “read” this interactive text. Your blog for Monday can be about “Being Spencer Pratt”, or “Facade”. In addition, please devote half of your next blog post to your early ideas for the content for your own lit piece.
The beauty of e-lit often is about bending these perceptions/conventions of narrative expectation. I do not think all stories require a clearly apprehended beginning, middle, and end to be called narrative. In some of the most compelling literature, this notion of a linear or teleological story convention can be “played with” or scrambled up in the most provocative of ways. Keep this in mind when you start to think about your own creative work. We will talk about story mapping as a next step.
Looking forward to Monday!