As a disciplinary field still in search of its own institutional role and its specific methodologies, new media studies cannot but proceed by means of constantly updating its scholarly agenda. Rather than being concerned with issues of reconnection, however, this process seems to be characterized by a tendency to (re)articulate the field in a series of "refreshes" of its cultural page.
As Wendy Chun has observed, the term “new media”, unlike its predecessor “multi-media,” is not accommodating: it proposes that prior media are “old” or even “dead”. Similarly, in addressing the consequences of the media shift from the “mechanical” to the “electronic” to the “digital” of the last decades, Arthur and Marilouise Kroker claim for digital studies a new style of thought appropriate to an unprecedented complexity of critical practice. Such complexity is seen as "the essence” of digital technology and, as a consequence, as a specific feature of critical digital studies.
In response to the institutional need to frame such complexity, most anthologies conceive of their content as the nth collective scholarly effort to grasp at least a temporary snapshot of the ever-moving field. Characterized by a stroboscopic nomenclature (media, multimedia, new media, hypermedia, digital media, intermedia, transmedia, emerging media studies--with some scholars rejecting both the "digital" and "media" by identifying themselves with "cyberstudies"), this self-modifying academic field has taken repeated turns by defining the foundational issue at stake in each particular moment.
The conference will focus on the dialogue between forms of digital literacy connected with recent technological developments in networked and programmable media in relation to human expression and forms of representation. We seek to put in conversation digital artists and digital critics in order to examine the "state of the art" of digitally mediated practices and to envision possible futures for the current overlapping platforms, software, formats, hardware and artistic processes through which we experience digital culture. The two-day conference's thematic focus on the 'literary' in the digital age is integrated with a fundamental attention to visual art, music and sound, computer science, and other aspects of digital culture through an art exhibit and a concluding roundtable videoconference session with an international group of participants.
We encourage participation in terms of papers presentations and creative works exhibition/presentations.
Joseph Tabbi (UIC)
John Cayley (Brown University)
Fox Harrell (Georgia Tech)
Gregory Ulmer (UF)
Terry Harpold (UF)
Jane Yellowlees Douglas (UF)
Session 1: Beyond Literary
N. Katherine Hayles (Duke), Nick Montfort (MIT), Jerome McGann (UVA), Matthew Kirschenbaum (UM)
Session 2: Perspectives of Machinic Expression
Rita Raley (UC Santa Barbara), Arthur Kroker (U of Victoria), Lev Manovich (UCSD)
More speakers TBA.
John Cayley, Imposition (2009), real-time networked performance
Nick Montfort, ppg256-4 (2009), 256 character perl poetry generator
More works TBA.