The project “Shapeshifting Texts” is preparing an artistic talk (“Forging patterns with machinic performances”) presented by Ian Hatcher whose work was featured in the “Shapeshifting Texts” exhibition. It will take place this Thursday, May 11th at 10:00,in GW2-A3570. Feel free to join us!
Ian Hatcher is a writer, sound artist, and programmer whose work explores cognition in the context of digital systems. Recent output includes a vinyl/mp3 record, Drone Pilot (cOsmOsmOse 2017); a print poetry collection, Prosthesis (Poor Claudia 2016); and numerous screen poems, including the iOS app Abra, created with Amaranth Borsuk and Kate Durbin. His code-inflected vocal performances have been widely presented in North America and Europe. He received his MFA from Brown University and lives in New York.
During the Summer Semester 2017, the project “Shapeshifting Texts” will offer a course titled “Human-Machine: the process of meaning-making in digital texts” to students of the Universität Bremen. In this seminar, we will focus on the way meaning is originated while reading shapeshifting, multimodal and responsive texts comprised of code, verbal language, images, icons, audio or video files.
The relationship between human and machine has been depicted in various ways by different forms of text, and continues to develop with huge diversity. Even though human and machine have often been considered as members of a dichotomic pair, there seems to be rather a strong affinity, and even symbiotic link, between both. From the nineteenth century luddite attacks on factories, to the almost inevitable dependency on computers and other digital devices, the “human-machine” theme has been intensely explored by writers, film-makers, and scholars.
During this seminar, debates concerning human identity, as well as the place of print book in a digital age, might emerge. We will begin by focusing our attention on how the “machine” has been described throughout the history of humankind. In a second part of our seminar, we will discuss some examples of the impact of digital media on the use of verbal language among social media users and gamers. Finally, the reception of digital texts, namely, of electronic literature (a literary form read and created on a computer), will be analysed by focusing on human-machine interaction. The materials selected for this course will range from science fiction’s cautionary tales (along with filmic reinterpretations), and news articles about human-machine co-existence/binarism, to literary digital works which offer multiple reading experiences, often turning the reader into a player or a viewer.
On the 22nd of November we talked about “Resistance and Frustration in shapeshifting texts”. Thank you to Gwen Le Cor, Stéphane Vanderhaeghe, and Lucile Haute (who presented at ICDMT), and all the research team of the project “Text/ures: Books as Objects, from Print to Digital, sponsored by Labex Arts-H2H, for organizing the International Colloquium “Glitchy Textures”, which took place at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (Paris) and at the Université Paris 8.
Bremen Masterclasses on Multimodality are back and the first session took place on the 2nd of November 2016. This masterclass was dedicated to electronic literature and aimed to present the International Conference on Digital Media and Textuality, as well as the Exhibition “Shapeshifting Texts” to students and researchers. Both these events began on the following day. Thank you to Janina Wildfeuer and John Bateman, as well as the BITT for their support.