A symposium with a talk by Amaranth Borsuk (University of Washington, Bothell)
18:30-19:30pm BST June 23
Centre for Postdigital Cultures (online talk)
Registration (free): https://www.eventsforce.net/cugroup/345/home
This is the fifth in a series of symposia hosted by the Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC) exploring contemporary approaches to experimental publishing. Over the course of the series, we will ask questions about the role and nature of experimentation in publishing, about ways in which experimental publishing has been formulated and performed in the past, and ways in which it shapes our publishing imaginaries at present. This series aims to conceptualise and map what experimental publishing is or can be and to explore what lies behind our aims and motivations to experiment through publishing. As such, it forms the first activity within the CPC’s Post-Publishing programme, an initiative committed to exploring iterative and processual forms of publishing and their role in reconceptualising publishing as an integral part of the research and writing process, i.e. as that which inherently shapes it.
Amaranth Borsuk is a poet, scholar, and book artist whose work encompasses print and digital media, performance and installation. She received an NEA “Expanded Artists’ Books” grant for the collaboration Abra, a limited-edition book and free iPad and iPhone app that received the Turn on Literature prize for electronic literature. She has collaborated on installations, art bookmarklets, and interactive works, and is the author of five books of poetry, including Between Page and Screen (Siglio Press, 2012), augmented reality poems created with Brad Bouse. Other digital collaborations include The Deletionist, an erasure bookmarklet created with Nick Montfort and Jesper Juul; and Whispering Galleries, a LeapMotion interactive textwork commissioned by Site Projects for the New Haven Free Public Libraries. Amaranth is currently Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell, where she also serves as Associate Director of the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics.
Experimental publishing can be positioned as an intervention, a mode of critique, and a tool of speculation. It is a way of thinking about writing and publishing today that has at its centre a commitment to questioning and breaking down distinctions between practice and theory, criticality and creativity, and between the scholarly and the artistic.
In this series of events we propose to explore contemporary approaches to experimental publishing as:
- an ongoing critique of our current publishing systems and practices, deconstructing existing hegemonies and questioning the fixtures in publishing to which we have grown accustomed—from the book as a stable object to single authorship and copyright.
- an affirmative practice which offers means to re-perform our existing writerly, research, and publishing institutions and practices through publishing experiments.
- a speculative practice that makes possible an exploration of different futures for writing and research, and the emergence of new, potentially more inclusive forms, genres, and spaces of publishing, open to ambivalence and failure.
This take on experimentation can be understood as a heterogeneous, unpredictable, and uncontained process, one that leaves the critical potentiality of the book as a medium open to new intellectual, political, and economic contingencies.