the topic of June at the – empyre – mailing list will be Liquid Narratives. The concept of ‘liquid narrative’ is interesting in that it allows to think about the unfoldings of contemporary languages beyond tech achievements, by relating user controlled applications with formats such as the essay (as described by Adorno in "Der Essay als Form", The essay as a form) and procedures related to the figure of the narrator (as described by Benjamin in his writings about Nikolai Leskov), among others.
How does the concept of narrative is related to comtemporary culture? Can we really describe nowadays fragmentary and user related procedures of organizing data as narratives? Should they be considered liquid, since they are fluid, reshapable, pliable? How does devices such as the GPS and mobile phones change narrative? How technologies broadband internet and DVD allow other modes of organizing them?
To debate this topic, this month, we welcome Dene Grigar, LÃºcia Santaella, James Barret and SÃ©rgio Basbaum. They will discuss how their projects and ideas can be related to the notion of ‘liquid narratives’, or explain how they have been thinking about connected concepts.
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Dene Grigar (http://www.nouspace.net/dene/) is an Associate Professor of English at Texas Woman’s University and specializes in new media, interactive arts and electronic literature. Her book "New Worlds, New Words: Exploring Pathways In and About Electronic Environments" (with John Barber, Hampton Press, 2001) speculates about the ways in which writing and thinking change when moved to electronic environments. She is Associate Editor of Leonardo Reviews and International Editor for Computers and Composition. Her second book, "Defiance and Decorum: Women, Public Rhetoric, and Activism" (with Laura Gray and Kay Robinson) looks at the way women have used Rhetoric to achieve social and political goals.
James Barret (http://soulsphincter.blogspot.com/) is PhD at UmeÃ¥ University (Sweden). He works between the Department of Modern Languages and HUMlab, an interdisciplinary digital lab and studio. He researches narrative and textuality, focusing on stories using new media, their interpretation by peoples and cultures.
Lucia Santaella is full professor at SÃ£o Paulo Catholic University (PUCSP), PhD in Literary Theory (1973-PUCSP) and Livre-docente in Communication Studies (1993-ECA/USP). She is the director of CIMID, Center of Research in Digital Media, PUCSP, and also the director of the Center for Peircean Studies. She directed the Brazilian side of a PROBRAL research project (Brasil-Germany/Capes-DAAD) on word and image relations in the media, from 2000 to 2003. She was also the director of other collective research projects: "Technical Images: from the industrial mechanical to the electronic post industrial world", PUC/SP-FINEP, 1989-1991; a thematic research project on "The advent of new technologies and the new sound grammars", financed by FAPESP, 1992-1995; the collective project, "Production and diffusion of scientific research in the digital era", financed by FAPESP, 1999-2002.
Sergio Roclaw Basbaum (http://www.globalstrike.net) is PhD in Communication and Semiotics and professor at SÃ£o Paulo Catholic University (PUCSP). He is author of the book "Syneathesia, art and technology – the foundations of Chromossonics" (Annablume, 2002). His PhD thesis, "The primacy of perception and its consequences to the media environment" , discusses topics such as perception, art and the relation of technology and contemporary culture. As a musician, he has released the brazilian jazz album "Captain Nemo in the All Saint’s Forro" (1999).