An afternoon and a day in the Dandenongs at a corporate retreat. Didn’t even blink as I typed that. Academic, university staff member and employee, primarily conceive of myself as a researcher educator, but this was a corporate retreat. No other name to describe it. All about redesigning all the undergraduate programs in the school to shift to a larger, studio or lab based model for 50% of delivery. On the surface it is a tsunami of change, underneath, for some not so much – there are many ways of dragging your feet, doing ‘no’ while saying ‘yes’ and creatively shoehorning what you have always done into a new model so that you can keep on doing what you’ve always done. The positive, in 12 months the entire academic middle management of the school has moved from scepticism and cynicism to engagement and action. It’s a big achievement.
Still, being cooped up for nearly two days gets claustrophobic. It isn’t like a conference where everyone there has some sort of academic interest in common, here where all just middle managers with some senior management shifting from ideas to implementation under the enormous cumbersome umbrella of three federal compliance regimes and the university’s own systems to boot. Best not to dwell there. At least for me. If you really like that sort of work you should be looking for work in a university as if you like that sort of work there’s a rich career waiting for you – seriously – because those who are good at it are in very thin supply (our last two school managers we have hired internationally, the first lasted 18 months before being poached by higher up). This is sort of ironic, we’ve apparently been unable to employ a Dean, internationally, on several occasions, yet can find and deliver school managers from the other side of the planet. I digress.
Home quite the worn out one. And tomorrow I do a similar repeat of being locked up all day but this time it is the now traditional Honours Research Day out at Ceres. We book a room, head off campus, and every honours student makes a five minute very highly structured presentation about where they’re up to. There is feedback from everybody else, they provide the lunch, and it’s a great way to cap the end of semester one, set sail for semester two (and the finish), and to see just how far everyone has come. While I am tired, and now horribly behind on two book chapters and a presentation I didn’t realise I had consented to next Monday in Sydney I’m really looking forward to the day. They are in this together, the strict formula we use ‘flattens’ things to iron out peaks and valleys, and they are all wrestling with the same issues and concerns as new researchers. So they have a great sense of themselves as a cohort and how they regard, address, and help each other. It really makes for a good time of it. Unfortunately, two of the honours teaching staff can’t make it, which is going to complicate the day in terms of feedback and intensity, but I’m thinking of some other things there that should help too. And by then it will be Thursday, the end of the week well and truly in sight and barely a smick done on the list of what I sort of need to try to progress along. It does feel a bit intense, but everything is moving along, in its own way, which isn’t so very bad. Just need to finish some things so that you have the experience of things going out, and not just coming in – or toward you.Tags: Lifes Little Pieces
A day where I am working from home. Girded the desk, visions of immense productivity, agency, and action. And perhaps a bike ride to punctuate the day (no idea about the legal implications of working from home, then going for a ride that isn’t a commute, and if I have an accident, what sort of legal tangle that might produce?). Walked smallest child to school (all a flutter as today there’s a bustripexcursiontoellendalefarm), then home. Even smaller child who Ms A looks after on a Wednesday has arrived. Then there’s the dog wanting attention. Then the email. Then I’d better just catch up some news just to ease into the rhythm of the day. Oh, that’s right, I have to answer that stuff today don’t I. And the even smaller child wants to serve me play dough biscuits she’s been making. Even smaller child and Ms A depart, for music? And silence descends. Well, except for the burble of the aquarium with Blackie and Whitie in the study which is Small Child’s but she didn’t want all that noise in her room did she? Right, I have stuff that needs writing. So a really decent intense one pomodoro of writing. Then another near hour of email and filling in forms. And now I realise I don’t really have the time to go for that ride (and gee, look how windy it’s got). So perhaps it is back to trying to catch up (and doing some of those things I really don’t want to do but they’ve been on the to do list for, let’s face it, over three weeks now, so surely with no interruptions I really better get on and do them, even though they simply feel utterly unproductive). On the other hand there were a couple of passages in there this morning where I ticked a few boxes and moved a few things along. You need to be able to see that, because let’s face it, it is and will always be just swamp.Tags: Lifes Little Pieces
I’ve been invited to participate in this. I was very clear that I really didn’t think I was the electronic literature person anymore, having moved much more strongly into what you could call hypertextual video, though still deeply interested in other forms of scholarly practice that deal thickly with the digital. Seems that was near enough so I’m being jetted and put up for a night. The Sebel. Swish. It’s a symposium that is part of ISEA. Come along, is a day of conversation more than presentations so am expecting good things.
Date and time: Monday June 10th 2013 10am -5pm
Venue: The Sebel Surry Hills Hotel 28 Albion St Sydney
Join us for a one day symposium with visiting scholars to discuss e-literature as an emergent discursive formation, hosted by the Creative Nation: Writers and Writing in the New Media Arts ARC Discovery Project. There will be no registration charge, and catering will be provided. Please RSVP to Suzanne Gapps by 31 May and let us know of any special dietary requirements. Readings and detailed program will then be sent out to participants.
Electronic literature is not just a thing or a medium or even a body of works in various genres. It is not poetry, fiction, hypertext, gaming, codework, or some new admixture of all these practices. E-literature is, arguably, an emerging cultural form, as much a collective creation of terms, keywords, genres, structures, and institutions as it is the production of new literary objects. (Joseph Tabbi, Electronic Literature as World Literature;or, The Universality of Writing under Constraint)
As writing migrates off the page and across a range of different electronic media authorship, readership, and textual form are being radically transformed by digitality, programmability, and the database. Emerging literary forms in digital environments highlight the need for a new language, a disciplinary and technical vocabulary adequate to the interactive and networked modes increasingly characterizing literary production and its reception. These changes are happening in concert with wider processes of cultural transformation associated with what has become known as cognitive capitalism, with its immaterial labour, its reliance of the database as both source and archive, and increasing emphasis on the circulation of knowledge rather than of material products. The literary is now (re)located in networks, knowledge bases, global systems, and material and mental environments, as Tabbi has argued. In this context, the growth of online literary databases or directories (which describe and document born digital works) is giving rise to not only to international, transdisciplinary collaboration but to new conversations in and beyond the academy, and which play a crucial part in reconstituting the literary. This re-orientation towards the database, as Tabbi puts it, is a means of accessing born digital writing but also it involves a way of conceiv[ing] the works peculiar, media specific integration with externalities (the world not outside the text, but environing it). How, then, might we think about new literary genres, new communities of writers and readers, and new modes of distribution and archiving?
Keynote Speaker: Professor Joseph Tabbi, University of Illinois, Chicago
Joseph Tabbi is a leading authority on the effects of new technologies on contemporary fiction. Past President of the Electronic Literature Organisation founding editor of the electronic book review, he is the author of Cognitive Fictions (2002) and Postmodern Sublime: Technology and American Writing from Mailer to Cyberpunk (Cornell). He has edited and introduced both William Gaddis’s last fiction and his collected non-fiction (Viking/Penguin). His essay on Mark Amerika appeared at the Walker Art Center’s phon:e:me site, and was a 2000 Webby Award nominee. Also online (the Iowa Review Web) is an essay-narrative, titled Overwriting, an interview, and a review of his recent work.
Invited Speakers: Manuel Portela and Adrian Miles
Manuel Portela is Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Coimbra, Portugal. He was also Director of the University Theatre (2005-2008). He has translated fiction, poetry, and theatre, including works by Laurence Sterne, William Blake, and Samuel Beckett. He received the National Award for Translation for Tristram Shandy in 1998. With John Havelda & Isabel Patim, he recently edited and translated Pullllllllllllllllllllllllll: Poesia Contempornea do Canad (Lisbon: Antgona, 2010). He has published, exhibited, and performed his own visual and digital works. He is a team member of the project PO.EX 70-80: A Digital Archive of Portuguese Experimental Literature (http://po-ex.net/), the author of DigLitWeb: Digital Literature Web (http://www.ci.uc.pt/diglit), and co-founder of a new Doctoral Program at the University of Coimbra: Advanced Studies in the Materialities of Literature.Tags: hypertext, Lifes Little Pieces
My MacBook Pro has been intermittently having a screen freeze. Well, not quite, it freezes and then splits the screen as if it has two displays. The cursor still moves in time with my cursing, but nothing is clickable and a hard reboot follows. Things have been corrupted. So I log the job. The problem gets worse so that every time I launch Keynote it happens (ah I think, maybe it is something about sending some signal out?). No IT person arrives after three days so I ring to ‘escalate’ the job. Prompt service. Cannot, no matter what I do, make it happen. He believes me (a ha), but since I can’t replicate it can’t do anything. So now, I’m back here trying to work, with this horrible anxiety that as I open a key file the beastie will do its freezing dance and I’ll lose something that actually matters.
So, am making sure things well backed up, keeping duplicates on the local drive as well of the important stuff, and getting used to anxiety as a simple condition. If it happens again, I’ll just genius bar the thing, which is a nice option given we have three year AppleCare with these things.Tags: Lifes Little Pieces
Papers update, two new styles to scribble on essays.
1. What does it tell us about our tools where we have to wait for scribbles to be defined and scripted as styles to be able to use them?
2. And that I’m excited that I can new underline not just highlight in a program?
And I just dropped in 10 pdfs that I’ve downloaded from a journal and it seems to have automagically auto accurately extracted the bibliographic metadata.Tags: Lifes Little Pieces, practices, tools
I stood in front of the class. I had an idea for a task that would help make concrete the abstractions around research methods that have been discussed for a couple of weeks. I asked for help in how to do the task. Turns out it didn’t really work. I didn’t pause, but tried another approach. Same result. Another. A moment of teacher lust where I talked and talked and talked. There was listening. The talking went past the time of it contributing. I suspect I get louder then too.
It is the insecurity that might come from having something unravel. Not a lot. But enough. It didn’t become a class negotiating and thinking with or through.Tags: Lifes Little Pieces, pedagogy, practice
Advantages of moving to leafy outer north eastern suburb.
- native birds
- gum trees
- an experience of a different space
- a really good ride to work on my bike
- nearness of real bush
- distance to the city
- distance to some of my children
- time spent in car ferrying said children to sport/friends/events
- cost of the train
- a really hard ride to work on my bike
- how far away you feel when something goes wrong
- distance to capital A art
Finally, it’s been the weekend where the list of very important tasks that were to be done Friday got shifted to the weekend when Friday ran out of time, yet have not been done because the family matters. On the other hand I’m now uploading 670MB of iBook for a project that I can thankfully say is now completed. Well, once the 4 hour upload is done…Tags: Lifes Little Pieces