Home | Publication | Abstracts | Schedule | Conference Information | Florida Research Ensemble

Wendy Babcox, Imaging Place: The West Bank
John Craig Freeman Imaging, Place: The Choragraphic Method
Will Garrett-Petts and Donald Lawrence, The Kamloops Tranquille Project and The Exotic Close to Home in Victoria
Matthew Hawthorn, Shanty: Extemporising Space into Place
Bruce B. Janz, Making a Scene
Michael Jarrett, Train in the Distance
Artur Matuck, Teleactivity
Barry Mauer, A Monument to Lost Data
Will Pappenheimer, Tuners and Attuning
Kristin Powers, Finding Theory Between the Covers
Craig Saper, A Theme-Centered Development Company
Leonora Smith, Arrow and Oblio or Like a Dog, A Poem Needs a Job
Richard Smyth, Autocartography: Medieval Map-Making Practices and Imaging Virtual Places
Chris Taylor, Dissolving between Land and Sky: Mapping Wendover
Stephanie Tripp, Laura Sullivan and Michael Laffey, Thinking About the Pyramid
Keynote, Gregory L. Ulmer, Stuff I Just Thought Of, So Here Goes...

View the video documentation of the installation at WARPhaus Gallery.

Wendy Babcox wbabcox@arts.usf.edu
June 1, 2006 2:21:32 PM EDT
Assistant Professor of Photography
School of Art and Art History
University of South Florida, FAH 110
4202 E. Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL 33620
Cell: 813-892-0689

Imaging Place: The West Bank
View the video documentation.

Mission: 6+ is a collective which invites women artists from different cultural backgrounds to work together. We seek to develop a supportive, creative network of women artists through a practice of direct engagement - including exhibitions, publications, and community collaborations. We explore different possibilities for artistic cooperation across great distances, both geographic and cultural. Our work is about finding connections between apparently distant locations and experiences, while at the same time creating a space for difference. We believe it is possible to work together to create relationships outside the logic of the market, of commerce, of the media and of the march of armies.

Traveling exhibition: "Secrets" Eight emerging and established Palestinian women artists were invited to exhibit new work for "Secrets" along with the six members of 6+. The exhibition has traveled to The International Center of Bethlehem, Khalil Sakakini Center, Ramallah and Al Hoash Gallery, Jerusalem. Now in the US "Secrets" will be exhibited in Boulder, Colorado (2007) and Chicago (2008).

Community Project: "Turning Our Tongues" is a project initiated by 6+ in collaborating with a group of 18 young women (16-19) from the Deheisheh Refugee Camp in The West Bank. Over the course of three days the members of 6+ gave a series of creative workshops. The young artists learned to bind their own journals, wrote stories reflecting on daily life and interpreted those stories in audio form in a live choreographed performance format that integrated ambient sound as a narrative thread and reflection of a particular kind of urban space.

6+: a Women's Art Collective

John Craig Freeman john_craig_freeman@emerson.edu
May 9, 2006 6:37:06 AM EDT
Associate Professor of New Media
Department of Visual and Media Arts
Emerson College
120 Boylston Street
BOSTON, MA 02116-4624
(617) 824-8862 phone
(617) 824-8803 fax

Imaging Place: The Choragraphic Method
View the video documentation.

"Imaging Place," is a place-based, virtual reality art project. It takes the form of a user navigated, interactive computer program that combines panoramic photography, digital video, and three-dimensional technologies to investigate and document situations where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. The goal of the project is to develop the technologies, the methodology and the content for truly immersive and navigable narrative, based in real places. The project has been under development since 1997 and includes work from around the world including Sao Paulo Brazil, Kamloops BC Canada, Warsaw Poland, the U.S./Mexico Border, Fort Point MA, Lowell MA, the Miami River, Kaliningrad Russia, Haverhill MA, Niagara, New England, Appalachia, and Florida. Although the method borrows freely from the traditions of documentary still photography and filmmaking, it departs from those traditions by using nonlinear narrative structures made possible by computer technologies and telecommunications networks. The work is projected up to nine by twelve feet in a darkened space with a pedestal and a mouse placed in the center of the installation enabling the audience to interact with it. Activated by the click of a mouse button, the interface leads the user from global satellite images to virtual reality scenes on the ground. Users can then navigate an immersive virtual space. Rather than the linear structure of traditional documentary cinema, "Imaging Place" allows stories to unfold through non-linear database navigation and multilayered spatial exploration. "Imaging Place" is therefore experienced as a process of navigation and excavation, allowing the user to uncover many layers of history and meaning. The goal of "Imaging Place" is to document sites of cultural significance that for political, social, economic, or environmental reasons are contested, undergoing substantial changes, or are at risk of destruction. This includes historic sites as well as sites of living culture that are being displaced by the collapse of industrial modernism and globalization. The project also seeks to expand the notion of documentary by exploring how place is internalized, mapping place as a state of mind. "Imaging Place" is designed to accommodate interdisciplinary collaboration conducted across institutions and over distances. It uses new technology to bring disparate bodies of knowledge together in a single hybrid form. The method attempts to bridge the gaps in understanding that exist between esoteric disciplines that have developed as a result of academic and industrial specialization. The technological tools are now available for bringing the work of experts and stories of local denizens together without sacrificing the depth and dimension of specialized knowledge and to connect the abstraction of highly specialized thinking with the visceral experiences of people on the ground.

Much of the "Imaging Place" project was developed and produced in collaboration with Greg Ulmer and the Florida Research Ensemble in an attempt to create a method for Choragraphy. Chora is the organizing space through which rhetoric relates living memory to artificial memory. It is the relation of region to place. Chora gathers multiple topics associated with a geographical region into a scene whose coherence is provided by an atmosphere. This atmosphere or mood is an emergent quality resulting in an unforeseeable way from the combination of topics interfering and interacting with one another. Choramancy is the practice of identifying and documenting Chora.

Imaging Place

Will Garrett-Petts garrettpetts@shaw.ca
February 12, 2007 4:26:24 AM EST
Professor and Chair of English & Modern Languages
Thompson Rivers University
C/O English & Modern Languages
Box 3010, 900 McGill Road
Kamloops, B.C. V2C 5N3 Canada

Donald Lawrence donlawrence@tru.ca
Associate Professor, Visual Arts
Department of Visual & Performing Arts
Thompson Rivers University
C/O Faculty of Arts
Box 3010, 900 McGill Road
Kamloops, B.C. V2C 5N3 Canada

The Kamloops Tranquille Project and The Exotic Close to Home in Victoria
View the video documentation.

The neighbourhoods of Kamloops formed the basis for much of the research of the Small Cities Community-University Research Alliance (CURA), and are the subject of such new research projects as "Mapping Quality of Life and the Culture of Small Cities" Those neighbourhoods are inevitably defined against the surrounding landscape and its geological history. In the essay for a catalogue that accompanied the Kamloops exhibition "The Homeless Mind: An Exploration Through Memory Mapping," W.F. Garrett-Petts and Donald Lawrence observed that the city's geological history, inscribed as a kind of physical memory, announces itself, becomes part of the artist's "vigilant self-awareness" and an insistent counterpart to the urban geometry of streets, highways, fences, rail lines, telephone wires, neighborhoods, and buildings.

The larger geological and geographical setting of Kamloops is one characterized by a semi-arid climate, with sagebrush and ponderosa pine forming a typical covering for the bench lands and hills that rise above the confluence of the North and South Thompson rivers. Their valleys remain as a trace of early geological activity that, fifty to two hundred million years ago, saw the locale of present day Kamloops not as an interior desert-like environment but, rather, as an archipelago of primarily volcanic islands on the fringe of the continent.

In two related projects, and working collaboratively as artist-researchers, Lawrence and Garrett-Petts are undertaking an investigation of two "contact zones."

1) In a new project (a collaboration with Sociologist David Maclennan) that builds upon earlier CURA research, the geological traces of Kamloops' past are taken as a littoral zone of contact between land and ocean, and the more recent history of the Tranquille Creek landscape as a shifting site of social responses to the landscape that exists at the edge of the City.

2) Jimmy Chicken Island and Fiddle Reef are part of an island archipelago that defines Oak Bay just off Victoria. During a project this past summer at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria these islands presented the possibility of recovering the exotic close to home. Lawrence and Garrett-Petts first explored, documented and mapped these islands as a means of entering into a process of re-imagining early experiences of of them through through writing, video installation, and the on-site creation of a model in the Gallery.

Such mapping and documentation constitutes a vernacular counterpart to the existing published sources pertaining to the geological history as well as much of the social history of these sites. In both projects the public have been or will be engaged as active participants in these research/projects, thereby extending the artist/researcher’s interests into a broader investigation of embedded public and private histories.


Matthew Hawthorn matthew.hawthorn@ntu.ac.uk, matthawthorn@email.com
May 21, 2006 3:11:49 PM EDT
Senior Lecturer: Narrative & Interactive Arts
Nottingham Trent University: School of Art & Design
26 Spring Gardens, Newark, NG24 4UW, UK
+44(0)1636 708828
+44(0)7931 573661

Shanty: Extemporising Space into Place
View the video documentation.

Shanty defines a sense of place, a point where an accumulation of bodies of knowledge (manifest and tacit) are combined in a moment of dwelling, where the environment is internalised into the body (following Juhani Pallasma [1]) and expelled as haptic design. Shanty is an articulation of narrative history incorporated into the body and expelled as song. Shanty is a dwelling space that sits perpetually between the transient and the permanent. The way that place is constructed influenced by the pre-judgements that we instinctively apply to it on first reception. Those pre-judgements are founded in the fragments residing in the deep archives of personal and collective memory, surfacing into consciousness with the trigger of the environment. Normally these fragments form conventional constellations predetermined by established social and cultural patterns of information. What fascinates me, and what has guided my practice, is the potential for the solitary fragment, a fleeting moment of experience to find it's way into that constellation of fragments and to reinforce, bend, distort and reframe the subject's experience of her/his world. This mythical fragment I call a [g]host, following an impetus from the work of the Welsh performance company Brith Gof [2], and the subsequent work in Performative Archaeology by Mike Pearson and Mike Shanks [3]. Shanty is a further, possibly more pragmatic, articulation of [g]host architectures. An opening of the body to the [g]host as well as host archaeologies This proposal will develop from a mirror workshop in the UK, (dates tbc) which is an adaptation of a project I've been working towards for the past year, which is focused on a mapping of the valley of the River Trent. The Trent is a key river as it flows through the English coal fields to the Lincolnshire Coast and the Humber Estuary. It is lined with power stations (the fusion of coal and water), which as we slowly move into a new power situation are gradually being phased out, leaving the husks of industrial history to stand as temporary monuments. Shanty becomes a strategy through which we will re-populate the Trent Valley, creating a mythological map which will eventually become the territory. The UK mirror workshop would be open to contributions from other invent L practitioners. For Imaging Place the Trent Valley map would provide a starting point to extend the map into the potential terrains being opened by the conference and to enable conference participants to engage in the construction of a Shanty community. A key intention of the mirror workshop is to involve a range of UK practitioners in the debates around the invention list. It would be my intention to bring the UK participants over to the conference, however this would be subject to funding from our end.

[1] Pallasma, J., (2005), The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, Chichester: Wiley-Academy
[2] Kaye, N., (1996), Art into Theatre, London: Harwood Academic
[3] Pearson, M., & Shanks, M., (2001), Theatre / Archaeology: Disciplinary Dialogues, London: Routledge

Download the Shanty: Extemporising Space into Place PDF.

Bruce B. Janz janzb@mail.ucf.edu or bbjanz@gmail.com
June 11, 2006 1:41:19 PM EDT
Associate Professor of Humanities
Department of Philosophy
411E Colbourn Hall
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32816-1352
(407) 823-5408

Making a Scene: Place-Making Imagination, Artistic Production, and Narratives in Urban Space
View the video documentation.

Recent work by sociologists Alan Blum and Kieran Bonner that grew from the "Culture of Cities" project (http://www.yorku.ca/culture_of_cities/) takes the question of urban place-making seriously. Both (along with many other writers) begin from the idea that place as essentially textual, that is the concept of place is one whose intelligibility is modeled on our relationships with texts, but they then make the question more complex. Blum, for instance, addresses the truism that "the city is nothing but a sign" (the title to his first chapter) by arguing that such an observation is only the beginning of uncovering the imaginative structure of the city. (28)

Blum analyzes the "scene", some of which are easily identifiable (e.g., the gay scene, the music scene, the art scene), and some of which are simply recognized as they occur. The scene is often identified with nightlife, with the "place to be, and to be seen", but in fact, Blum argues that it also has a textuality to it that permits us to imagine the "grammar of the scene." It is, he says, regular, extensive (it is both apart from and part of the city), mortal (that is, temporally limited), collective (having a sense of solidarity), theatrical (engaging in social ceremony), transgressive (always in danger of exposure to "polite" society), and prone to spectacle without being reducible to it. (Blum, ch. 6, "Scenes") This sociological analysis of the scene is intended to account for identity and place formation, but in drawing on Heidegger, Gadamer, Arendt, and others, it does much more than that. Blum concludes from his analysis that "paraphrasing Bataille, the scene destroys the subject's relation to utility in a gesture of sacrificial violence, revitalizing the connection to intimacy that the focus on utility always imperils. Yes this interpretation minimizes the status of the scene as itself a commodity which intensifies the subject's immersion in and access to a system of desire, enlarging social networks and access to information. The scene's fusion of art and commodity, of pleasure and function, reaffirms the two sided nature of its engagement, as both a way of doing business and as an exciting departure from the routines of doing business, making pleasure functional and functional relations pleasurable. In this way, the scene imitates the economy of the city through its functional methods of association and classification while at the very same time travestying this functionality by investing togetherness with the excitement of its contagiousness. The scene – never a community in the sense of finality – is a work in progress where being with or among others is a constantly evolving open question that brings to view the intimacy of social life as an unending problem to solve." (188)

The scene is textual, in a sense, and it also an example of place-making imagination. But that textuality should not be understood in an emaciated sense. While everyone recognizes that texts are constructed, often the skills of the scholar are privileged over the skills of the artist in defining a site of meaning as textual. Worse, if we recognize the economic force of the scene, their textuality can simply be commodified, and the central question ends up being how they can be generated, and how once generated they can be controlled and directed for profitable ends. Blum recognizes the ambiguous nature of commodification, that in fact cities as places are simultaneously sites of desire and artistic production.

The imagination of place must ultimately resist the implications of commodification that would suggest that only our intentional goals of commercial exchange matter. While place-making imagination always exists in the context of exchange, it must always also subvert our sense of mastery over that exchange. I believe it also must ultimately resist the tendency to regard the textuality of place as the sole province of the scholar. Indeed, we need to recognize that the scholar may simply extend the use of his/her own tools in the effort to understand the text of the place, and in doing so just be engaging in scholarship by other means.

None of this means that scholarly tools are irrelevant to place-making imagination. In fact, they are not often enough consulted by those who have the real power to design places. This is the problem of commodification, of scenes and of scholarship. In both cases, these only matter as they become elements in a technological fantasy. But fantasy is not the same thing as imagination. Imagination produces places; fantasy yearns for utopias. Imagination recognizes that intentional subjectivity is limited, and allows us to reach past that which we can give reasons for; fantasy constructs reasons first, and then presses artistic production into service.

In this paper, I will draw on the radical interpretive inquiry of Blum and Bonner to suggest ways in which artistic place-making imagination can function in an urban setting. I will suggest ways that the function of art can serve the scene (what Deleuze might call "intensities") and in particular the ways in which art can resist the bimodal understanding of place (that places reduce to public/private, commercial/recreational, sacred/secular, or productive/artistic) that come from these technological fantasies. I will examine some of the modes of place-making imagination, that is, some of the ways in which artistic production can resist bimodal understandings by providing the site for more complex articulations of subjectivity. Artistic production can (although by no means is it guaranteed) make liminal, suppressed, and desired subjectivities available, and in so doing, add to our social and political options (this is the imagination). It also has the potential to cover over those subjectivities, and simply reinscribe and reinforce a limited version of place (this is the fantasy).

Alan Blum, The Imaginative Structure of the City. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003.
Kieran Bonner, "Understanding Placemaking: Economics, Politics and Everyday Life in the Culture of Cities." Canadian Journal of Urban Research 11:1 (2002): 1-16.
Bruce Janz, "Artistic Production as Place-Making Imagination."

"Making a Scene."

Michael Jarrett jmj3@psu.edu
May 31, 2006 8:42:25 AM EDT
Penn State University, York Campus
1031 Edgecomb Ave.
York, PA 17403
(717) 771-4157 (office)
(717) 852-3283 (home)

Train in the Distance
View the video documentation.

Thoreau's Walden is the tutor text that teaches me to conceptualize my place. (And my place is a downtown neighborhood in Pennsylvania. I live in a Federalist-style row house, 150-years old. I am vice president of my neighborhood association.) Although I have read Walden closely and on several occasions, I now take it up on something akin to faith. My hunch is that it provides a precedent for thinking or imaging the relationship between sound and place. I want to show how in meditating on the problem of the railroad, the roar that effaces identifying and particular sounds of place, Thoreau models "categories and logics of thought and decision" useful for sociopoetics. Thoreau had to unthink the opposition between reason and imagination: the opposition that pits Hawthorne's long "shriek, harsh, above all other harshness" and the "Mystery Train" that Elvis Presley rode. For my presentation and exhibit, I will produce a downloadable podcast.


Artur Matuck arturmatuck@terra.com.br
June 5, 2006 10:56:39 PM EDT
Programa Interunidades de Pós-Graduaćčo em Estética e História da Arte
Universidade de São Paulo
Rua Conselheiro Brotero 755 ap 121
Santa Cecilia
São Paulo SP CEP 01232-011

View the video documentation.

1 Research project for teleactive human language
Interpresence exercises the language of mediatecture to propose planetary coalescence through innovative flows through cyberspace. It favors worldwide integration allowing for interactive television and the experience of telebrations between distant cities. 'Interpresence' is defined as mutually sensed human telepresence. Interpresence merges telecommunication, architecture, design, media arts, performance, television, and programming, with implications for cultural studies, anthropology, contemporary theory, epistemology and psychoanalysis. Its curatorial concept purports the telepresential encounter providing for the valorization of the Other through mutual knowledge and co-authored aesthetic propositions. The envisioned systems would enable local participants to interact with remote audiences, they would see and be seen, listen and be listened, experiencing interpresence.

2 The Interpresence Vision
Interpresence represents an alternative global television. It introduces a political proposition, claiming a right to communicate through technologies that only have to be reconfigured to provide for interpresential experiences. The long-term social design involves the gradual creation of a worldwide network of community or university-operated telesystems. Design and implementation will be carried out through web-based property-free interchange triggering continous co-evolution.

3 Mediatecture for teleactivity
Mediatectural projects for terminals should permit diverse modes of long distance interaction. They were conceived for bilateral and multilateral intercommunication. Teleperformance terminals consists of interpresential units integrating distributed screens with video cameras. A vertical system allows for 'conversational' interactions, while an horizontal one enables 'table' mode interactions. Multiple connection terminals provide interaction with many remote locations. Specially conceived technospaces enable remote audioviewing of interactions occuring at teleperformance spaces.

4 Media design for co-evolutionary teleactivity
The Interpresence site will initiate an extended web-based intercreative process. Concepts, designs, projects, propositions will be available as released information, as common property, providing for a worldwide collective planning, a linux-like co-evolutionary development of the project itself and resulting media designs. A permanent webpresence would build long-term quality interaction between participating artists and institutions. Propositions for programs, events and performances will trigger long-distance interconnections. Teleactions and videologues would result from community and artistic initiatives supported by institutional agreements. Subsequent planning and networking would entail a diversity of increasingly creative long-distance human encounters. Those connections will form an invisible web of creative collaboration and mutual responsibility providing the human structure needed for the unfolding of quality projects and events. The network should entail the co-creation of scripts, technology evaluation, co-planning and finally the actualization of teleactivities. Research for interpresence will be centered upon alternative intercommunication. Envisioned proposals include: (1) computer-supported systems enabling understanding between speakers of different languages; (2) intersemiotic mediamatic translations permitting transductions between different sign systems; tactile stimuli, for instance, could be remotely sensed as video images and/or heat formations varying in form and intensity; (3) software designed to morph human audio and video traces, indicating the possibility of artificiality, not only of realism, in the experience of telepresence.

Graphic Design: Manlio M. Speranzini


Barry Mauer bmauer@mindspring.com
May 18, 2006 2:45:12 PM EDT
Associate Professor
Texts and Technology Ph.D. Program
Department of English
University of Central Florida
Colbourn Hall 301
Orlando, FL 32816
(407) 823-6252

A Monument to Lost Data
View the video documentation.

I am proposing a Monument to Lost Data to be located at the National Archives and Records Administration building in Washington D.C. to memorialize the mounting data losses at that institution and across the nation and the world. Inspired by John Cage's interest in mycology, the monument will consist of giant mushrooms that will grow within the rotunda, representing the recycling of decaying matter. In addition, the monument will have remote centers in cities and towns worldwide representing local data losses. These data losses will be connected by digital mycelia, the branching 'root' structure of mushrooms.

Here is the basis of my presentation, "A Proposal for a Monument to Lost Data."

My citations are in this References file (which also contains the references for the other 17 chapters).


Will Pappenheimer Willpap@aol.com
June 1, 2006 11:44:52 PM EDT
Assistant Professor of Digital Arts
Pace University
New York
Office: (914) 799-4945
Cell: (347) 526-5302

Tuners and Attuning
View the video documentation.

Tuning is the process of bringing an instrument into a corresponding relationship with the community of instruments. Encapsulated in this process are notions of the Internal and external, the individual question and the cultural default, the personal and the political, the mystorical and the historical. Greg Ulmer evokes Heidegger’s notion of attunement, the location of a “mood” leading to or coinciding with the discovery of a categorical image. The tuning fork emerged as an image category in the Soft Wishing Why Memorial project in 2002 and persists in current projects I am working on today. A related approach is Duchamp’s “Rendezvous,” allusion to the artwork as encounter points towards a generative moment produced by considerations of chance, internal attraction and the construction of meaning. The webcam is most readily understood as surveillance technology, providing voyeuristic pleasure and feeding the problematics of expanding control societies. As image recognition emerges as the next technology of vision control, I have been exploring the reconfiguration of surveillance technology into the productive gestures (modes) of consultation and community. Recently, I have begun to work with data search and correlation as way to add automation, a paradoxically irrational component, to processes of tuning.

In this presentation I will present a series of these projects, as well as perhaps a few influential works from other artists, with the goal of exploring possibilities, problematics and future directions.


Kristin Powers kristinleighpowers@gmail.com
May 28, 2006 7:37:01 PM EDT
MFA Graduate Student
School of Film & Digital Media
University of Central Florida
Current contact:
Unavailable- I will send it in August. =)
Cell (407) 580-1553

This is still in my - Infans - stage
Where I can't yet speak it.

Finding Theory Between the Covers
View the video documentation.

In the tradition of John Cage and Joseph Beuys

Make step by step pamphlet to guide the breaking open of literary theory?
What is under the covers?
Where do theories dwell?
In books? In practice?

A performance of covers-
Bring a book of literary theory- the flavor will be your choice
Covers will be collected
Consider how you would redesign the cover of your book
Consider the intimate space between body and book- how would you change that space?

Bring a theory related book you are willing to part with.
Understanding place- the space between covers- where is my place?
What type of associations are made in that place?
Are they violent and sensual- sacred and profane? Certainly- these are sexual.
This sexualized space between the covers- where we are theorists go to dwell, be enveloped, and become a part of the book.
We curl up and cradle our beloveds.
A workshop- a performance- your participation is required.

Understanding the connection between body and book- in both form and metaphoric sensuality.

Use of saliva may be involved.

creativity abounds

Dr. Craig Saper csaper@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu
May 18, 2006 7:04:07 AM EDT
Texts and Technology Doctoral Program
Department of English, Colbourn Hall
Bldg. 18
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816-1346
Fax: 407-823-6582

A Theme-Centered Development Company
View the video documentation.

We are pleased to announce the formation of a new theme-centered development company. As the New Urbanist developments, like Tradition, Celebration, and Heritage, have changed the Florida landscape by creating theme-centered densely populated small towns, our development company plans on similar projects. We will reference new urbanist projects (discussed recently in NY Times) using unlikely urban spaces, like Shantytowns, as models.

Our companies key officers include Dr. C. Saper with a background in comparison semiotic-design work, analogistic developments, and post(e)urbanism theories. Ms. Lynn Tomlinson brings with her a background in anecdotal or tall-tale marketing and audience target research. Both based in Orlando, Florida, the capital of theme-centered simulation, theme parks, and theme towns. Andrew Ross, the cultural critic, has written with great praise about Celebration. We follow in that tradition as a supplement to the critical tradition. We also draw on the work of Greg Ulmer. We also draw on the work on FRE and Invent-L among other groups.

We will use the Invent-L gathering to launch our marketing and publicity campaign to develop Florida by building a series of theme-centered urban centers. We will also reference the excellent work in developing Molvania as a tourist destination, and draw on the ideas of Mr. Mentality.

We look forward to workshopping our plans for development at the first annual Invent-L gathering.

Leonora Smith smithleo@msu.edu
June 10, 2006 1:17:37 PM EDT
Associate Professor
Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures
Michigan State University

Arrow and Oblio or Like a Dog, A Poem Needs a Job
View the video documentation.

Yes? No? How? Who Cares?

This project was prompted by a chain of association set to clanking by a discussion on Invent-L that led from "oblio" to the character Oblio in a Harry Nilsson cartoon, "The Point," to the theory of evolution via symbiosis (Lynn Margulus and Dorion Sagan), though my Tervuren Arrow's ears to the twentieth century longpoem, a different though criss-crossing path from the one more commonly mapped between 20th century avant-gard poetics and electracy.

I find the language that describes electracy opaque, but its gestures piercingly familiar, via the 20th century longpoem—Whitman, Williams, Zukovsky, Olson, Notley, Rukeyser—esp. as longpoem = relay anchored in/by place (Williams: Paterson; Olson: Glouser; Zukovsky: NY and New Jersey; Wakoski: California, Michigan, LasVegas ) Not tight lyric gems but whole bodies that mark out a social space, esp. a woman’s place by elbowing the body of literature in the head, testes and solar plexis (Wakoski: Greed I-14; Rukeyser: A World of Poetry; Blau DuPlessis: Drafts 1-38, Notley: Descent of Allette, Alma).

Do the gestures and vocabularies of the longpoem and EmerAgency map on one another? How? Can we finally say rhetoric=poetics? That electracy dissolves the distinction between the machinations of the artist/poet and of the scholar?

I present a mercifully short section of a longpoem ("Big Knitting") that enacts the question by putting poetics in front and exposition behind—making exposition wait on the table while we eat from poems and 2 anthologies: George Quasha & Jerome Rothenberg in America a Prophecy: A New Reading of American Poetry from Pre-Columbian Times to the Present; and Mary Margaret Sloan in Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women.

After I introduce a package of texts and images for the chili, I ask you to join me in an experiment: can we, in symbiosis, make pieces in which our words and images might non-trivially interpenetrate one another to some good purpose?

Afterward, if it seems like a thing to do, we might theorize.


Richard Smyth rsmyth64@yahoo.com
November 6, 2006 7:53 PM EST
Cathedral High School
74 Union Park Street
Boston, MA 02118
Home: 978-469-7085
Cell: 502-802-4150

Autocartography: Medieval Map-Making Practices and Imaging Virtual Places

View the video documentation.

Autocartography will be introduced as a new genre of digital writing that uses medieval map-making strategies to write one's autobiography. Because medieval maps, or "mappae mundi," make no attempt at representing the real world, they are perfect models or "relays" for autocartographic writing. As Peter Whitfield writes in The Image of the World, "The great elaborated mappae mundi located the events of spiritual history the Fall, Incarnation, Judgment alongside London and Paris, Egypt and Greece. The inhabited world of man interlocked with other spheres of existence—that of spiritual history, that of the past, and that of the miraculous, beyond the borders of civilization." As Whitfield points out, "The construction of a world map in the middle ages was a literary and a theological exercise, not a geographical one."1 The practice of choragraphy, the rhetoric of imaging place, has much to learn from the juxtologic of such practices, especially in the context of virtual places like Second Life. As a new (digital) world to be explored and mapped in the same way that the New World was mapped 500 years ago, Second Life offers a laboratory for choragraphic heuretics.

The need for an autocartographic practice makes sense in the broader context of cognitive linguistics and the conceptual metaphor of the mind as a body moving through space.2 How we "image place" very much depends upon our carrying this practice into the electrate apparatus. Insofar as indigenous oral practices known as "storytracking" or "the walkabout" as well as the classical literate practice of argumentation both employ this conceptual metaphor as a way of imaging place in their own apparatus, electracy must translate this metaphor into digital media in a way that invites invention. One way to do this is to consider space in the context of non-Euclidean mathematics and the contemporary study of topology. The "liquid architecture" of cyberspace invites a dream-logic of juxtaposition whereby one teleports from place to place (or chora to chora). Ultimately, the question is this: how does the electronic medium change the way that we think spatially? If oral culture's primary mode was narrative (i.e. using space to tell stories), and literate culture’s primary mode was argumentation (i.e. using space to make arguments), then what will be the primary mode of "electracy"? That is, how will electracy use "space" differently?

Considering Second Life as a three-dimensional mnemonic prosthesis, then, will suggest changes in rhetorical practices appropriate to a digital medium fully realized in all of its potential. Autocartography will be one possible practice that will allow us to map our way into the future.

1 Whitfield, Peter. The Image of the World: Twenty Centuries of World Maps. San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1994. 14.

2 Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books, 1999. 236-38.

I've posted a slideshow introducing the concept of Autocartography.

I won't be going through this at the conference, so I'm hoping that people will have a chance to take a look at it before we start in two weeks. I think it's pretty straight forward and will make sense once you go through it--and it shouldn't take too long.

I've also made a quick stab at a machinima movie (only 2 minutes or so) that will serve as one of the locations in my autocartography (for PCs) or (for Macs) and have blogged a bit about its making.

Chris Taylor c_dog@mail.utexas.edu
May 29, 2006 12:24:03 PM EDT
Assistant Professor of Design
Design Division
University of Texas at Austin
1601 Walnut Avenue
Austin, Texas 78702
(512) 689-0616
Co-Director, Land Arts of the American West
Architect, Architecture Workers Combine

Dissolving between Land and Sky: Mapping Wendover
View the video documentation.

Contemporary ruins reveal primary structures and reflect the core of our forgetful postatomic condition. For the past three years I have traveled to Wendover with a field study program that each year spends two months traveling 10,000 miles to investigate 10,000 years of human intervention in the land. This lecture will present drawings and photographs to unearth connections between the unforeseen future of the socio-political history and geomorphology of the basin of the Great Salt Lake Desert. These documents will form a map of the unconscious of Wendover and examine the ruin of a city at the edge of the blue of distance, a place dissolving between land and sky.

Download the Dissolving between Land and Sky: Mapping Wendover PDF.

Stephanie Tripp stephanie.tripp@plattsburgh.edu, stephanie.tripp@gmail.com
Date: June 1, 2006 11:46:57 AM CDT
Ph.D. Candidate, English
University of Florida
1911 Mignon Ave., Memphis TN 38107
(901) 274-7224

Laura Sullivan alchemical44@yahoo.co.uk
Laura Sullivan, Ph.D. Candidate, English
University of Florida

Michael Laffey mlaffey@centenary.edu
lecturer in English and Communication
Centenary College of Louisiana
2911 Centenary Boulevard
Shreveport, LA 71104
(318) 869-5249

Thinking About the Pyramid: An Un-Called-For Proposal
View the video documentation.

At a height of 321 feet, the Pyramid in downtown Memphis is the third-largest pyramid in the world. Completed in the early 1990s amid much fanfare and boosterism, it was home to the city's NBA team, the Grizzlies, and the region's predominant concert and exhibition venue. In the past five years, the Grizzlies and the University of Memphis have abandoned the Pyramid for the new FedEx Forum, and local authorities have fretted over what to do with the city's expensive white elephant. Suddenly, a few months ago, a private deal was announced: Bass Pro Shops would take over the structure and turn it into a superstore, hotel, and retail complex, replete with a giant, bass-shaped canopy connecting it to a riverfront wharf. The public reaction has been predictable: derision countered by promises of jobs and a broader property tax base downtown. What has been missing, of course, is meaningful public discussion and input concerning the fate of the city's most iconic public space.

Not that anybody's asked us, but we have decided to propose our own plans for the Pyramid, and to invite others to pitch in their ideas as well. To this end, we wish to offer our "un-called-for" proposal in the form of a Web site, an Internet art project, and local publicity antics to be named later. The Web site would feature an interactive map and model of the Pyramid and the surrounding neighborhood. Users will be able to browse through a series of "overlays" that illustrate potential makeovers. Ideas currently include a cryogenic nekuomanteion that would cater to fantasies of celebrity afterlife, a monument to slave laborers sacrificed to grandiose public works projects (both in America and in Egypt), a center for critical tourism associated with famous "death sites" in the region (Graceland, the Lorraine Hotel, etc.), and a site from which to protest the erosion of urban public spaces. The list is certain to grow and to metamorphose over time. The Web site also will contain a wiki-type element that will allow visitors to comment on our plans and to propose their own.

Keynote, Gregory L. Ulmer gulmer@english.ufl.edu
June 1, 2006 2:21:45 PM EDT
Professor, Distinguished Teaching Scholar
Department of English
University of Florida Turlington Hall 4219
(352) 392-6650, ext. 242

Stuff I Just Thought Of, So Here Goes...
View the video documentation.

Seriously tho, my plan is to provide an overview, a context for imaging place within the Gestell of electracy, civilizational shift, anchored in practical reason via the EmerAgency interface. The talk will survey all my research and collaborations with the FRE since ELECTRONIC MONUMENTS. I will attempt to say-do electrate thinking with imageplace.

Plans for my presentation at the conference: I have persuaded Barbara Jo to provide the video track for the talk (some raw footage of her theoria visists to a couple of place-festivals (Kew West, Barrow). She will serve as respondent to my remarks (rebuttal?).