There's a meme going on @ FB and elsewhere... where images representing perspectives on specific jobs, roles, vocations, work, industries etc are being posted... I've seen one for filmmakers, designers, curators, gamedevelopers, the comics industry.. but haven't as yet seen one for the electronic literature community... so on Valentine's day I've devoted just a little bita time to that actual current love of my life...
An opportunity came my way a few short weeks ago where in a brief couple of hours I got to meet fourteen research teams currently engaged in a wide disciplinary range of scientific academic research at University College Dublin. The event was part of the preparations for Dublin City of Science 2012, specifically the imagine science film strand where researchers from UCD and filmmakers from IDAT were brought together to join forces, pool intellectual and creative resources, essentially spark off each others ideas with the goal of generating some potential cultural impact see (http://www.ucd.ie/imaginesciencefilms/) for a broader synopsis.
Stand up, move out and away from your keyboard (or drop that ipad) get right out right now, right away, any one of you that is not prepared to be wrong. Of course no one wants to leave the party early, few of us would like to be seen as black sheep of any flock, or consider ourselves so radically independent that we don’t require some sort of endorsement from our peers, yet we strive to be not so damn conformist that we aren’t perceived as being right all the time, awkwardly correct or improperly precise in all eventualities. Isn’t being wrong occasionally being human ? We simply can’t learn to walk without learning first, to fall. Yet do any of us, as seemingly independent individuals, honestly really regard ourselves as being perfectly consistently correct, utterly conventional, entirely cooperative, creative conspirators and willing collaborators with ‘powers’ that be ? Any of us aspire to ‘Acting the total cog ?’ Naw didn’t think so…
First a question: “Just how wrong is it to request tomato ketchup in a Parisian restaurant? Answer from experience: it is wrong, very wrong indeed and on so many levels, and that is before I even mention menus or how incredulously wrong when witnessed by others, whether discerning dining companions or fecund fellow customers, that’s before an attempt at factoring in the utter disgust lurking in the narrowed pupils of Parisian restaurant employees. Don’t mention the chef it’s wrong wrong wrong like designing Spandex Speedos for the sheep of Achill Island, wrong wrong wrong.
Repeatedly assured in my local vernacular that “things is tight” I’ve tried to give this post a thoroughly ‘tautological’ feel, informed in some small degree by vivid memories of the summation of academic writing technique by a highly respected UK based English Professor (of creative writing no less) thus: “Say what you’re going to say, say it, then say it again.”
Irish writers are moody, opinionated, self-obsessed, hypercritical, introverted yet oddly enough I’m quite happy to be considered among their number.
Henry Ford famously said if he had first consulted his customers, they would only have wanted a faster horse. Without any customer consultation whatsoever I imagine what today’s game industry might want tomorrow ?
All of the writers I know are avid readers. All of the academics I know, (with thanks to Maynooth, DMU, UCD, TCD and the TCD/UCD Innovation Academy, various lists & communities etc, etc, - that's now quite a few) despite having discipline centric reading habits, often tend towards broad tastes and eclectic interests. When searching for the ideal prints, you do gotta kiss a lota frogs, amass a lorra paper and lorry those loose leaves to the charity shops. We live in a slippery segue between what Bolter calls 'the late age of print' and a genuinely networked (read ubiquitous computing) society.