if:book uk

THE DOT AWARDS

WINNERS OF THE DOT AWARD FOR DIGITAL WRITING:

J.R. CARPENTER 2015

In my submission for the Dot Award 2015 [http://newmediawritingprize.co.uk/focus-on-the-2015-dot-award/] I proposed to create a new web-based piece called This is A Picture of Wind. I intended for this work to expand upon a short text written in response to the storms which battered South West England in early 2014, resulting in catastrophic flooding in Somerset and the destruction of the seawall and rail line at Dawlish. Reading the news in the months after these storms, I was struck by how difficult it is to evoke through the materiality of language a force such as wind which we can only see indirectly through its affect. I began to explore weather, and wind in particular, in all its written forms.

Winning the Dot Award enabled me to explore the intertwined topics of language, weather, and climate change in a freer and more open-ended way that I might otherwise have been able to. I looked through mountains of private weather diaries held at the Met Office Library and Archive in Exeter [http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/library]. One thing I figured out pretty early one is that it’s hard to study only one kind of weather. On one single page of a weather diary it is possible to see noted thunder, lightening, lilacs, a meteor, and hyacinths in full flower.

In September 2016 I was commissioned by NEoN Digital Arts Festival [http://www.northeastofnorth.com/neon-speaks-jr-carpenter/] in Dundee to respond to the theme “The Spaces We’re In”, both virtually and materially. I immediately knew I wanted to talk about the environmental impact of cloud computing by calling attention to the materiality of clouds in the sky. Both are commonly perceived to be infinite resources, at once vast and immaterial; both, decidedly, are not.

I decided to build upon Luke Howard’s classic “Essay on the Modifications of Clouds”, written in 1803. Howard was the first to standardise the names of clouds thatwe still use today. The resulting work, The Gathering Cloud [http://luckysoap.com/thegatheringcloud] launched at a Pecha Kucha Night [https://vimeo.com/195765759] in Dundee on the night of the US elections. I hadn’t intended for the title to wind up sounding quite so ominous, but I do think that now more than ever we need to find ways of talking about the enormity of climate change in human terms that we can understand and act upon.

JR Carpenter won the Dot Award in 2015 and went on to win the New Media Writing Prize for The Gathering Cloud. 

THODORIS CHIOTIS 2016

Mutualised Archives, an ongoing autobiographical performative interdisciplinary work unfolding throughout the whole of 2017.

Amongst his publications are Futures: Poetry of the Greek Crisis (Penned in the Margins, 2015), Screen (in collaboration with photographer Nikolas Ventourakis; Paper Tigers Books, 2017) and limit.less: towards an assembly of the sick (Litmus, 2017). His work has appeared in journals and anthologies in Greece, the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, Poland and Croatia. He has translated contemporary British and American poets into Greek and Aristophanes into English. He is a member of the editorial board of the Greek literary magazine [φρμκ] and contributing editor  for Hotel magazine. As well as receiving the Dot Award, he has also been awarded a High Commendation from the Forward Prizes for Poetry. He lives in Athens and works as the Co-ordinator of Scholarly Research and Digital Development of the Cavafy Archive (Onassis Foundation) and as co-curator of the Digital Nights series of talks at the Onassis Cultural Centre.

LOU SARABADZIC 2017

The #NERDSproject, 2 months later

After receiving the 2017 Dot Award for Digital Literature in January 2018 for the #NERDSproject [Never Ending Retelling through Digital Stories], I created three social media accounts for this interactive project. The #NERDSproject is now active on Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/nerdsproject/], Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/nerdsproject/] and Twitter [https://twitter.com/nerdsproject]. The –ambitious but adaptable– idea, as the website’s tagline [https://nerdsproject.com/] states, is to build over time a ‘Visual Encyclopedia of the Collective Imagination’. This project thus needs to be widely accessible, and its content easily shareable at all times.

The website and social media accounts were officially launched early February. On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I regularly suggest a particular title. It can a book, a film, a TV show, and why not something else altogether in the weeks to come…? Suggestions from the public are welcome and may significantly shape the future of the #NERDSproject.

After a title has been suggested on social media, anyone interested is invited to post a picture on the platform of their choice to show the image that comes to mind upon hearing those words. In addition to sharing the image submitted on all social media platforms to maximise interaction and inspiration, I then archive all submissions on the website [https://nerdsproject.com/] for convenient access and browsing.

So far, the project has focused on 4 different titles: “The Shining”, “Frankenstein”, “The Color Purple” and “1984”. Or, in the hashtag language: #NERDSTheShining, #NERDSFrankenstein, #NERDSTheColorPurple, and #NERDS1984. So far the title suggested which received the highest number of submissions is “The Shining”. The film by Stanley Kubrick seemed to have had a particular resonance in the audience’s minds. [https://nerdsproject.com/category/the-shining/]

At the moment, the #NERDSproject still needs to gain visibility and attract more participants. This is the reason why I have recently chosen to invest part of the funding associated with the award on advertising: first through Facebook, then Twitter.
I very much look forward to seeing how the project develops over the next few months. What can already be noted at this stage, though, is an interesting variety of formats and sources: the project has received memes, borrowed material, original photographs by contemporary artists, recreations of famous scenes or of general atmosphere, … That’s where the project seems to me most fascinating: it’s all about sharing influences, and echoing varied imaginative worlds. The comments about the project on social media have also shown a keen interest in being empowered to reinterpret and, in a way, appropriate or add to, a major piece of art.

There is no deadline for submissions, this call for pictures is constantly open, so feel free to join and contribute to the #NERDSproject at any time!

KAYT LACKIE 2018

The VESSEL Transmedia Storytelling Lab is a community initiative that focuses on using new media storytelling to explore the cultures, histories and environment of Elliot Lake and Northern Ontario in Canada. The initiative investigates how media representation can progress community renewal and build civic identity. The Transmedia Lab works with community partners to develop digital media education and literacy programming.

The lab’s flagship community project is The VESSEL Project, a transmedia narrative and integrated alternate reality game set in the town of Elliot Lake. The project will begin with a six-month long transmedia project that slowly parcels out clues across the internet to a large-scale mystery with Elliot Lake at the centre. In stage 2, the project will culminate in a 3-day-long festival where the town of Elliot Lake and its surrounding wilderness become the physical setting of a real-world ‘video game’. With the assistance of an AR app, players will solve puzzles and overcome challenges while experiencing a story performed by community participants. The story integrates environmental, historical and cultural elements of the area and the creation is a collaboration between professional artists and the community.

MODERN POETRY IN TRANSLATION 2019

This year, in the absence this year of proposals entered by writers, if:book decided to offer the money to a literature organisation to encourage experiments in this area. Modern Poetry in Translation magazine uses social media as a means to expand and deepen the conversation around poetry from around the world. MPT was founded 50 years ago by Ted Hughes. Under the editorship of poet Clare Pollard and digital editor Ed Cottrell, it’s developing an active online community around the new website and very beautiful print magazine. Clare and Ed will report back next year on their digital activities over the coming year.