New Publication: Gothic Remixed

We are pleased to announce the imminent publication of Gothic Remixed: Monster Mashups and Frankenfictions in 21st-Century Culture, by ‘Transforming Creativity’ researcher Megen de Bruin-Molé.

The book explores the boundaries and connections between contemporary remix and related modes, including adaptation, parody, the Gothic, Romanticism, and postmodernism. De Bruin-Molé argues that popular remix creations are the ‘monsters’ of our age, lurking at the limits of responsible consumption and acceptable appropriation. Taking a multimedia approach, case studies range from novels like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series, to television programmes such as Penny Dreadful, to popular visual artworks like Kevin J. Weir’s Flux Machine GIFs.

Gothic Remixed will be published by Bloomsbury Academic on Halloween 2019. Join us for launch events at Winchester School of Art on Thursday, 31st October (5pm in LTA; booking via Eventbrite), and on 14th November at The Second Shelf bookshop in London.

‘Feeling Bodies’ at Queer Asia Film Festival

66893402_10156096847931599_6446023381832695808_nLast week, Estrella Sendra joined the panel ‘Film Festival as Method – Curation, Challenges, Content’, following the themed curated films ‘Feeling Bodies’, as part of the third edition of the Queer Asia Film Festival. Seven short films from different part of Asia were screened to shed lights on different ways of embodiment of queerness across the continent.

67169409_2300636866684416_7325332710652641280_o.jpg

The panel included different organisers and researchers of queer festivals and further festivals curating queer films in their programmes from the UK, China and India. Poorva Rajaram shared her experience in the Bangalore Queer Film Festival. Matthew Karen and Will Dai spoke about the case of CINEMQ in Shanghai. Theresa Heath discussed the Queer Wotever DIY Film Festival. Estrella Sendra shared her views on the queer films curated as part of the Cambridge African Film Festival, which she directed in 2014 and 2015. All members of the panel stressed the role that the festival plays as a space where to perform, embody and reflect on queerness, beyond the engagement with the curated films as art and text. They all shared the challenges of curating queerness and the political choices made in the curatorial process. The event was chaired by Daniel Luther, a SOAS graduate and one of the co-founders of Queer Asia, currently director of the film festival.

67364639_2302382266509876_3031420241440669696_o

posthuman creativity

The Transforming Creativity Research Group hosted a panel at the recent Cultural Histories Creative Futures conference at Winchester School of Art. The conference is the third in an ongoing relationship between WSA and the Culture Industry Research Centre at Nanjing University. A major international conference, it brought together scholars from the UK and China to engage with the past, present and future of scholarship in culture, history and creativity.

The ‘posthuman creativity’ panel argued for the significance and applicability of theoretical debates around critical posthumanism to contemporary creative production and cultural experience. Megen de Bruin-Molé, Danielle Sands, and Matt Hayler sketched out the key aspects of critical posthumanist theory and to their own research and industry networks, focusing on the real-world impact and potential of posthuman thought today. Dan Ashton interrogated assumptions and misassumptions about the role of automation and robotics in creative industries and work today, testing predictions for automation against the material and economic relationships prevalent in creative labour. Seth Giddings argued that everyday life has been posthuman since at least 1979 with the arrival of playful AI in the form of videogames – and that existing relationships with virtual animals offer insights into an emerging human-nonhuman culture.

What is to be done with the arts?

A public talk hosted by John Hansard Gallery. Full info here.

Professor Julian Meyrick (Flinders University, Australia) will be introduced Laboratory Adelaide, a research project based in South Australia looking at the problem of evaluating cultural organisations and events. Since 2013, the project has investigated principles-based approaches to value reporting that emphasises integrated narrative, multiple time horizons, informing context, direct experience, and meaningful language use, as against “the metric tide” of abstract, quantitative data gathering.

Following introductions from Dianna Djokey (John Hansard Gallery) and Dan Ashton (Transforming Creativity), Julian offered suggestions for principles for assessment and evaluation and explored ongoing conversations with public administration, environmentalists, and science communicators. This was followed by responses by Dr Ronda Gowland-Pryde and a group discussion.

More on Professor Julian Meyrick here. More on Laboratory Adelaide here.

Shock! and Rumble…

The Transforming Creativity group, in association with AMT, were thrilled to host two electrifying talks on technology, sensation, shock and haptics. David Parisi (College of Charleston, SC) presented on his very recent experience of testing the Teslasuit, a full-body haptic system, setting it in the context of his ongoing research into the archaeology and current developments in imaginary and actual haptic technology. Darshana Jayemanne (Abertay) explored the conceptual distinction between mimesis or semblance and shock in scholarship on Walter Benjamin. Both speakers made (reluctant) reference to Spielberg’s Ready Player One as a recent popular example of the technological imaginary of virtuality and sensation.

Darshana (l), David (r)

research-practice: creative coding

Transforming Creativity’s open programme of creative research / practice workshops was kicked off in fine, generative style at Winchester School of Art by Andy Lapham. An initially apprehensive-looking group of staff and postgraduate researchers from across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Web Science were soon tweaking RGB values and alpha channels and sending lines, circles and sine waves bouncing all round their laptop screens.