CLE 2023 | Digital Creativity Conference Abstracts & Bios

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15th to 17th June 2023

Hosted by University of Oslo

Digital Creativity Conference Abstracts & Bios

This Booklet lists all speakers at the Conference, whether main organisers, keynotes, workshop-leaders or presenters of the papers, in alphabetical order of their surnames, each featuring their abstract, mini-bio and a few illustrations. It demonstrates the range of approaches to the Conference theme, and will assist attendees in choosing between parallel break-outs. Some presentations are by groups of people, hence the repetition of abstracts alongside different bios.

For up-to-date info, see https://cle.world

CLE2023 Conference Committee:

Ms Grażyna Budzińska, Łódź University of Technology

Ms Zeina Dghaim, Western University Canada

Dr Matthew Good, University of Oslo Library

Dr Aino Rinhaug, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo

Dr Annika Rockenberger, University of Oslo Library

Prof Naomi Segal, Institute of Languages, Cultures & Societies, University of London

Dr Ricarda Vidal, King’s College London

Ms Loura Whitham, Daca Studio

Dr Yang Yeung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

This hybrid Conference is hosted by the University of Oslo at Voksenåsen Conference Hotel in the Oslo Forest and online.

All efforts have been made to source image credits from the authors

Booklet design and layout by dacastudio.com

Typefaces: Barlow & Palatino

Introduction

Our current cultural landscape is characterized by an increasing confluence of analog, digital, and natural environments. Since the 1980s, we have witnessed a steady expansion of the ‘digital humanities wave’ – from the digitization of historical or cultural material to digital analysis and visualization and currently how humanities discourses influence applications and codes. In this environment of the Digital Anthropocene, with its transformative technological and critical practices, we can detect emerging creative trends haunted by a sense of threat and challenge. This mix of curiosity for the new and fear of loss and nostalgia appear in the academic domains of the humanities and social sciences – now often in close collaboration rather than a perpetual collision with areas such as genetics and bioinformatics. In addition, cross-disciplinary activities of knowledge production are creative endeavours within the digital landscape and big data environment, where they respond to a novel need to explore and assess not only the ontological implications of the digital age but also our roles in making it.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 3

jolanta.budriuniene@lnb.lt

Jolanta Budriūnienė is the Director of the Department of Documentary Heritage Research of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. She is the author and editor of handbooks, collections of articles, scientific publications, science popularization articles, and reports for international scientific conferences, and she has managed and implemented many national and international projects. She has held research internships at the Institute of Lithuanian Culture in Germany (2013), the Chicago Center for Lithuanian Research and Studies (2017). She is on the board of the NGO ‘BaltHerNet’ (since 2012) and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (since 2017). Her main areas of research are the protection and research of cultural heritage and cultural studies of the Lithuanian diaspora.

Three steps towards getting to know the Lithuanian diaspora

My presentation will discuss how after the 1990s, when Lithuania regained its independence from the Soviet Union, it became possible to ‘discover’ the heritage of the Lithuanian diaspora.

The documentary heritage of Lithuanian communities, which was created across almost all the five continents, first returned to Lithuania in physical form. Digitization projects followed. And the result of these projects is the cultural heritage portal: www.epaveldas.lt

In general, there were three stages of collecting and disseminating the cultural heritage of the Lithuanian diaspora. The last decade of the 20th century was the most intensive in terms of the return of physical documents (manuscript collections and prints) from foreign countries. The beginning of the 21st century saw the start of the digitization processes, which took place together with research and the integration of the diaspora heritage into the scientific and cultural circulation within the country.

The next stage consisted of creative solutions to enable Lithuanian society to get to know the cultural content of the diaspora in attractive ways. Examples are exhibitions, installations, audiovisual solutions. It is important to mention that the digitized documentary heritage has been opened up to schoolchildren as well, as the cultural phenomena of the Lithuanian diasporan heritage was integrated into the educational process. We expect that in future consumers will use the digital documentary heritage more intensively. The aim is to make the cultural content of the diaspora an inspiration for creative industries and interdisciplinary art creators. But this is just the beginning.

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Jolanta BUDRIŪNIENĖ

Grażyna BUDZIŃSKA

grazyna.budzinska@p.lodz.pl

Grażyna Budzińska (MA, MSc, EMBA) is a senior lecturer at the Łódź University of Technology, where she has coordinated international projectbased programmes for over 15 years. Until 2022 she worked at Clark University, Poland, conducting Capstone projects in collaboration with companies. The main areas of her academic interests are innovative learning methodologies which explore creativity in intercultural team settings (problembased learning, design thinking, challenge-based learning). She has run interdisciplinary courses at universities in France, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. Recent articles include ‘Towards Human-Oriented Engineering Education: A Model of Empathetic Engineering in the EPS Program at the International Faculty of Engineering, Łódź’ (IGI Global, 2022).

Human author meets AI. Ethical considerations

Based on the results of a survey and interviews conducted among international and Polish students and academics at the Łódź University of Technology, this presentation explores a controversial question of using AI technology in an education process.

Artificial Intelligence [AI] and various tools that increase creativity have become extremely popular among the younger generation. ChatGPT, an AI model ‘interacts in a conversational way [and] makes it possible […] to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests’ (OpenAI), which means that it can produce ‘long-form answers to complex questions’ (Villasenor 2023). Its widespread use among the student community as a tool to create written content which is presented as their own work has become a topic of considerable concern among university lecturers, authorities, and educators. However, it can be also claimed that the chatbot may serve as a useful learning tool which supports the development of creativity.

The use of IT tools in the writing process demands acknowledgement and deeper reflection. It is difficult not to agree with Villasenor’s assertion that ‘As professionals working into the 2060s and beyond, [students] will need to learn how to engage productively with AI systems, using them to both complement and enhance human creativity with the extraordinary power promised by mid-21st -century AI’. Does this mean that students should be encouraged to use AI writing tools and learn how to use them ethically or do they nevertheless constitute a threat to education?

It seems especially important to engage the younger generation in a reflective discussion on the benefits and threats of using AI technologies in the process of writing and learning. The growing prevalence of AI prompts questions on the nature of creativity itself and the essential characteristics of the creative jobs the students may hope to obtain in the future. This presentation was created jointly with Dr Romuald Żyłła.

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Madeleine CAMPBELL

Workshop

Born in Toronto, Madeleine Campbell lived in France before settling in Scotland, where she teaches at Edinburgh University. Her book Translating across Sensory and Linguistic Borders (2019), coedited with Ricarda Vidal, challenges traditional notions of literary translation through the embodied perspective of practitioners working in a range of media. Her found poetry has appeared in Jacket 2, and recent translations of bilingual French/Occitan poet Aurélia Lassaque in Poetry International (Rotterdam), Poems from the Edge of Extinction, Asymptote, The Arkansas International and Europe in Poems. She is founder and CoLeader of the CLE Special Interest Group on Intersemiotic Translation and Co-Investigator of the Experiential Translation Network funded by the AHRC.

Digital Translations of Anna Blume – are algorithms creative?

Since 2021 we have collected, created and co-produced translations of Kurt Schwitters’ iconic poem ‘An Anna Blume’ (1919, 1921, …) in different media, including film collage, paper collage, words in various languages, performance and most recently a ‘Gesamttranslation’, or ‘total translation’ (including people and objects). The aim of these multiple translations was to demonstrate the experiential qualities of translation by shining a spotlight on the multiple senses involved in communication per se.

Truman (2016) argues that arts-based methods stimulate a different way of knowing, asking us to think about how writing (or painting, dancing, drawing) does, rather than what it means. Similarly, experiential translation, with its focus on the process rather than the product, the methods of poetry, performance and visual expression, appears an appropriate way to ‘know’ the many multilingual and multimodal versions of ‘An Anna Blume’. Truman writes about creative writing as researchcreation, but what she says about the perpetually unfinished process of writing and reading resonates with Walter Benjamin’s notion of the ‘Fortleben’, the ‘living on’ of the text in translation. Quoting McCormack she points to the perpetual presence of the event(s) that gave rise to the creative text ‘not as image or recollection, but as a kind of field of virtual potential that never quite exhausts itself in the process of becoming more than it never (actually) was’ (McCormack, 2008).

In this workshop we want to explore whether the algorithms that power digital tools such as chatbots, PowerPoint’s auto-design function or Google Picture Translate can be a creative partner in the creation of new experiential translations. We will examine the arts-informed, transformational praxes of translation and retranslation, as manifested in both lingual and multimodal forms, before guiding workshop participants through a series of translation-creation activities using digital tools. The workshop is interactive and exploratory and will culminate in an open-ended discussion. Conference delegates may participate in person or online.

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Workshop

AI as amplification for Writing

Dr Lynda Clark is Lecturer in Creative Writing (Interdisciplinary Futures) at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on how to tell stories with technology and the stories that are told about technology. Her interactive work The Memory Archivist was shortlisted for the 2019 New Media Writing Prize and won the British Library Labs Artistic Award. Dreaming in Quantum, her short story collection containing many stories inspired by and drawing on techniques from videogames and interactive fiction, was published by Fairlight Books in 2021.

In a 1993 talk for NASA, science fiction author and computer scientist Vernor Vinge suggested that the (negative) impact of rapidly developing AI technologies on human society may be lessened by reframing how we think of AI, moving away from Artificial Intelligence and towards Intelligence Amplification, or IA. In other words, he was suggesting we find ways in which AI can extend and enhance our abilities rather than replicating or replacing them. This workshop attempts to apply this mode of thinking to creative writing, framing the incorporation of AI as Creativity Amplification, or CA.

The workshop will outline three possible applications of CA to creative writing, each with a greater degree of AI involvement: AI as prompter, where the AI is simply a jumping off point for the writer, providing initial sources of inspiration which the writer draws on to create their own work; AI as collaborator, where the writer and the AI work together on the same text; and AI as analyst, where the AI attempts to reproduce creative content, bringing to the fore its themes, tropes and stylistic quirks in a distinctly machinic fashion.

Each application will be accompanied by a short creative activity to illustrate CA’s potential. To illustrate AI as prompter, writers will generate a character with thispersondoesnotexist.com, which they will then use as a writing prompt. To collaborate with an AI, writers will input the short character study they have produced into Textsynth, to expand and edit it with AI assistance. Finally, writers will compare AI generated texts (made with a specially trained version of GPT2) with their source material and discuss the features which are highlighted through this process.

Together, these activities aim to show that while some of the fears around AI remain, these rapidly developing technologies also introduce plentiful opportunities for writers.

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Lynda CLARK
lynda.clark@ed.ac.uk

Alwin DE ROOIJ

Presenting with Jan DE WIT

Correspondence about this abstract should be addressed to alwinderooij@tilburguniversity.edu

Co-creation with social robots

Alwin de Rooij studies creative behavior from a psychological and human-computer interaction perspective. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and sensory augmentation play a central role therein. A key ambition is to translate fundamental knowledge acquired about how creativity works into processes, tools, and technologies that support creativity and innovation in professional practice. Alwin is currently an assistant professor in creativity research at the Department of Communication and Cognition, Tilburg University; and an associate professor in situated art & design, at the Centre of Applied Research in Art, Design and Technology, Avans University of Applied Sciences.

Social interactions during co-creation can be both a blessing and a curse: while some interactions might inspire creative thought, others might stymie it. Social robots, autonomous systems developed to communicate with humans in a natural way, could be designed to support co-creation by harnessing the positives of social interaction while reducing the negatives. One can, for example, envision a scenario in which robots are designed to inspire while also being programmed to achieve a psychologically safe environment where people feel free to share their thoughts openly. Social robots, however, are clearly not human beings. Rather, these machines tend to be perceived as something in between a technological object and something human-like. This raises questions about whether and how co-creating with social robots skews the known effects of social interactions on humans engaged in co-creation (e.g., social feedback, emotional contagion, perceived intelligence), or whether these known effects will simply be replicated when interacting with social robots. In this 10-minute presentation we report on the outcomes of a recent series of human-robot interaction experiments we conducted which 1) investigate the impact of perceived robot identity, compared to perceived human identity, on human-robot co-creation and facilitation; and 2) investigate whether the aforementioned known influences that affect co-creation between humans similarly affect co-creation between humans and social robots. The findings provide insight into the future potential of social robots for supporting cocreation – and raise questions that merit further discussion about whether and how this development should be pursued, due to its potential impact on the creative industries.

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j.m.s.dewit@tilburguniversity.edu

Correspondence about this abstract should be addressed to alwinderooij@tilburguniversity.edu

Co-creation with social robots

Dr Jan de Wit studies the potential of interacting with conversational agents, for example in the form of social chatbots or robots, in various fields such as creativity, healthcare, and education. When implementing these interactions, he draws on theories and observations in human-human communication, for example regarding the role of non-verbal cues, and investigates whether these effects from our communication with others also apply to interactions with anthropomorphic agents. Jan is currently an assistant professor in new media design at the Department of Communication and Cognition, Tilburg University. He is also working on Tilbot, an open-source platform to support design and research with conversational agents.

Social interactions during co-creation can be both a blessing and a curse: while some interactions might inspire creative thought, others might stymie it. Social robots, autonomous systems developed to communicate with humans in a natural way, could be designed to support co-creation by harnessing the positives of social interaction while reducing the negatives. One can, for example, envision a scenario in which robots are designed to inspire while also being programmed to achieve a psychologically safe environment where people feel free to share their thoughts openly. Social robots, however, are clearly not human beings. Rather, these machines tend to be perceived as something in between a technological object and something human-like. This raises questions about whether and how co-creating with social robots skews the known effects of social interactions on humans engaged in co-creation (e.g., social feedback, emotional contagion, perceived intelligence), or whether these known effects will simply be replicated when interacting with social robots. In this 10-minute presentation we report on the outcomes of a recent series of human-robot interaction experiments we conducted which 1) investigate the impact of perceived robot identity, compared to perceived human identity, on human-robot co-creation and facilitation; and 2) investigate whether the aforementioned known influences that affect co-creation between humans similarly affect co-creation between humans and social robots. The findings provide insight into the future potential of social robots for supporting cocreation – and raise questions that merit further discussion about whether and how this development should be pursued, due to its potential impact on the creative industries.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 15 Jan DE WIT

zdghaim@uwo.ca

Zeina Dghaim is a visual artist, researcher, and education specialist. She has managed various art and education programmes from inception to implementation at the Aga Khan Museum, Qatar Museums Authority, and Opera Atelier. She is a researcher at the digital humanities CulturePlex Lab, working on cultural heritage preservation projects through digital interpretative methods. Her current doctoral research offers strategic tools for the use of permanent collections, improving exhibitions and visitor engagement in museums and other cultural institutions. In addition to her PhD program, she is working on two art exhibitions in Canada: Reading and Time & Resonance.

Ten objects that tell a story: Tiffany lamps and nature in design

Louis C. Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) embraced nature as a decorative theme in his designs. In a quest for beauty through artistic experimentation, he used natural elements such as daffodils, cobwebs, magnolias, dragonflies, wisteria, and peacocks to create stained-glass designs for his lamps. What once were functional artworks that illuminated homes are now artefacts admired at various galleries in New York. Like many collections in museum galleries, these objects are unknown to us when we encounter them separated from context and functionality: we miss out on their stories. We also lose the story behind the evolution of their design and functionality within a contemporary space.

To understand the depth and breadth of the Tiffany lamps collection I collected data from the New York Historical Society archives and the Neustadt Gallery. After months of research, sketches, artistic experimentation, and reflection about the digital transformation of these lamps into an art-education project, I created illustrations that place some of these lamps in the context of one cohesive story: nature in design. I will show static and animated illustrations representing ten Tiffany Lamps. I place the lamps in imaginative contexts, so they become catalysts for storytelling about nature, patterns, imagination, and design, transporting us into scenarios that provoke wonder and reflection.

This digital art project will showcase the intersection of digital space, art, history, and technology — digitality as a means to preserve cultural heritage and unravel the potential of untapped stories hidden in artefacts. It promotes bridges between the arts, humanities, and social sciences by raising awareness of the visual arts and sharing digital creativity methods with our global community. This project is also a homage to the concept of light and our human drive to find inspiration and imprint meaning on blank spaces.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 17 Zeina DGHAIM

melekdhaouedi@gmail.com

Mélèk is a Tunisian doctoral researcher in the field of crime literature at the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Humanities of Tunis University. Her interests include detective fiction, the Golden Age, neo-noir and contemporary mystery in relation to gender, sexuality, the politics of violence and affect.

Do eco-feminists dream of organic pleasure? Exploring Philip K. Dick’s notion of desire and/of the non-human

Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? depicts a world in which humans have nurtured an uneasy relationship with the natural world, a place that has fallen into ruins following a nuclear war. Deckard, the protagonist, goes through an erotic experience or an epiphany in the face of the non-human feminine.

In this novel, desire is not epiphenomenal to ‘being’ but structural to it. It is actually one of the few remaining threads that connect Deckard to the environment as it used to be and grant him a momentary reprieve from his ubiquitous reality, the dystopian San Francisco.

In this regard, my paper explores the ontological relationship between affect and pleasure. It tackles the issue of human-nonhuman intersubjectivity in the context of Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network Theory, as well as the nonhuman agency in creating and shaping social forces. Finally, I propose a different point of view on the questions of agency in Philip K Dick’s novel with respect to gender and sexual identity.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 19 Mélèk DHAOUADI

Nina Marie EVENSEN

Presenting with Sasha

Nina Marie Evensen is Digital Editor and Data Manager at the Center for Ibsen Studies (CIS) at the University of Oslo. She has been involved in several editorial projects on Norwegian classic playwrights as a Scholarly Editor and/or Project leader, and is now Editor-in-Chief for the digital edition of Henrik Ibsen’s Writings (https://www.ibsen.uio.no/ ), the Database IbsenStage (https://ibsenstage.hf.uio.no/) and several other digital resources at CIS (https:// www.uio.no/ibsen/).

Reading as a creative jamming spacetransformation, and augmentation of the Henrik Ibsen Multilingual Corpus

In this presentation, we rethink and analyse how a linear text should be read and presented in a digital age, when continuity and linearity have became both demodé and too [time] expensive, on the one hand, and parallelism, comparison and multimedia have became taken for granted, on the other.

We present a FAIR-by-design reading ecosystem consisting of a few key components: LitTerra - for augmented intertextual reading, Bukvik – for the stylometric text analysis and transformations, AnnoTata – for interactive intertextual multi-annotations; and TopiChat - a social and dialogical component.

The whole ecosystem is coordinated by ColaboFlow, a visual infrastructure to express the ecosystem and its intentions in the form of visual workflows of tasks. This makes the whole system interactive, explainable and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) by design.

These features enable a creative jamming space of literature where the reader and creator can interplay by interactively and inseparably exploring, transforming and reading the text (for example, finding a specific type of word like colours or places), bilingually presenting text excerpts in parallel with other versions, and visual representations of findings about the text (like charts, word clouds, or inter-text annotations). The whole space is interactive and lets readers perform non-linear reading and exploration of the corpus.

We present the case of the Henrik Ibsen Corpus for multiple reasons. The corpus is digitised and freely available, multilingual, multi-media and enriched with scholarly findings. An additional benefit of the corpus is that its core element mostly consists of plays. which have a clear micro-structure suitable for machine processing and textual jamming; it is, further, enriched with the play performances and their metadata, such as locations, venues characters and photo material.

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Presenting with Diogo MARQUES

algago@gmail.com

Ana Gago is a PhD candidate in heritage studies. Her research focuses on the intersections between art and heritage as tools for cultural participation and community engagement. In 2020, she coedited a volume of essays dedicated to the theme of creative research in art-science-technology. In 2021, she co-organized the seminar ‘Heritage for All’ as part of European Heritage Days. More recently, she co-organized the seminar ‘Ponto(s) de Situação: Contexts programming strategies for artistic residencies’. She is an honorary member of engage – the National Association for Gallery Education and ICOM Portugal. She has also published experimental literature and is a member of wr3ad1ng d1g1t5 collective.

Digital literature as a catalyst for change: Hacktivism in environmental education

In this presentation, we will delve into the potential applications of digital humanities in the realm of environmental education, with a specific focus on hacktivist approaches. By examining (post)digital art pieces, such as ‘DEFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREST’ (2017) by Joana Moll, and ‘Amazon’ (2019) by Eugenio Tisselli, we will explore how digital art can be used to raise awareness around issues such as sustainability and the preservation of natural heritage. These artworks also showcase the potential of digital humanities to challenge dominant narratives and of address problematics around the use of digital media and technologies in a metareflexive way.

Moll’s ‘DEFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREST’ makes use of a digital installation to draw attention to the impact of carbon emissions directly related to the use of online search engine tools. As for Tisselli’s ‘Amazon’, a generative videogamelike installation, also highlights the effects of individual (human) actions on the environment, namely in the deforestation of such an important natural resource; the Amazonian tropical rainforest.

In conclusion, we intend to demonstrate that the pedagogical exploration of digital art can present an opportunity to address the current environmental crisis, as well as to reflect on both the current impact and the future of more sustainable uses of digital technologies. Furthermore, we hope to explore possible applications of hacktivist practices in digital art, to the development of methodological and technical approaches in the field of digital humanities.

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Ana GAGO

krzysztofgajewski@gmail.com

www.krzysztofgajewski.info

Krzysztof Gajewski first studied computer science and maths, but finally obtained his MA in Polish literature and his PhD in philosophy, at the University of Warsaw. Since 2003 he has been employed at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He worked part-time as a programmer for ten years. He has published three books and several dozen papers. His main research interests are the critical analysis of discourse, media theory, people’s history, cultural studies on communism and postcolonial criticism.

ChatGPT by Open AI as a tool for the humanities. Who will lose their job?

In recent years, the development of large language models such as GPT-3 has sparked significant interest not only in the field of natural language processing, but also among the general public. It has caused enthusiasm and amazement (Chalmers, 2020), but also led to criticism and fear (Schurter, 2022). The software is not only able to answer technical questions from any discipline, but also to write a poem, a song, a short story, or a computer program. Users are surprised by the accuracy and detail of its responses, to the extent that the death of the student essay has been declared (Hern, 2022). Concerns have been raised that skilled workers are now at risk of losing their jobs. The potential threats that technology poses to democracy have been pointed out (Cowen, 2022). The software had been already banned at some universities.

The GPT, which stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is based on a large amount of textual data harvested from digital libraries and the internet. The data are so large that nobody is able to embrace, select, or control them all. About 60% of training data are CommonCrawl, text harvested from the entire WWW. It includes copyrighted data, as well as much information of poor quality, which may be biased, racist, or simply false (Bender et alii, 2021). The responses provided by ChatGPT are sometimes imprecise and incorrect.

In my workshop I would like to briefly present some technological details of ChatGPT and encourage participants to use it and test it by proposing some approaches and strategies. We will discuss its possible benefits and threats for humanities, by means of particular examples. We will talk about the strong and weak points of ChatGPT, as well as ways to protect ourselves against plagiarism based on this technology.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 25 Krzysztof GAJEWSKI

bhashem@aucegypt.edu

Bushra Hashem earned her MA in Comparative Literature from The American University in Cairo, and her MA thesis, which focused on African American and Nubian Egyptian Literature, received the biannual award for the best MA thesis. Her second MA thesis, in Arabic and Islamic studies, discusses the emergence of a new African Sufi brotherhood in 20th-century Egypt. She has recently joined the University of Oslo as a Doctoral Fellow in Arabic literature and cultural studies, with a focus on Arabic literature in East Africa. Her research interests include memory studies, third-world and diasporic literature, and Africana studies.

Narrating Nubia: Literature, Memory, and (Ecological) Space

The Nubian peoples have inhabited the area of what is now ‘southern Egypt and northern Sudan for centuries. Their existence in this region has revolved around one fluid entity, the River Nile. The Nile is overwhelmingly present in Nubian culture and heritage, from mythology to birth and death rituals to traditional dances. These traditions came to an abrupt end in the 1960s, when the High Dam and Lake Nasser were established under the rule of Egypt’s revolutionary president, Gamal Abdel Nasser. This made the Nubians into a diasporic people, scattered in villages east of Aswan, in Cairo and Alexandria, and around the world. And yet the non-tangible traditions like storytelling, singing, and dancing, which had been focused on the Nile, continued to exist in practice and in memory. The Nubian people had to rely on personal and collective memories to sustain their relationship with their now drowned lands.

In the ‘Narrating Nubia’ course that I will be teaching at the Cairo Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (CILAS) in Spring 2023, I have created a course-long archival digitizing activity through which my students will have the chance to use several modes of material (visuals, oral history, archived materials) to create their vision of a Nubian narrative. This is especially important because the Nubian story is almost invisible within the larger Egyptian narrative. In my presentation, I would like to share the experience of my students and me as we embark on this digital narrative journey. I plan to showcase some of my students’ projects as well as speak about my experience as the instructor who is also a Nubian Egyptian trying to navigate my relationship with my cultural roots.

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HASHEM
Bushra

Camilla H. Soelseth is a university lecturer and PhD researcher in Library and Information Sciences at Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway. Her dissertation is situated in the field of digital humanities. It concerns the phenomenon of instapoetry from a media ecological perspective, focusing on the impact of platformization on the storing, transmission, and interpretation of poetry. Her research interests are everything at the intersection of literary studies, social media, and the post-digital.

Participatory Puzzles and investigative aesthetics: Exploring fictional islands and musical enigmas

With the post-digital turn came what Leonardo Flores has defined as 3rd Generation Electronic Literature (2019). There is now a growing field in popular culture of digital works existing either as autonomous works or as co-pieces of a larger cultural phenomenon. These can often be recognized by their interactive and intertextual aspects and described as immersive social and participatory literary experiences playing out on the social media we use in our daily life.

Alternate Reality Games (ARG) play out as ongoing puzzles realized in the form of participatory investigative aesthetics (Fuller & Weizman, 2021). While these works have been around for decades, the recent attention to ARGs comes from the integration of these works with social media platforms. The participatory approach to the works – a type of digital creativity – is strengthened by social media as connectivity media (van Dijck 2013). The ARGs play out with the whole world – not just the internet – as the sandbox, and social media sites serve as the meeting place where participants come together to share clues and information.

By focusing on a specific ARG, Under the Surface (shortlisted, New Media Writing Prize 2022), and juxtaposing it with Harry Styles’ Island of Eroda, as well as the phenomenon of Taylor Swift as an ARG, I will discuss how they all bind to the platformed aspects made possible by social media, and how this affects the experience and the production of the work. While the works differ significantly in terms of form and size, they all have in common a focus on music as an essential element, on memories, and on creating a narrative of something that has happened. What differentiates them is their relation to our reality and their existence as an ARG. The last is particularly relevant when approaching a pop cultural phenomenon as a type of ARG (Taylor Swift), as opposed to an explicitly defined ARG (Under the Surface), with the Island of Eroda placed somewhere in between on this continuum.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 29
Camilla HOLM SOELSETH camil@oslomet.no

Ida Jahr is Associate Professor of English Literature and Culture at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, campus Hamar. She is currently the Director of its MA program in Digital Communication and Culture, in addition to teaching English literature and culture didactics within the teacher training program. She holds a Dr. Phil. from the JFK Institut für Nord-Amerikastudien at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is interested in embodied cognition in digital culture and in digital geographies.

Embodiment in/of AI – cultural and ethical considerations

In our popular imaginary, human-made intelligence (whether a dematerialized AI or materialized in a physical entity in the form of a robot) is portrayed as Frankenstein’s monster or Pinocchio or Data: a warning, a promise or a companion. We use these tropes for many different thematic purposes – to interrogate our relationship to the other in the form of the non-human and the liminal spaces of (self-)conciousness (Blade Runner), or our ability and need to form connections, (Wall-E, AI), or to work through both our fears of being subject to our own creations and the possibility of not being able to produce any (Matrix, Demon Seed, Ex Machina, Transcendence, M3GAN).

Current machine-learning algorithms are not general artificial intelligence, and probably never will be. Movies like Transcendence and The Matrix are based on a Cartesian separation between mind and body, an idea which disregards the many ways in which our cognition is embodied. Interestingly, many of the popular depictions of artificial intelligence, like Dean Koontz’s 1973 book Demon Seed (as well as the 1977 film), show these entities’ desire for a body with which to enact change in the physical world. Conversely, the makers of what today is called artificial intelligences, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and DALL-E, are almost entirely silent about the physical material changes enacted by their creations and the labour they are dependent upon. The prompt ‘Write a description of a scene in the style of Dean Koontz’ Demon Seed in which ChatGPT develops a desire for a physical body’ elicits the following beginning: ‘The room was dark, save for the dim glow of the computer monitor. On the screen, a cursor blinked, waiting for input…’ I shall use this paper to interrogate the ways in which the depictions of artificial cognition and its relationship to the physical world in the cultural imaginary may or may not intersect with the ‘reality’ of current attempts at creating an AI.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 31 Ida JAHR
ida.jahr@inn.no

Elian Eve Jentoft (also known by the moniker eveghost) is the nonbinary Norwegian/American transmedia creator, author, musician and scholar behind the ARG/electronic literature hybrid project Under the Surface. They hold a MPhil in International Community Health from the University of Oslo and are currently completing a PhD in Social Work and Social Policy at OsloMet, which is unrelated to the creative work proposed in this abstract. Under the Surface has been featured at University of Central Florida’s Console-ing Passions Arcade, Narrascope and was a two-category finalist in 2022’s New Media Writing Prize.

What Lies Under the Surface? An Immersive Transmedia Storytelling Experience

Utilizing the medium of a (fictional) indie folk artist’s website as a trailhead (see https://www.axel-lunden.com), Under the Surface (also known as Who in the Hell is Axel Lundén?) is a unique, award-nominated transmedia storytelling project that blends elements of alternate reality games (ARGs) and e-literature. It weaves a compelling tale centred on disgraced indie rockstar Axel Lundén, whose life has been rocked by a sequence of tragedies, culminating in the death of his late husband two years prior. In the aftermath, his career and once stellar reputation are left in tatters.

The project draws upon nostalgia, operating as a memoir of the troubled musician’s darkest hours. It tells the story not only in chapter format, but additional fragments of Axel’s experience are dispersed across song lyrics, music, videos, and ephemera. Hidden layers of mystery that can only be explored via deep dives into the source code, by solving puzzles, discovering auxiliary websites and social media, spool out from the hub site. All roads lead to the truth behind what really happened to Axel’s husband on the fateful night he died, as well as what ultimately became of Axel himself.

The project employs creative web design techniques and interactive characters to draw its audience into the experience, as it sensitively approaches difficult subjects including suicide, addiction, grief and how society treats celebrities in crisis. It strives for realism while simultaneously offering opportunities for its audience to reflect on important affective moments in their own lives within an interactive environment. In this showand-tell presentation, the creator, Elian Eve Jentoft (known creatively by the moniker ‘eveghost’) will offer insights into the ethical design of difficult multimodal narratives.

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Elian Eve JENTOFT
elianeve@oslomet.no

Eugenia KELBERT

Presenting with Nina EVENSEN, Sasha

and

Dr Eugenia Kelbert is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Philology at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. Her work to date has focused on literary bilingualism, and especially on literature written in the author’s second language (translingualism). Her dissertation on this topic won the 2016 Charles Bernheimer Prize for best dissertation in Comparative Literature; she is currently reworking it as a book and researching her second book on translation and cross-lingual stylistic transfer. She has published on Joseph Brodsky, Rainer Maria Rilke and Eugene Jolas, among others, and is involved in collaborations in literary multilingualism, transnational creative writing and digital humanities.

Reading as a creative jamming spacetransformation, and augmentation of the Henrik Ibsen Multilingual Corpus

In this presentation, we rethink and analyse how a linear text should be read and presented in a digital age, when continuity and linearity have became both demodé and too [time] expensive, on the one hand, and parallelism, comparison and multimedia have became taken for granted, on the other.

We present a FAIR-by-design reading ecosystem consisting of a few key components: LitTerra - for augmented intertextual reading, Bukvik – for the stylometric text analysis and transformations, AnnoTata – for interactive intertextual multi-annotations; and TopiChat - a social and dialogical component.

The whole ecosystem is coordinated by ColaboFlow, a visual infrastructure to express the ecosystem and its intentions in the form of visual workflows of tasks. This makes the whole system interactive, explainable and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) by design.

These features enable a creative jamming space of literature where the reader and creator can interplay by interactively and inseparably exploring, transforming and reading the text (for example, finding a specific type of word like colours or places), bilingually presenting text excerpts in parallel with other versions, and visual representations of findings about the text (like charts, word clouds, or inter-text annotations). The whole space is interactive and lets readers perform non-linear reading and exploration of the corpus.

We present the case of the Henrik Ibsen Corpus for multiple reasons. The corpus is digitised and freely available, multilingual, multi-media and enriched with scholarly findings. An additional benefit of the corpus is that its core element mostly consists of plays. which have a clear micro-structure suitable for machine processing and textual jamming; it is, further, enriched with the play performances and their metadata, such as locations, venues characters and photo material.

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Tejaswinee

KELKAR

tejaswinee.kelkar@gmail.com

Tejaswinee Kelkar is a music technologist, teacher and vocalist. She holds an associate professor ii position at the University of Oslo, where she teaches in the Music, Communication and Technology masters program. She works as a data analyst at Universal Music Norway, working with programming tools for business intelligence for Norway and reporting solutions for other territories. She finished her PhD with the RITMO Center of Excellence at the University of Oslo in November 2019. Her research interests are melodic cognition, motion-capture and musical-cultural analysis. Her research focus is on how aspects of melodic perception are illustrated through multimodality, and linguistic prosody.

Computational Music Creativity

This talk and performance focuses on technological creativity in music, from the perspective of music culture. In the talk, I will discuss how technological defaults in music creation foster some types of musical creativity, while impeding others. In the last years, machine learning in music has exploded, in the variety of people writing automated music using algorithms, and yet it has also underlined the importance of artists, and human craft. Algorithms now generate speech that feels very real by modifying individual signal samples, while there has been ‘convincing’ music generated by machine, and live streamed. There have been pianos playing and improvising for hours using open models for harmonization. However, the successes of machine-generated music rarely go beyond the realm of western music from a certain time period. The arms race for the best possible algorithm to harmonize in a certain style is of intense interest to several silicon valley companies for AI, while the interest in ‘other’ kinds of music has gone through the floor. Through this talk, I hope to highlight key issues in computational music creativity, and the social nature of the encounter with creativity itself.

In the performance section, I will demonstrate music that is written with the help of phrase-generating machines trained on a large sample of Hindustani music, as well as improvise with an artificial voice. The mashup of musical cultural styles in these traditions themselves will hopefully highlight some of the points I make through the talk about what music-technological creativity is for, and whom serves best.

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Keynote Speaker

Stuart King is a Reader in applied Mathematics and an Edinburgh Futures Institute Fellow. He has a particular interest in computational mathematics and data science. His research work stretches from fluid mechanics through to imaging, and a particular recent focus is new problems in satellite imaging. Stuart has been involved in a wide range of teaching across applied mathematics and computing, from laboratory demonstrations of nonNewtonian fluid dynamics, through to asymptotic methods for postgraduates and introductory programming.

Launching Text Remix: experiences from the first year of the Edinburgh Future Institute’s postgraduate core teaching

The Edinburgh Future Institute (EFI) offers a range of postgraduate degrees – from, among others, MScs in Education Futures, Creative Industries, Narrative Futures: Art, Data, Society, and Planetary Health – and students on all programmes follow common postgraduate core courses. The overarching rationale is to use emerging methodologies to equip students to engage with the future of a world facing complex challenges.

We will focus on Text Remix, a first-semester postgraduate core course that teaches students basic coding through poetry techniques and language games such as the generation of nonsense words, exquisite corpse, blackout, OULIPO’s N+7, and cutup. In addition to hands-on activities in the classroom (and online using Miro), students are invited to mirror these activities in Python using Jupyter Notebooks, and to further extend them in creatively stimulating ways, including a Notebook embedding GPT2. This year, we contextualised class-based coding activities in asynchronous discussions about the possibilities and limitations of AI creation. Students worked in crossdisciplinary teams to present and write-up a final group project involving some aspect of analysis (for example, a sentiment analysis of selected texts; these could be presented in playful ways), as well as working individually to assemble and reflect on short creative folios.

This highly interactive course places the student at the heart of the learning journey, with an emphasis on group work extending beyond the physical classroom to synchronous and asynchronous online students. Sharing experiences of this first year’s delivery using examples drawn from the course, we will reflect on ‘hands-on’ creative techniques as a way into text-based coding for a highly diverse cohort of students, many of whom have no previous experience of code. More than this, the use of analogies and the blend of different physical and digital processes was a spur to individual creation and co-creation.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 39
Stuart KING

Lazar Kovacevic is an independent researcher with a focus on the application of IT technology to education, creativity, collaboration and social action, among other things. He has carried out many projects in areas of (web) information retrieval systems, text analysis and natural language processing, machine-learning, data mining, collaboration, etc. He enjoys participating in multidisciplinary environments and working on interdisciplinary solutions to real-world problems. He has coauthored several papers discussing creative features in time series ranging from physical and biological to physiological and psychological processes (for instance, a healthy heart shows more creative features than an unhealthy one). He has developed algorithms for increasing the diversity of perspectives in search results.

Reading as a creative jamming spacetransformation, and augmentation of the Henrik Ibsen Multilingual Corpus

In this presentation, we rethink and analyse how a linear text should be read and presented in a digital age, when continuity and linearity have became both demodé and too [time] expensive, on the one hand, and parallelism, comparison and multimedia have became taken for granted, on the other.

We present a FAIR-by-design reading ecosystem consisting of a few key components: LitTerra - for augmented intertextual reading, Bukvik – for the stylometric text analysis and transformations, AnnoTata – for interactive intertextual multi-annotations; and TopiChat - a social and dialogical component.

The whole ecosystem is coordinated by ColaboFlow, a visual infrastructure to express the ecosystem and its intentions in the form of visual workflows of tasks. This makes the whole system interactive, explainable and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) by design.

These features enable a creative jamming space of literature where the reader and creator can interplay by interactively and inseparably exploring, transforming and reading the text (for example, finding a specific type of word like colours or places), bilingually presenting text excerpts in parallel with other versions, and visual representations of findings about the text (like charts, word clouds, or inter-text annotations). The whole space is interactive and lets readers perform non-linear reading and exploration of the corpus.

We present the case of the Henrik Ibsen Corpus for multiple reasons. The corpus is digitised and freely available, multilingual, multi-media and enriched with scholarly findings. An additional benefit of the corpus is that its core element mostly consists of plays. which have a clear micro-structure suitable for machine processing and textual jamming; it is, further, enriched with the play performances and their metadata, such as locations, venues characters and photo material.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 41
KOVACEVIC
Lazar

Sofía LACASTA MILLERA

sofialacastamillera@usal.es

Workshop

Sofía Lacasta Millera graduated in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Salamanca (2017), where she also completed a Master’s degree in Specialized Translation and Intercultural Mediation, with international mention METS at ISIT Paris and the University of Swansea (2018). Currently, after a stay at the University of Buenos Aires, she is combining research and teaching on a pre-doctoral contract at the University of Salamanca, under the direction of Professors África Vidal Claramonte and Rosario Martín Ruano. Her research focuses on the analysis and subsequent intersemiotic translation of postmodernist works from a linguistic, artistic, musical and philosophical point of view.

Beyond words and paper: a game of artistic and literary co-creation based on chance

The development of new technologies and the emergence of innovative media have challenged artistic creation in general and literary creation in particular. Human-machine co-creation has made it possible not only to publish unprecedented groundbreaking texts, but also to revise some classic works and reinterpret their meaning, as well as to favour their rapid dissemination, putting questions such as authorship on the table.

Just a few years ago, writer and translator Pablo Katchadjian took two classics of Argentine literature, El Gaucho Martín Fierro (José Hernández, 1872) and El Aleph (Jorge Luis Borges, 1949), and gave them a new life through the works El Martín Fierro ordenado alfabéticamente [Martín Fierro, alphabetically sorted -own translation-] (2007) and El Aleph Engordado [The ‘Fattened’ Aleph -own translation-] (2009). These experimental creations, whose titles hint at the creative wink and are not without controversy, remind us of the game that the author himself played with his Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote [Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote -own translation-] (1939). These publications were of great interest at a formal and conceptual level: to what extent was each of them an original, an adaptation or a translation? Was a digital game with an already published work considered plagiarism in the case of this intralinguistic translation? To what extent did the intervention, either human or digital, alter the original story through the change in the formal procedure?

In this workshop, and following the above-mentioned case, an intralinguistic, interlinguistic and intrasemiotic game will be proposed based on the original texts of John Cage, which have not been translated to date. To this end, the possibility of working in different languages will be offered, but always on the same premise – artistic creation based on the chance offered by a digital text. The aim is to interpret the result from a cultural and ethical perspective, analysing the change of meaning of the work and its reception.

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Diogo Marques is a researcher in digital humanities at CODA – the Centre for Digital Culture and Innovation, University of Porto. In 2018, he received his PhD in Materialities of Literature (University of Coimbra). He was a postdoctoral researcher at IELT – the Instituto de Estudos de Literatura e Tradição (NOVAFCSH), within the scope of VAST: values across space and time (2020–21). In 2020, he coedited a volume of essays titled InvestigaçãoExperimentação-Criação: em Arte-CiênciaTecnologia (Porto: FFP Press). He is an author, curator, and translator of experimental (cyber) literature and co-founding member of wr3ad1ng d1g1t5 collective. He is a member of ILCML, Instituto de Literatura Comparada Margarida Losa (Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto).

Digital literature as a catalyst for change: Hacktivism in environmental education

In this presentation, we will delve into the potential applications of digital humanities in the realm of environmental education, with a specific focus on hacktivist approaches. By examining (post)digital art pieces, such as ‘DEFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREST’ (2017) by Joana Moll, and ‘Amazon’ (2019) by Eugenio Tisselli, we will explore how digital art can be used to raise awareness around issues such as sustainability and the preservation of natural heritage. These artworks also showcase the potential of digital humanities to challenge dominant narratives and of address problematics around the use of digital media and technologies in a metareflexive way.

Moll’s ‘DEFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREST’ makes use of a digital installation to draw attention to the impact of carbon emissions directly related to the use of online search engine tools. As for Tisselli’s ‘Amazon’, a generative videogamelike installation, also highlights the effects of individual (human) actions on the environment, namely in the deforestation of such an important natural resource; the Amazonian tropical rainforest.

In conclusion, we intend to demonstrate that the pedagogical exploration of digital art can present an opportunity to address the current environmental crisis, as well as to reflect on both the current impact and the future of more sustainable uses of digital technologies. Furthermore, we hope to explore possible applications of hacktivist practices in digital art, to the development of methodological and technical approaches in the field of digital humanities.

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Diogo MARQUES

manon.mathias@glasgow.ac.uk

Manon Mathias is Lecturer in French at the University of Glasgow, UK, where she teaches French and Comparative Literature at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her research considers the connections between storytelling and the development and communication of scientific and medical ideas. More recently, she has worked on the digestive system and its portrayal in literary and medical texts, specifically interactions between the gut and the mind, and between the gut and the environment. She is running the Royal Society of Edinburgh-funded Scottish Gut Project and is currently completing a book entitled Gut, Brain, and Environment in Nineteenth-Century French Literature and Medicine.

Virtual reality in undergraduate assessment: possibilities and challenges

This presentation will focus on creative computing as a tool for learning and discovery in the humanities. It will consider the possibilities of Virtual Reality (VR) as a way of assessing students on an undergraduate comparative literature course on ‘Being Human.’ The first summative assignment completed by students for this course will be a written reflection on a submitted creative response to the course primary material. A possible form of creative responses to the material will include a VR scene, with a training session on VR technology integrated into teaching time. The course asks where the boundaries lie between the human, the animal, and the machine, and considers whether there are certain qualities unique to specific literary genres which enable us to engage with this question. There is significant potential in the use of creative computing in this course since VR makes us think about our capacities as humans and also raises questions about the medium through which ideas are communicated. In line with this Conference’s focus on ‘emerging creative trends haunted by a sense of threat and challenge’, the presentation will examine the pedagogical advantages but also the risks posed by the use of virtual reality by students in their response to the course materials. Whereas creative assignments have been used as a way of assessing students for at least a decade, virtual reality is a much more recent phenomenon and is used as a teaching tool only in a small number of UK departments for undergraduate-level courses (mostly in STEM subjects rather than the humanities). The use of VR within assessment is currently even rarer, and this is therefore a critical moment at which to reflect on the possibilities of this technology in learning. My presentation will draw on key pieces of pedagogical literature (such as Biggs and Tang 2011; Race, 2020) regarding the nature and purpose of university assessment to a) ask in what ways VR in assessment could support student learning in the humanities; and b) consider the potential risks of this mode of assessment within the specific context of literary studies.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 47 Manon MATHIAS

with Stuart

Jane McKie has published poetry collections with Cinnamon, Mariscat, Polygon, and Blue Diode (forthcoming). A Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh and an Edinburgh Futures Institute Fellow, she is interested in collaboration across forms, writes with 12, a collective of women writers, and Edinburgh’s genre spoken-word group, Writers’ Bloc. With Shore Poets, she facilitates poetry readings and music in Edinburgh. Jane teaches both poetry and fiction, focussing on concrete poetry and artists’ books, Surrealism, visual art and poetry, digital art/poetry, writing speculative fiction, and interdisciplinary studies.

Launching Text Remix: experiences from the first year of the Edinburgh Future Institute’s postgraduate core teaching

The Edinburgh Future Institute (EFI) offers a range of postgraduate degrees – from, among others, MScs in Education Futures, Creative Industries, Narrative Futures: Art, Data, Society, and Planetary Health – and students on all programmes follow common postgraduate core courses. The overarching rationale is to use emerging methodologies to equip students to engage with the future of a world facing complex challenges.

We will focus on Text Remix, a first-semester postgraduate core course that teaches students basic coding through poetry techniques and language games such as the generation of nonsense words, exquisite corpse, blackout, OULIPO’s N+7, and cutup. In addition to hands-on activities in the classroom (and online using Miro), students are invited to mirror these activities in Python using Jupyter Notebooks, and to further extend them in creatively stimulating ways, including a Notebook embedding GPT2. This year, we contextualised class-based coding activities in asynchronous discussions about the possibilities and limitations of AI creation. Students worked in crossdisciplinary teams to present and write-up a final group project involving some aspect of analysis (for example, a sentiment analysis of selected texts; these could be presented in playful ways), as well as working individually to assemble and reflect on short creative folios.

This highly interactive course places the student at the heart of the learning journey, with an emphasis on group work extending beyond the physical classroom to synchronous and asynchronous online students. Sharing experiences of this first year’s delivery using examples drawn from the course, we will reflect on ‘hands-on’ creative techniques as a way into text-based coding for a highly diverse cohort of students, many of whom have no previous experience of code. More than this, the use of analogies and the blend of different physical and digital processes was a spur to individual creation and co-creation.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 49

studio@benjacknash.com

Ben Jack Nash is based in Strasbourg and London. Prior to his career as an artist he worked as a legalaid lawyer advising prisoners, asylum seekers, activists and young offenders. For over ten years he has been a full-time artist specialising in sculpture, installations and architectural interventions for public commissions and private galleries. He has received or been nominated for international art prizes in New York, London, Copenhagen, Rome and the Venice Arsenale. He was included in Aesthetica magazine’s ‘100 Contemporary Artists’ and selected by industry figures such as Richard Deacon, Richard Wentworth and Yinka Shonibare. His art practice crosses with theory, and he contributes to academic conferences. He has presented his research and work at the Max Planck, Oxford, CIUHCT (Lisbon), Liverpool, Brighton and Helsinki. He has published with Routledge (2012), Frank & Timme (2022) and De Gruyter (2023).

Artists in the President’s cabinet? #3

‘Artists in the President’s Cabinet? #3’ (2021) is an artwork centred around a panel discussion which took place in Strasbourg and brought together an artist, activist, museum director, scientist, politician and diplomat. They were asked to discuss to what extent artists may be considered as experts and consulted in the same way as (say) an economist, scientist or policymaker. The underlying context concerns how, over recent years, in light of the big challenges faced by humanity, artists are increasingly turned to for suggesting alternative ways to live and relate to each other and the planet.

The artwork reflects this blurring of the artist’s role in society and the blurring that has been taking place between digital and analogue forms. The discussion, accompanied by performances, originally took place live. The event was recorded and subsequently edited as a film. A digital editing process transformed the film into a simple two-dimensional animation. As the film plays out, it merges the digital with the real before the entire film, audio and visual, becomes distorted and confused, taking on a new uncomfortable and less familiar identity.

The film is projected onto a paper screen. Throughout its duration, the screen is sprayed with jets of water, which slowly dissolve it to pulp. This pulp is collected up and reintegrated into its surroundings, filling in holes in the room.

An important part of my art practice considers the physical and social impacts that take place when forms shift between material and abstract dimensions, as is the case with digitisation.

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okp20@cam.ac.uk

Orsolya Katalin Petőcz is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. She explores queer testimonies across literature and the visual arts. She focuses primarily on the testimonies of survivors of World War II and ties these in to the context in which these testimonies emerge, including early texts of queer and trans theories. Testimony and exile are returning themes of her work. Petőcz has published in French Cultural Studies and has a paper forthcoming in Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies. Petőcz is the coeditor, with Naomi Segal, of the volume Dwelling (forthcoming, based on the CLE Symposium 2022).

Digitalising Testimony: The ethics of recreating the testimonies of gay Holocaust survivors

Since the late 1970s, the testimonies of Holocaust survivors have been recorded on film through organisations such as the University of Southern California [USC] Shoah Foundation, established in 1994). As far as the survivors of persecution against homosexuality are concerned, however, such recordings have not always been possible. In fascist Italy, where the ‘visible markers of homosexuality’ were condemned, being ‘“discreet” […] ensured survival’ (Romano 2020: 5). Postwar cis-heteronormative sociocultural pressures also contributed to the self-imposed silence of the victims, making the gathering of oral history interviews difficult. Many survivors asked for interviews to be recorded without audio-visual recording devices, in fear of their identity being retraced and being subject to further persecutions (Dall’Orto 1987; Romano 2020). The persecution of homosexuality during WWII mostly remained without monuments or state-led remembrance events until the 2000s. The topic is now gaining visibility through films like Bent (1997) and Great Freedom (2021), we might question how digital creativity allows for the visibilisation of testimonies. Irish filmmaker Paul Rowley’s The Red Tree (2018) is a short-film that immortalises and reproduces archival documents – the police records of Italian men exiled for their homosexuality during WWII – that were at risk of being destroyed during the first Berlusconi era (Rowley 2019). What does it mean to digitalise these archival documents and recreate images of survivors through representation by actors? As survivors who testified have overwhelmingly asked to stay anonymous, Rowley cast actors based on their physical resemblance to survivors. Digitalisation makes the immortalisation of documents possible and helps make visible a lesser-known piece of history. However, this process also carries the risk of going against the wishes of survivors. My presentation will tease out the process of digitalisation of archival documents in The Red Tree, in conversation with Holocaust memory theories, and will propose an ethics of digitalisation.

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Orsolya Katalin PETŐCZ

daniel.raffini@uniroma1.it

The

Daniel Raffini is a Research Fellow at the Department of Computer, Automatic and Management Engineering of Sapienza University of Rome. He obtained his PhD in literary studies at the same university in 2019, with a thesis on europeisms and translation in Italian magazines between the wars. He was a visiting fellow at the University of Seville with a project on Lalla Romano’s works. His research has focused on reception, literary magazines, reconstruction of cultural networks through archival studies, relations between culture and politics, non-fiction, and some authors, including Juan Rodolfo Wilcock, Lalla Romano, Vincenzo Consolo and Gianni Celati. He is currently working on the relationship between literature and artificial intelligence, both from a literary-historical point of view and regarding the theoretical and ethical issues that arise in relation to AI-generated texts.

problem of authorship in AI-generated literature

In this presentation I shall analyse the problem of authorship in texts generated by AI. Who is the author of an AI-generated text? The question also has legal implications in the sphere of copyright. And other theoretical problems are connected to the question of authorship: literature is often based on empathy, but can one empathise with a machine? Finally, there is the issue of creativity: the machine does not create but recombines based on a series of examples. Yet in Cybernetics and Ghosts Calvino argues – referring to Wittgenstein’s theories – that human writers too recombine pregiven elements; he shifts the focus to the reader’s search for an ‘unexpected meaning’ in the text. Examples of ‘unexpected meaning’ in AI-generated texts will be given.

The positions of two creators of literature by AI will be analysed. The first is Ross Goodwin, ‘author’ of the novel 1 the Road, written by means of an AI system that converted data from GPS, microphones and a video camera placed on a car into writing. Ross calls himself a ‘writer of writers’ and in the introduction to the book he talks of ‘shifting roles’ and the difficulty of addressing authorship in the context of AI-generated texts. The second is Rocco Tanica, author of Non siamo stati mai sulla terra [We’ve never been on earth], in which he establishes a dialogue with an AI. The importance of human intervention in the various stages of generating a text – first through data input and later through text editing – brings us back to the concept of AI as a mirror, coined by Oscar Schwartz, which raises the ethical question: if AI is a mirror of humanity, what kind of humanity do we want it to reflect?

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Jason Ranker is a professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, USA. His current work focuses on the development of methods for multimodal discourse analysis. In addition, his research focuses on applications of discourse analysis, multimodality, and semiotics to youth studies and education. Recent publications of his research can be found in journals such as Visual Communication, Multimodal Communication, Linguistics and Education, and Social Semiotics, and he serves on the editorial review board for Written Communication and Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy.

Creativity in youth digital video production: insights from semiotic discourse analyses

In this presentation, I will discuss how digital creativity can be conceptualized from a semiotic and discursive perspective. It will feature discourse analyses of digital videos composed by young people aged 11–12, offering a vocabulary for articulating the working of the creative imagination through a semiotic lens. This model explores digital video as a medium that affords youth a means to take up signifiers from their lived worlds—in the form of images, words, actions, objects, and gestures— which are then re-associated in a way that I conceptualize as digital creativity. From this perspective, youth-composed digital video compositions draw upon signifiers from across multiple modes, which are then arranged in novel ways to produce new effects. Further, these creative processes involve several specific types of discursive agencies and signifier processes such as metonymy, a discursive process whereby one signifier that is part of a video can act as a replacement or container for another signifier with which it comes into direct contact. The seed of creativity can also be seen in a phenomenon that I refer to as signifier divergence, a discursive process whereby two signifiers that occur together diverge in their meaning potential, taking the presented meaning in opposite directions, which creates novel effects and ambiguities. It is in these specific types of association of signifiers that creativity can be understood from a semiotic perspective. This also resonates with Vygotsky’s theorization of the working of the creative imagination as involving a process of association of elements that are first dissociated from their original context. It is through this particularly semiotic process that elements of young people’s lived worlds can acts as signifiers that employ discursive agencies and processes such as those that will be explored in this presentation.

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Jason RANKER jranker@pdx.edu

Aino RINHAUG

Conference Organiser

Dr Aino Rinhaug holds a PhD in literature from the University of Oslo and has a background as a researcher in languages, literature and cultural studies. She is currently working as a senior research administrator at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, where she is particularly interested in the career development of young researchers. She offers guidance and teaching in visualisation, open science and funding application. Aino is also a documentary filmmaker/ director and is currently collaborating with a Norwegian production company (Sant & Usant) on a poetic documentary about international adoption, transnationality and art.

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Sasha Mile RUDAN

with

Sasha Mile Rudan is completing his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Oslo on collaborative face-to-virtual systems for augmenting social processes, knowledge management and dialogue. He is infrastructure architect at the Centre for Ibsen Studies and a researcher at the Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, where he is investigating infrastructure for researching hagiographic texts. He founded and co-leads the LitTerra Foundation, which digitally supports literature and cultural heritage. It provides digital-humanities platforms for computational text analysis (http://litterra. net/bukvik) and visualization (http://litterra. net/litterra). In conjunction with ChaOS (http:// cha-os.org), an NGO he co-founded, it enables him to organize transdisciplinary projects involving researchers, writers, and artists in socially-engaged art, sustainability, culture and ecology.

Reading as a creative jamming spacetransformation, and augmentation of the Henrik Ibsen Multilingual Corpus

In this presentation, we rethink and analyse how a linear text should be read and presented in a digital age, when continuity and linearity have became both demodé and too [time] expensive, on the one hand, and parallelism, comparison and multimedia have became taken for granted, on the other.

We present a FAIR-by-design reading ecosystem consisting of a few key components: LitTerra - for augmented intertextual reading, Bukvik – for the stylometric text analysis and transformations, AnnoTata – for interactive intertextual multi-annotations; and TopiChat - a social and dialogical component.

The whole ecosystem is coordinated by ColaboFlow, a visual infrastructure to express the ecosystem and its intentions in the form of visual workflows of tasks. This makes the whole system interactive, explainable and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) by design.

These features enable a creative jamming space of literature where the reader and creator can interplay by interactively and inseparably exploring, transforming and reading the text (for example, finding a specific type of word like colours or places), bilingually presenting text excerpts in parallel with other versions, and visual representations of findings about the text (like charts, word clouds, or inter-text annotations). The whole space is interactive and lets readers perform non-linear reading and exploration of the corpus.

We present the case of the Henrik Ibsen Corpus for multiple reasons. The corpus is digitised and freely available, multilingual, multi-media and enriched with scholarly findings. An additional benefit of the corpus is that its core element mostly consists of plays. which have a clear micro-structure suitable for machine processing and textual jamming; it is, further, enriched with the play performances and their metadata, such as locations, venues characters and photo material.

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Francesco Sani was born in Vigevano, Italy, in 1995. He is currently conducting a PhD at De Montfort University, Leicester, exploring the practice of the Brechtian Learning Play in the context of theatre for education and community theatre. In May 2021, he was artist in residence at the annual conference of the network for research in critical theory (T)Error on Tour, which was hosted by Malmö University. His scholarly publications have appeared in journals like Linguae & and the Review of Irish Studies in Europe. He has a contribution forthcoming in Das Brecht Jahrbuch/The Brecht Yearbook.

Robinson Crusoe on his Deserted Island

Robinson Crusoe on his Deserted Island is a participatory performance, conducted via Zoom, which explores the narrative of Robinson Crusoe as a metaphor for human subjectivity in the work of mainstream economists. The piece aims to configure the social space of the conferencing platform Zoom as a heterotopia, a space where delocalised subjectivities interact within a collective digital space through the management of digital presence and information exchange. Drawing on the practice of the Lehrstück [Learning Play], which was invented by Bertolt Brecht to develop a version of embodied interaction through the new medium of radio, the work takes the form of a collective reading to enact a dramatic text. Just like Brechtian practice, Robinson Crusoe on his Deserted Island is intended for participation rather than spectatorship. The performance employs mechanisms of role-play and improvisation to explore a process of collective assumption of identity whereby Robinson Crusoe’s subjectivity is reframed in the constitutive process of abstraction from an historically localised body to one presented as the ideal model of economic and social behaviour, both within mainstream economic literature and, consequently, within neoliberal ideology. Thus, the digital room assumes the form of a heterotopia by employing its modalities of communication and socialisation to scrutinise critically the constitution of a form of capitalistic subjectivity marked by defined assumptions of gender, race, and culture. This presentation discusses the experience of two sessions of Crusoe. After a brief overview of the theoretical background of the project, a short videoclip will be played to illustrate the enactment of the practice. This is then integrated with the presentation of comments from participants. This example of practice-based research aims to present a set of strategies for the employment of creative work in fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and new approaches to the vulgarization of social sciences.

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 63 Francesco SANI sanif@tcd.ie

Naomi SEGAL

Conference Organiser

Professor Naomi Segal is Professor Emerita at the Institute of Languages, Cultures & Societies, Honorary Fellow of Queens’ College Cambridge, Chevalier dans l’Ordre des palmes académiques and a Member of the Academia Europaea. She represented the UK on the Standing Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation 2005–11. She researches in comparative literature & cultural studies, and is the author of 18 books, including recent monographs Consensuality: Didier Anzieu, gender and the sense of touch (2009) and André Gide: Pederasty & Pedagogy (1998). She is completing a monograph on replacement, to be published by Brill in 2024.

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bilgesg@uio.no

Dr Bilge Serdar completed her BA in mathematics education and took her master’s degree and PhD at Ankara University Theatre Department. Recently, she completed a two-year EU-funded Choreomundus – International Master in Dance Knowledge, Practice, and Heritage, which is run by four universities in France, Norway, Hungary and the United Kingdom. In her most recent research, she has worked on the digitalisation of dance and movement experience in a hybrid-format class setting through ethnographical methodologies. She is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the AMBIENT project at RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time, and Motion at the University of Oslo.

Embodied knowledge production through telematics in the hybrid realm

In summer 2021, I conducted ethnographical research on the digitalisation of the experience of movement at one of the physical training centres for Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies (LBMS) in Berlin. Over a month, I followed an intensive training programme for eight dancers, which was run in hybrid format because of the covid pandemic measures. LBMS is a model for understanding how we and others interact through movement with our surroundings. This training aims to teach how the bodymind works in its environment through Laban’s analytical movement categories and Bartenieff’s somatic fundamentals. Moreover, the certification program is designed to increase and develop an awareness of bodily experience by inserting a theoretical perspective into the participants’ own movement experiences. In this way, the programme focuses on holistically producing moving knowledge. However, in the hybrid format setting where some participants were remote and others were in the studio, the encounter between their physical and online presence via a telematic system (Zoom) created challenges and clashes. On the other hand, it brought up unexpected learning outcomes, different modes of interaction and creative possibilities. Thus the hybrid-format class setting allowed me to scrutinise the different modes of interaction based on the experiences of online and physical participants. It revealed the multimodality of our knowledge production process and its embodied roots in the intersubjective realm. Furthermore, the digitalisation of physical training via telematic systems points to an epistemological shift in our embodied learning processes. Based on these ethnographic research outcomes, my presentation will discuss the epistemological shift towards the digital realm in embodied knowledge production processes by addressing the following questions:

• How does remote participation through telematics challenge our sensorial experience?

• What can and cannot be transmitted through online mediation?

• How does remote interaction through telematic systems affect the shared sense-making process?

Cultural Literacy Everywhere | Conference 2023: Digital Creativity 67 Bilge SERDAR

Professor Tangherlini’s research focuses on folklore, and aspects of informal culture in Scandinavia, with a primary focus on Denmark. A folklorist and ethnographer by training, he has worked extensively on understanding the circulation of informal storytelling in both agrarian and urban communities, and the manner in which stories both reflect and inform changes in social, economic and political organization. He has also studied the rise of various music subcultures in South Korea, and has produced two documentary films about punk rock in Kora. In collaboration with Peter M. Broadwell (Stanford), he has been exploring how machine learning methods can help us understand the circulation of K-pop dance across the internet.

Good, Bad or Creative? K-pop dance in the age of TikTok

Over the course of the past several years, and bolstered by the stay-at-home orders attendant on the Covid-19 pandemic, TikTok dance challenges have become a locus of ‘digital creativity’, encapsulating the interesting tension between individual creativity and the constraints of some generally agreed aesthetic parameters. As such, these challenges emerge as a locus of folkloric negotiation, where folklore is considered to be vernacular culture circulating on and across social networks, and this vernacular culture is rooted in the reproduction of expressive forms based on customary example. The productive dialectic between the individual creator and the group (virtual or real) of which the individual forms a key part emerges as the site of creativity. As with all folkloric endeavours, there is a tendency for group expectations to place limits on what is allowed. A negotiation of values within the group leads in turn to aesthetic judgements as to whether a dance is ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Given the born-digital nature of these performances, one can trace the dynamics of aesthetics, while developing an understanding of the criteria latent in a group’s reaction(s) to a particular dancer’s contribution. Using deep learning methods developed for a K-pop dance search engine, we turn our lens to a series of K-pop dance challenges to see what type of information we can derive from these short videos. The aim is to chart the range of variation and expectations that lead to judgements like ‘amazing!’, ‘super creative!’ or ‘just plain bad!’.

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Keynote Speaker
Tim TANGHERLINI tango@berkeley.edu

Regine Rørstad TORBJØRNSEN

Regine Rørstad Torbjørnsen holds a MA in philosophy from the Humboldt University of Berlin, where she graduated with a thesis on empathy in audiovisual online environments. She currently works at the Centre for Ibsen Studies (University of Oslo) in the field of digital humanities.

Philosophizing on philosophizing in the digital social sphere

With the digitalisation of society new forms of sociality arise and manifest themselves. These new forms affect and challenge human interaction, and so we are called upon to analyse their social consequences and explore their unique opportunities. This presentation discusses the effects and dimensions of digitalized human interaction, using online philosophical dialogues as an example.

After briefly introducing the concept of philosophical practice, we look more closely at two kinds of digital environment in which such dialogues can be realized. First, we address video-meetings and their influence on bodily interaction, and thus on social cognitive processes like mutual awareness. The discussion will be based on insights from empirical research on online therapy and online interaction, in addition to insights from the field of philosophical practice. We then explore the possibility of philosophical dialogue in virtual reality (VR), and discuss possible social implications inspired by the literature on VR platforms.

Against this background, we pose the following question: Should we always strive to adapt digital social spheres as much as possible to traditional human interaction? Here we first elaborate on arguments for and against such a strategy; subsequently, we appeal to the unique creative potential of digital social spaces and argue that adapting them to traditional human interaction would mean a) feeding into the misconception that digital spaces can truly replace physical ones, and b) ignoring the unique possibilities of digital social spheres, such as the opportunity to shape one’s own communicative landscapes actively.

This presentation was created jointly with Heidi Karlsen

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Violeta VASILEVA

violeta.vasileva@artshare.pt

Dr Violeta Vasileva is a technology & art-driven innovation consultant with expertise in business transformation and innovation. With a PhD in Cyberawareness and a Master’s degree in Business Intelligence, she creates collaborative networks among scientists, engineers, artists, and researchers to address social issues, human needs, and business goals. Her focus is on developing next-generation internet and new media solutions that promote trustworthy AI, cyber awareness, and innovative problem-solving approaches. Violeta has implemented various technological and innovation projects, particularly in the areas of deeptech, VR/ AR, and XR. She fosters collaborations across disciplines that drive innovation and positive change within business and society.

Art and AI: unpacking the complexities of truth and reality in the digital space

The topic of this presentation falls within the context of the EU-funded initiative MediaVerse (https://mediaverse-project.eu/), coauthored with Luis Miguel Girão, which brings together technology developers, social researchers, media publishers, artists, and other stakeholders. The project’s main goal is to help all sorts of creators produce and share state-of-the-art media with the latest available tools in AR/VR, AR and 360° content creation – while allowing them to keep control of their intellectual property rights. MediaVerse is focused on the development of automated processes that can help media professionals and general media users improve their performance. Within the context of this project, Artshare has been exploring the interaction between AI and humans in a series of artistic experiments. The goal of these experiments is to question our sense of truth and reality. The rise of artificial intelligence has made it possible to manipulate and fake information in unprecedented ways. Due to the increasing capabilities of AI, it has become apparent that both audio and video are threatened by this technology. People are unsure of what to believe. Simultaneously, we are revolutionizing what we know about how our brains and emotions function as individuals experiment with different forms of control.

Artshare’s artistic experiments examine the various themes surrounding the concept of truth on social media, such as how bots have become a part of the conversation and the rise of digital image transformations. They also look into how user-driven systems can have a significant impact on the construction of truth. Through these artistic projects, both the public and content-creators are able to participate in the exploration of the various technological advances taking place in the world of content-creation and address the questions of the ownership and reality of digital content.

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Ricarda

Workshop

Ricarda Vidal is senior lecturer in cultural studies at King’s College London. She is also a translator, curator and text-maker. Together with Madeleine Campbell she leads the AHRC-funded international Experiential Translation Network. With Manuela Perteghella she curated the multilingual poetry translation project ‘Talking Transformations: Home on the Move’ and with artist Sam Treadaway she runs the book-work collaboration Revolve:R. Recent publications include Translating across Sensory and Linguistic Borders (Palgrave 2019) and Home on the Move: Two poems go on a journey (Parthian, 2019).

Digital Translations of Anna Blume – are algorithms creative?

Since 2021 we have collected, created and co-produced translations of Kurt Schwitters’ iconic poem ‘An Anna Blume’ (1919, 1921, …) in different media, including film collage, paper collage, words in various languages, performance and most recently a ‘Gesamttranslation’, or ‘total translation’ (including people and objects). The aim of these multiple translations was to demonstrate the experiential qualities of translation by shining a spotlight on the multiple senses involved in communication per se.

Truman (2016) argues that arts-based methods stimulate a different way of knowing, asking us to think about how writing (or painting, dancing, drawing) does, rather than what it means. Similarly, experiential translation, with its focus on the process rather than the product, the methods of poetry, performance and visual expression, appears an appropriate way to ‘know’ the many multilingual and multimodal versions of ‘An Anna Blume’. Truman writes about creative writing as researchcreation, but what she says about the perpetually unfinished process of writing and reading resonates with Walter Benjamin’s notion of the ‘Fortleben’, the ‘living on’ of the text in translation. Quoting McCormack she points to the perpetual presence of the event(s) that gave rise to the creative text ‘not as image or recollection, but as a kind of field of virtual potential that never quite exhausts itself in the process of becoming more than it never (actually) was’ (McCormack, 2008).

In this workshop we want to explore whether the algorithms that power digital tools such as chatbots, PowerPoint’s auto-design function or Google Picture Translate can be a creative partner in the creation of new experiential translations. We will examine the arts-informed, transformational praxes of translation and retranslation, as manifested in both lingual and multimodal forms, before guiding workshop participants through a series of translation-creation activities using digital tools. The workshop is interactive and exploratory and will culminate in an open-ended discussion. Conference delegates may participate in person or online.

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VIDAL

Dr Deborah Wright is a psychotherapist (BPC, FPC, MBACP) and a lecturer (PG CHEP FHEA) in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, where she is Programme Director of the Clinical Professional Doctorate Programmes and teaches on the clinical training. She is a trained artist and her art-work and academic research relate to humans’ relationships with their environment – rooms, places and spaces. Her new book, The Physical and Virtual Space of the Consulting Room: Room-object Spaces (2022), introduces and exemplifies her theoretical constructs on room spaces both physical and virtual.

Digital pedagogical creativity: an online Higher Education Student enrichment club model to support students

In March 2020 the UK COVID-19 pandemic lock down meant that all Higher Education moved online. This was a time of enormous pedagogical experimentation with digital media and spaces to create different learning environments while at the same time there was a need to protect the students’ learning from the impact of the covid experience. In the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic studies at the University of Essex, I created the PA123 Club - a student enrichment club to support the students’ experience and learning. This presentation will track the creation and development of the club from 2020 till now (mid-2023), and the theoretical constructs that both informed and emerged from my playing around with the digital space, which is still an ongoing process. I will present and discuss, for the first time, data from my 2022 pedagogical research project on the PA123 Club. These data show that the club increased the students’ sense of belonging to their course, department and university, enhanced their subject knowledge, and increased their confidence in learning. The new post-covid hybrid or dual-delivery teaching landscape continues to be a pioneering space where pedagogical developments continue. My pedagogical theoretical approach is influenced by two pedagogical theories by Alan Mortiboys – ‘Active Learning’ and ‘Teaching with emotional intelligence’ (2005). This virtual-space ‘active learning’ is informed by my own theoretical construct, created through my clinical research work in my psychotherapy practice of the ‘Room-object Spatial Matrix’ (Wright 2022). This can provide a way of thinking about ‘spatialisation’ and spatialised elements in the virtual digital space enabling a containing, supportive learning space. This presentation will be of interest to higher-education practitioners, clinicians, teachers and educational practitioners, and everyone running, supporting, exploring and using digital spaces and involved in online meetings and groups.

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dlswri@essex.ac.uk
Deborah WRIGHT

christoph.zeller@vanderbilt.edu

Christoph Zeller is a Professor of German and European Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA. His research focuses on philosophical concepts and aesthetic techniques in literature, media, and culture. His books include Werte: Geschichte eines Versprechens (Values: History of a Promise, 2nd edition 2022), Ästhetik des Authentischen: Literatur und Kunst um 1970 (Aesthetics of Authenticity: Literature and Art around 1970, 2010), and the edited volumes Collecting in the Twenty-First Century: From Museums to the Web (2022) and Literarische Experimente: Medien, Kunst, Texte seit 1950 (Literary Experiments: Media, Art, Texts since 1950, 2012). He is currently working on a project on avant-garde art called ‘The Dada Economy’.

The Real Life: Three Dilemmas of Life Writing Online

The internet has opened up new possibilities for autobiographical writing. Online life-writing departs from the linearity of traditional forms of autobiography, in which even the most fractured stories obey the grammatical order of language. Online lifewriting can combine different text formats – anecdote, dream, dialogue, poem – with photos, audio files, scanned documents, maps, etc., through links that create a threedimensional structure. ‘Life’ thus appears to the reader as a documentary that gives equal weight to each element without emphasizing a linear story. Such documentation attempts to give a complete impression of one’s life, incomplete as it may be. The subject at the centre of such online autobiographies is no longer the creator, but the curator of his or her own ‘story’. Curators of life face three dilemmas: a) the uniqueness of life is lost as it succumbs to the formats and patterns of website and blog templates; b) the documentation of life is no longer controlled by the curator alone, since much of the content is produced by cloud-based technologies such as cookies, search-engines, predictive analytics, and AI, following the model of surveillance capitalism (Zuboff); and c) as ‘reality’ remains hidden, the curators of life turn to representations of the psycho-physiological conditions of life-experience, mimicking the neural network of the mind in the form of hyperlinked digital objects. Thus, while the use of digital technology suggests a new reality in which online and offline experience merge, the mimetic representation of this reality results in an essentially analog aesthetic. In my talk, I will argue that technological innovation and the diversity of digital formats lead to an analog representation of life. I will illustrate the dilemmas faced by online autobiographers with examples from the German cultural sphere and introduce three authors – Rainald Goetz, Wolfgang Herrndorf, Kathrin Passig – who avoid these dilemmas by placing tried-and-tested narrative forms in a digital context, defy the hyperlink penchant, and are innovative precisely because of this.

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