[ISEA2011] Panel: Dene Gri­gar – Nar­ra­tive in So­cial Media

Panel Statement

Panel: Zones of Contact and Fields of Consistency in Electronic Literature

Sto­ries broad­cast in 140 or less char­ac­ters over the course of a day may, at first, seem only a 21st cen­tury up­date of se­ri­al­ized mi­cro-fic­tion, yet con­sid­er­ing the strate­gies au­thors take to pro­duce lit­er­ary works in­volv­ing so­cial media, their cre­ations re­sist easy de­f­i­n­i­tion.  This paper looks the broad no­tion of nar­ra­tive as it plays out in the so­cial net­work­ing site, Twit­ter, in works such as Adam Higgs et al’s  “Crush­ing It:  A So­cial Media Love Story,” Jay Bush­man’s “The Good Cap­tain,” and Dene Gri­gar’s “The 24-Hour Mi­cro-Elit Pro­ject.”  Specif­i­cally, the paper asks two ques­tions:  First, how do nar­ra­tives cre­ated for so­cial media sites work against what has be­come the con­ven­tional way to de­scribe e-lit­er­a­ture?  Sec­ond, what do we learn about so­cial media lit­er­a­ture if we think about it in terms of non-nar­ra­tiv­ity? At stake are as­sump­tions about what con­sti­tutes elec­tronic lit­er­a­ture and con­ven­tional views about nar­ra­tiv­ity in re­la­tion to works pro­duced with and for dig­i­tal media.

  • Dene Gri­gar is an As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor in the Dig­i­tal Tech­nol­ogy & Cul­ture Pro­gram at Wash­ing­ton State Uni­ver­sity Van­cou­ver, CA. Her re­search fo­cuses in the areas of Emer­gent Tech­nolo­gies & Cog­ni­tion, Elec­tronic Lit­er­a­ture, and Ephemera. Her book New Worlds, New Words: Ex­plor­ing Path­ways In and About Elec­tronic En­vi­ron­ments (with John Bar­ber, Hamp­ton Press, 2001) spec­u­lates about the ways in which writ­ing and think­ing change when moved to elec­tronic en­vi­ron­ments, such as the World Wide Web, MOOs, and email. Her sec­ond book, De­fi­ance and Deco­rum: Women, Pub­lic Rhetoric, and Ac­tivism (with Laura Gray and Kay Robin­son) looks at the way women have used Rhetoric to achieve so­cial and po­lit­i­cal goals. Her spe­cific focus in this book is to ex­am­ine new media artists and their par­tic­u­lar meth­ods of ac­tivism. She is also As­so­ci­ate Ed­i­tor of Leonardo Re­views and Trea­surer of the Elec­tronic Lit­er­a­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion.  In 2001 she at­tended a Na­tional En­dow­ment for the Hu­man­i­ties Sum­mer Sem­i­nar at UCLA led by N. Kather­ine Hayles, an ex­pe­ri­ence that led her to un­der­take, from 2002-4, a post-doc­toral study with the Plan­e­tary Col­legium (for­merly the Cen­ter of Ad­vanced In­quiry in the In­ter­ac­tive Arts-Sci­ence Tech­nol­ogy and Art Re­search, CAiiA-STAR) lo­cated at the Uni­ver­sity of Ply­mouth, in the UK. Cur­rent new media pro­jects in­clude the MIND­ful Play En­vi­ron­ment, an in­ter­ac­tive, live game en­vi­ron­ment that she is cre­at­ing with Cana­dian mul­ti­me­dia artist Steve Gib­son and An­tholo­gie, a col­lec­tion of mul­ti­me­dia per­for­mance pieces.