Launching later this month, ‘The Speculative Space of Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums’ project will comprise a series of creative workshops that explore the critical ground that exists between science fiction (sf) and Gallery, Library, Archive and Museum (GLAM) spaces and collections. It will consider depictions of GLAM spaces in sf media, existing collections and exhibitions which contain sf media, and sf as a creative practice for engagement and critical reflection within GLAM spaces, looking to the imaginative futures and alternate presents of sf to critically reflect on the futures of these spaces and institutions.
In November 2022, Noriko Suzuki-Bosco, Amy Butt, and I ran a workshop at Winchester School of Art called ‘Retracing the Library’. The workshop was part of the UK’s Being Human Festival, an annual event that showcases work across the Arts and Humanities.
We came together to try and find ways to make something new and collaborative out of our shared interests in artists’ books, critical making, science fiction, environment, and the institutional spaces we occupy. For the first workshop we settled on Winchester School of Art library as a location, both because Noriko and I are based in Winchester, and because the library here has a particularly interesting environment and history.
Over the course of two hours, participants traced the library’s journey from the overflow shelves at its current location, to the gallery space it was rescued from during the flood of 1999, to the moated glass Rotunda where it began life in 1965. In each space participants were asked to remake and reimagine the library in a way that was meaningful to them.
Join us for a free creative workshop where you will become part of the strange ebb and flow of Winchester School of Art Library! This session is part of both the Creative Posthumanism series and the UK’s Being Human Festival. It will take place in person on 16th November, 2022 (2-4pm UK time) and will start at Winchester School of Art library, West Side Building, Park Avenue, Winchester.
Happy spooky month! To celebrate the season and the paperback edition of Gothic Remixed, I’ve made a playlist of 21 songs that mash up or remix Gothic literature in different ways, available on Spotify and Apple Music. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it—and let me know if you have any recommendations to add to the list.
Looking for a listen that’s spooky but casual, a slow burn for your morning commute? Then you might be interested in the newest episode from WAKE ISLAND, a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Paul K and David Leo Rice. In it, we have a lovely and wide-ranging chat about the public domain as both an unmarked grave and as a place of rebirth, the tentacular, mashups/remix studies, Twilight, and our current undead state.
The second workshop in this year’s Creative Posthumanism series took place on June 1st, 2022. Workshop coordinators Angela YT Chan and Cristina Diamant invited participants to ‘scrapbook the wasteland’. We did so by looking at the mix of extractive practices that (re)produce wastelands, drawing together a variety of materials and theories to “reconfigure the relationship between our own situated embodiments and technological developments from a more-than-human ethical perspective, acknowledging the affect behind our response and confronting the biases that hold us back”.
Last week we ran a pilot event in the Creative Posthumanism project, specially for the postgraduate research (PhD) community at Winchester School of Art (WSA). The event was facilitated by me and Noriko Suzuki-Bosco, an artist, artist’s book-maker, and fellow bibliophile who has also worked with me on several previous zine workshops. The theme? ‘Being Human under Technocapitalism’.
The plan was to create something collaboratively, using the creative process to think differently about topics we might historically have only considered academically or through critical writing. The exact format of the zine was decided on the day, once we could see how many participants we had and could discuss what everyone felt comfortable with. In the end we had a nice small group of around six people, which meant we could all speak to each other and work together around the same table.
In the first part of the session we introduced participants to the process of making an individual zine, including the work of folding and cutting the paper and the types of things you might have as topics or content. We also introduced them to the materials we had assembled: magazines, patches, bits of washi tape, stickers, and other decorations.
It’s been almost a year since I’ve ventured out to a museum exhibition, and more than two since I had the chance to catch one in London. But with delayed research projects on salvage and upcycling kicking off again, and a small but very welcome early career grant from the University of Southampton’s Humanities Faculty, February seemed like the time to take another trip to the Design Museum to visit its exhibition on ‘Waste Age: What can design do?’
Almost two years after I announced I was writing it, my chapter in Gothic Mash-Ups: Hybridity, Appropriation, and Intertextuality in Gothic Storytelling is now out with Rowman & Littlefield (EU) / Lexington Books (USA)!
My chapter, ‘Do the Monster Mash: Universal’s “Classic Monsters” and the Industrialization of the Gothic Transmedia Franchise’, takes the Universal Monsters as a prime case of early Gothic transmedia and mashup, as well as highlighting the importance of unoriginality to Gothic storytelling more broadly.
‘Is remix a monster, and digital humanities the means through which it is destined to bring down the old-fashioned, exclusionary, and hierarchical modes of humanities past?’
This is the question I ask at the beginning of my chapter in the new Routledge Handbook of Remix Studies and Digital Humanities, edited by Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher, and xtine burrough, and the answer is not as simple as it may seem. There are lots of great chapters in the book, divided into sections on ‘Epistemology and Theory’, ‘Accessibility and Pedagogy’, ‘Modularity and Ontology’, and ‘Aurality and Visuality’. My own chapter, on ‘Remix, the Digital Humanities, and the Limits of Transgression’, uses the metaphor of Frankenstein and his creature to suggest that the transgressive potential of remix and the digital humanities lies less in the form of these disciplines, and more in their practice: How they are allowed to intersect, evolve, and escape their traditional (anti)humanist foundations.