Futures of Digital Studies 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Digital Assembly - University of Florida
contact email: 

5th Annual Digital Assembly Conference
Futures of Digital Studies 2010
University of Florida, February 25-27


As a disciplinary field still in search of its own institutional role and its specific methodologies, new media studies cannot but proceed by means of constantly updating its scholarly agenda. Rather than being concerned with issues of reconnection, however, this process seems to be characterized by a tendency to (re)articulate the field in a series of "refreshes" of its cultural page.

As Wendy Chun has observed, the term "new media", unlike its predecessor "multi-media," is not accommodating: it proposes that prior media are "old" or even "dead". Similarly, in addressing the consequences of the media shift from the "mechanical" to the "electronic" to the "digital" of the last decades, Arthur and Marilouise Kroker claim for digital studies a new style of thought appropriate to an unprecedented complexity of critical practice. Such complexity is seen as "the essence" of digital technology and, as a consequence, as a specific feature of critical digital studies.

In response to the institutional need to frame such complexity, most anthologies conceive of their content as the nth collective scholarly effort to grasp at least a temporary snapshot of the ever-moving field. Characterized by a stroboscopic nomenclature (media, multimedia, new media, hypermedia, digital media, intermedia, transmedia, emerging media studies--with some scholars rejecting both the "digital" and "media" by identifying themselves with "cyberstudies"), this self-modifying academic field has taken repeated turns by defining the foundational issue at stake in each particular moment.

The conference will focus on the dialogue between forms of digital literacy connected with recent technological developments in networked and programmable media in relation to human expression and forms of representation. We seek to put in conversation digital artists and digital critics in order to examine the "state of the art" of digitally mediated practices and to envision possible futures for the current overlapping platforms, software, formats, hardware and artistic processes through which we experience digital culture. The two-day conference's thematic focus on the 'literary' in the digital age is integrated with a fundamental attention to visual art, music and sound, computer science, and other aspects of digital culture through an art exhibit and a concluding roundtable videoconference session with an international group of participants.

We encourage participation in terms of papers presentations and creative works exhibition/presentations.



Keynote Speakers:
Joseph Tabbi (UIC)
John Cayley (Brown University)

Guest Speakers:
Fox Harrell (Georgia Tech)
Gregory Ulmer (UF)
Terry Harpold (UF)
Jane Yellowlees Douglas (UF)



Session 1: Beyond Literary
N. Katherine Hayles (Duke), Nick Montfort (MIT), Matthew Kirschenbaum (UM), Jerome McGann (UVA)

Session 2: Perspectives of Machinic Expression.
Rita Raley (UC Santa Barbara), Arthur Kroker (U of Victoria), Lev Manovich (UCSD)

More speakers TBA.



John Cayley, Imposition (2009), real-time networked performance
Nick Montfort, ppg256-4 (2009), 256 character perl poetry generator

More works TBA.



We invite papers submissions in the form of 300-word abstracts including (but not limited to) the following proposed sessions:

1. Machinic Subjects, Posthuman Objects
Presentations may explore human-computer interaction and the ways in which texts negotiate the tangled relations between human and machinic intelligence, human and cybernetic bodies.

2. Writing Digital Art, Exhibiting Digital Literature
Presentations may envision the interconnected modalities of literary and artistic production/reception which intersect in emerging electronic practice and theory.

3. Re-freshing Virtual Reality, Re-processing A.I.
Presentations inventively rethinking immersive digital environments, simulated subject-based inter-exhanges, and the utopian rhetorics surrounding these practices are welcome.

4. Institutional Connectionism
Presentations imagining the restructuring and reorganization of academic institutions connected to the increasing centrality of the digital in various disciplinary approaches are invited.

5. Digital Theory Reconfigurations
Presentations can focus on any aspect of the various possible relations among (but not limited to) literary studies, neuro-cognitive sciences, philosophy of information, visual studies, narrative intelligence, cultural studies and any humanist and/or scientific field exploring human experience of the digital.

6. Coding the Futures
We seek papers from the emerging fields of software and platform studies. Where will scholarship go when it moves beyond the screen to the level of code and to the physical materiality of hardware itself? Papers should address how these various layers of interaction will shape the work and culture produced in digital environments.



We are seeking submissions for artworks that engage or address digital media and other emergent technologies. We are interested in all kinds of art including (but not limited to) work featuring image, sound, video, film, sculpture, networks, databases, code, games, performance, transmedia, and works that explore the hybrid intersections between digital and analogue forms.

Artists will be responsible for providing the materials necessary and for transporting their work. Please submit an artist statement, CV, and documentation/proof of concept by Tuesday, December 20th 2009 to digitala@grove.ufl.edu. Artists are encouraged to submit electronically via email. Links to online project proposals are preferred. Any email attachments should be less than 10MB. If necessary, hard copies can be sent to:

Patrick LeMieux
c/o School of Art and Art History, College of Fine Arts
University of Florida
Fine Arts Building C - 101
P.O. Box 115801
Gainesville, FL 32611-5801



300-word abstracts must be received by Tuesday, December 20th, 2009. Please send your abstract as a word/rtf attachment to the following address: digitala@grove.ufl.edu.

Papers should highlight a specific innovative statement in your present research, or consider the wider implications of future innovations in digital arts and humanities research.

Notification of accepted abstracts for paper presentations will be sent by January 5th, 2010. Presentations should be between 15-20 minutes long.

Full papers must be received by February 20th and will be published in .pdf format on the Futures of Digital Studies 2010 website ( http://www.english.ufl.edu/da/ ).

Scholars interested in participating in the Videoconference Session 1 and 2 must submit full papers by the abstract deadline to qualify for admission to limited available seats in the REVE room at the Digital Worlds Institute ( http://www.digitalworlds.ufl.edu/ ). Please indicate session preference for the final round table discussion with your paper submission.

For more information please visit the Digital Assembly Website at: http://www.english.ufl.edu/da/
and the Futures of Digital Studies Conference website at: http://www.english.ufl.edu/fds/home.html

or contact

Mauro Carassai at: mcarassai@ufl.edu