Upcoming Talks – February 2018

I’m hitting the road next week, to talk archaeologies of experimental wind weather writing and unconventionalities of weird web art design to students, faculty, and anyone who turns up really, at Epsom, Southampton, and Winchester school of Art.

On Monday 5 February 12:30-13:30 I’ll be speaking to Graphic Design students, faculty, and members of the public at the University for the Creative Arts in Epsom. I think the event poster gives fair warning of my highly eccentric approach to web ‘design’. I hope a lively discussion of how very best not to do things ensues.

UCA Epsom || J. R. Carpenter, 5 February 2018
UCA Epsom || J. R. Carpenter, 5 February 2018

On Thursday 8 February I’ll head south to Southampton to give a reading at the excellent ENTROPICS experimental poetry series. In advance of the reading, Sarah Hayden asked me a few interview questions. My answers, along with interviews with past ENTROPICS poets are online here. I am deeply indebted to the organizers for the fabulous event poster, below. The reading will take place at 18:30–21:00 at Mettricks Old Town Cafe, 117 High St, Southampton SO14 2AA, UK. All are welcome.

ENTROPICS || J. R. Carpenter, 8 February 2018
ENTROPICS || J. R. Carpenter, 8 February 2018

And then onward on Friday 9 February to talk about my new web-based work This is a Picture of Wind at the Archaeologies of Media and Technology (AMT) Research Group at Winchester School of Art as part of their Talking Heads Series. The event will take place at Winchester School of Art, Lecture Theatre A, 15:00-17:00. It’s free, and open to the public. For more information, see the event page Writing a Picture of Wind. Many thanks to AMT director Jussi Parikka for putting the Southampton-Winchester bit of the tour together.

This is a Picture of Wind

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of a new, web-based work called This is a Picture of Wind. This work expands upon a series of short texts written in response to the winter storms which battered South West England in early 2014, resulting in catastrophic flooding in Somerset and the destruction of the seawall and rail line at Dawlish in Devon. Following the news in the months after these storms, I was struck by the paradox presented by attempts to evoke through the materiality of language a force such as wind which we can only see indirectly through its affect. I began to explore weather in all its written forms.

Part poetic almanac, part private weather diary, and part live wind report for the South West of England, this work attempts to call attention to climate change by picturing through variations in language the disturbances and sudden absences left in the wake of wind.

This is a Picture of Wind || J. R. Carpenter
This is a Picture of Wind || J. R. Carpenter
This work is designed to be read on phones. It calls on live wind data. A new text will be added for each month of 2018. A text about this work written by Johanna Drucker will be published in March 2018.

This is a Picture of Wind was commissioned by IOTA: DATA, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Initial research for this project was made possible by a Dot Award for Digital Literature, from if:book and the New Media Writing Prize.

Many thanks to Mireille Bourgeois, Chris Meade, Kay Lovelace, Johanna Drucker, Michael Saunby, Peter Dickinson, and Jerome Fletcher for walking into the wind with me.

The Gathering Cloud

The Gathering Cloud is a new hybrid print and web-based work by J. R. Carpenter commissioned by NEoN Digital Arts Festival, which takes place in Dundee, UK, 9-13 November 2016.

This work aims to address the environmental impact of so-called ‘cloud’ computing through the oblique strategy of calling attention to the materiality of the clouds in the sky. Both are commonly perceived to be infinite resources, at once vast and immaterial; both, decidedly, are not.

Fragments from Luke Howard’s classic “Essay on the Modifications of Clouds” (1803) as well as more recent online articles and books on media and the environment are pared down into hyptertextual hendecasyllabic verses. These are situated within surreal animated gif collages composed of images materially appropriated from publicly accessible cloud storage services.

The Gathering Cloud
The Gathering Cloud – a new hybrid print and web-based work by J. R. Carpenter

The cognitive dissonance between the cultural fantasy of cloud storage and the hard facts of its environmental impact is bridged, in part, through the constant evocation of animals: A cumulus cloud weighs one hundred elephants. A USB fish swims through a cloud of cables. Four million cute cat pics are shared each day. A small print iteration of “The Gathering Cloud” shared through gift, trade, mail art, and small press economies further confuses boundaries between physical and digital, scarcity and waste.

The Gathering Cloud
The print iteration of The Gathering Cloud

The Gathering Cloud was commissioned by NEoN Digital Arts Festival, Dundee, UK, 9-13 November 2016. Many thanks to the curators Sarah Cook and Donna Holford-Lovell. Portions of this text were first performed at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution during the South West Poetry Tour, 1-8 August 2016. Thanks and curses to Annabel Banks for sugesting the hendecasyllabic constraint. Thanks to Kay Lovelace, Rachel McCarthy, Michael Saunby, and the fine folks at the Informatics Lab at the Met Office for tips, tricks, and discussions on code and the weather. And thanks to Jerome Fletcher for everything else.

Further reading: NEoN speaks with JR Carpenter

View the work online here: The Gathering Cloud

A Handmade Web

I’m headed to Bath Thursday 26 March 2015 to participate in a one-day symposium on Slow Media hosted by the Media Futures Research Centre at Bath Spa University’s Corsham Court campus. I will be speaking about a A Handmade Web. The term ‘handmade’ usually refers to objects made by hand or by using simple tools rather than machines. The result may be homely — as in a child’s clay ashtray — or exquisite — as in a pair of bespoke brogues. I will evoke the term ‘handmade web’ throughout this presentation to refer to web pages coded by hand rather than by software; web pages made and maintained by individuals rather than by businesses or corporations; web pages which are provisional, temporary, or one-of-a-kind; web pages which challenge conventions of reading, writing, design, ownership, privacy, security, or identity.

I’ve made a hyperlinked version of my presentation available online here: http://luckysoap.com/statements/handmadeweb.html

Fishes & Flying Things || J. R. Carpenter, 1995

The above image is from Fishes & Flying Things, my first web-based project, Fishes & Flying Things, made entirely by hand in 19995.

For more information on Slow Media, see: The Origin of Slow Media: Early Diffusion of a Cultural Innovation through Popular and Press Discourse, 2002-2010, by Jennifer Rauch (2011).

Slow Media, Thursday 26th March 2015, Bath Spa University, UK

Slow Media Symposium Draft Programme (PDF)


Drunken Boat Panliterary Awards

Finally! Drunken Boat # 8 is now online!

This fat new issue features winners and finalists of the inaugural Drunken Boat Panliterary Awards, including my web art project How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome – a finalist in the Web Art Category.
. . . . .

Broken Things Closing Party

Come on out to MOCCA tonight for the closing party of the 19th Annual Images Festival. With DJ Kola. Performance by Tammy Forsythe. Outdoor projections by John Oswald. And me, and How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome.

9-12 pm, MoCCA (952 Queen Street W), FREE
. . . . .

Public Reception Today at MOCCA


a a hypertext/ poetry/ video/ installation J. R. Carpenter

Public Reception Today: Saturday April 15, 2 – 6PM

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
952 Queen Street W.,Toronto, ON, CANADA

Presented in Association With the 19th Annual imagesFestival

If you can’t join us at MOCCA today, you can also visit How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome online any time at: http://luckysoap.com/brokenthings

. . . . .

Broken Things Now Showing at MOCCA

The broken things of Rome are still broken, but my web/ poetry/ video/ installation How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome is now installed at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the show is now showing. Come by, buy a mini-book, browse the site on site, and say hi to me, J.R. Carpenter.

How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome is at MOCCA April 13 – 23, 2006
The Gallery Hours Are: Tuesday – Sunday 11 – 6
I will be at the Public Reception: Saturday April 15, 2 – 6PM
And at the Closing Party: Saturday April 22, 9:30PM

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
952 Queen Street W.,Toronto, ON, CANADA

. . . . .

Broken Things in Transposing geographies

Transposing geographies: mapping on the internet is NOW ONLINE!
Curated by Christina Battle & Sara MacLean

Extending beyond traditional modes of mapping, artists featured in this year’s online exhibit utilize the Internet to reconsider their interactions with place. Pulling from personal memories, travels and interactions within cities, contributing artists present opportunities for viewers to move beyond the physical boundaries set by geography. Highlighting the Internet’s ability to navigate users through space, Toronto-based twig design has developed an exhibition interface allowing visitors to map their journey from one site to the next.

Works include: “All About My Ho Chung” (Tsang Tsui Shan); “Folk Songs For the Five Points” (Alastair Dant, Tom Favis, Victor Gama & David Gunndate); “How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome” (J.R. Carpenter); “In The Weather” (Melinda Fries and Bonnie Fortune); “New York City Map” (Marketa Bankova); “Radical Cartography: Exploring Nice, Mapping Nice” (Kayte Young & Bill Rankin); “Shadows From Another Place” (Paula Levine).

“How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome” is also on exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA).
. . . . .

Building Broken Things

The fabulous folks at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art have put up with countless email and even a few phone calls from me over the past few months, regarding the now very imminent exhibition of How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome. Thank you Dave. Thank you Camilla, and Gina and Chloé. And Mark and José, who I actually got to talk to in person one day in February. Last night I boarded a fast train from Montréal to Toronto. Now, finally, at long last, the last leg of this great adventure is under way.

MOCCA’s putting me up in the Gladstone Hotel. The Gladstone is very glam, very post-Victorian. As many of you many know, but I didn’t until MOCCA put me up here, an actual real life artist has designed each of the rooms. I’m in the Biker Room, designed by Toronto-based artist and curator Andrew Harwood. The bedside lamps are made of motorcycle helmets and there are three portraits of Peter Fonda from the film “Easy Rider”. The portraits have sequins and glitter on them. The windows open out onto the Price Choppers parking lot – quite a popular hang out from the sounds of things.

This morning, over at MOCCA, I got to unpack a flat-screen monitor that had never been unpacked before. Then my new best friend Hri got out the measuring tape and the masking tape and after a while put some orange paint on the wall. Tomorrow – we tackle shelves and plinths. I learned the word plinth from Mark back in February and now I just love saying and writing it. I can’t wait to actually build one! Actually, Hri is going to build my plinth. Or maybe Marks, who isn’t the same as Mark. Either way, a plinth it will be. And a big one too. Until then, sweet easy rider dreams.
. . . . .