:: fibreculture :: has established itself as Australasia's leading
forum for discussion of internet theory, culture, and research. The
Fibreculture Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that explores the
issues and ideas of concern and interest to both the Fibreculture
network and wider social formations.
Papers are invited for the 'After convergence' issue of the
Fibreculture Journal, to be published early in 2008. Guest editors are
Caroline Bassett (Sussex, UK), Maren Hartmann (Bremen, Germany) and
Kate O'Riordan (Lancaster/Sussex, UK).
Everything that arises does not converge. A more variegated landscape
emerges as processes of digitalization, crystallizations of an
intrinsically technological-social, continue re-shaping cultures and
re-working societies, not in their image, but into something new. It is
increasingly obvious that there is no digital behemoth, no single form,
no single function, no New World Order. Rather a series of
reconfigurations, reformulations, new functions, new contents, new
spaces, new grounds, new uses, have emerged and are emerging within
global media networks.
In response to the (not unexpected) non-arrival of the unifying beast,
which is to say in response to the perceived exhaustion of convergence
(or the re-definition of its limits), new disciplinary islands are
being declared with 'keep out' and 'invented here' signs all over their
beaches. In other words there has been a balkanization of
techno-cultural investigation. Thus gaming scholars define themselves
against internet scholars, or film scholars, locatives stand distinct
from screeners. Particular groups of sub-specialists claim particular
modes of inquiry: ethnographers for everyday life, speculative theory
for digital art, for instance. Indeed, entire vocabularies, originally
invoked in a spirit of general experimentation, are now corralled,
restricted and defended by particular groups. If these vocabularies
often seize up in the process, refusing to say more than they were
meant to say, and in particular refusing the unorthodox connections
between the empirical and the speculative, the possible and the
desirable, that gave them their energy in the first place, nobody seems
So, there is no behemoth. At the same time we insist that connections
are produced and so a question we consider worth addressing is not what
unites digital forms as one, but what connects them together as many.
Further we want to explore how these connections are made. We are less
interested in doing that through mainstreaming a particular critical
approach (which is to say drawing different areas back under one
critical umbrella, making that the connection), than we are in trying
to think about exploring/defining/critiquing some of the shared
characteristics of different digital media formations. We believe that
despite the exhaustion of convergence metaphors, and the rise of
disciplinary sub-divisions, these connections remain crucial.
Papers addressing but not limited to the following topics are welcome:
• Media/Medium Theory
• Difference between and specificity of New Media forms
• Issues, Limits, Problems of Convergence.
• Re-thinking the vocabulary of Affect/Emotion/Perception
• Histories of New Media Theory
• 'Technology and Cultural Form' revisited?
• 250 word abstracts: due February 28th 2007
• Completed Paper: due September 30th 2007
• Expected Publication: February 28th 2008.
-- "I thought I had reached port; but I seemed to be cast back again into the open sea" (Deleuze and Guattari, after Leibniz)