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Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

The "Codework Project" is an NSF (National Science Foundation) funded exploration of codework, language, performance, and embodiment, in relation to philosophies of the analog and digital. The exploration has resulted in exciting work at a leading edge of digital media practice. The project is based at West Virginia University, and continues several years of collaboration between the art/writer Alan Sondheim, WVU's Center for Literary Computing (CLC), and the Virtual Environments Laboratory (computer sciences). The work employs a range of technologies to map and remap the 'obdurate real' of bodies into the dispersions and virtualities of the digital (and back again, into real/physical spaces). We're working with both analysis and experience of coding and codework in order to understand the natures of the real and virtual. How is the real read? How is the virtual? Is reading even appropriate here? These questions play out in a series of artworks (videos, films, performance, installation) and theoretical texts. The latest stages of the collaboration explore the 3d environments of the Cave and Second Life, as well as avatar construction, virtual and real choreograpies, and the psychoanalytics of embodiment. 

This panel presents work from the project over the last year. It consists of an extended discussion between Sondheim and CLC director Sandy Baldwin, focusing on the art and theory produced. Sondheim and Baldwin will speak individually and then in dialogue about the Codework project. The panel will also present an initial version of the Codework white paper, with recommendations for research, education, collaboration, funding, and other areas.

(Source: Authors' abstract, 2008 ELO Conference)

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Scott Rettberg