Reading and Unreading Digital-Born Creative Works: Critical Making of Contemporary Information(INF1005H section 0113, UofT, Winter 2023

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Abstract (in English): 

The recent digital-born creative works are imbued with heterogenous components of digital media aesthetics such as graphic designs, kinetic texts and images and videos. Using digital media aesthetics contemporary writers and artists deploy such digital-born creative works to address cultural values, and societal challenges and issues. Such creative works have transformed conventional methods of reading and call for an alternative method to understand and glean information that is ingrained in the creative works. Digital media aesthetics thus demand digital literacy to engage in such conversation.

The aim of this workshop is to provide students with tools and methods to critically interrogate digital-born creative works and their media aesthetics to discern contemporary societal challenges wrought by digital industries (for example Google and Amazon), the COVID 19 pandemic and environmental crises. This workshop engages with the following questions a) What conceptual changes in critical making of contemporary information practices can be discerned from digital creative works? b) What methods are best suited to critically interrogate and interact with digital-born creative works in the current information ecosystem? The workshop will source digital-born creative works (electronic literature and electronic art) from Electronic Literature Volume (1,2,3 and 4) and other online databases. The digital artists who work in this field of practice will be invited to facilitate a conversation between students and artists about how digital media aesthetics are encoded and how they can be critically decoded in a nuanced way to apprehend information embedding and circulation practices from creative works. The students will also be given a hands-on training to create their own digital-born creative works through the online tool, Twine on any one of the themes taught in the course. No prior knowledge of digital-born creative works, methods and tools are required. Students from all backgrounds will be encouraged to participate in the workshop.

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Shanmuga Priya