If You’re Feeling Digital

This is a call for interaction! Scroll down; swipe on.

In my first post as DWIR, I wrote that I wanted to get to know you as writers, to learn about your work and your engagement with digital media, as well as discuss ideas, innovations and aspirations for digital creative work. To help do this, I’ve created a Google form with the idea that, if you’re feeling digital, you can tell me why and how. Ultimately, what I’d like to do is combine all the responses I receive into a kind of digital writing collage, a cento manifesto, taking and rearranging lines to create a collaborative document to post at the end of my residency.

If you read my second blog post introducing Friends with Drinks, you’d rightly get the sense that these ways of coming together online and sharing ideas are the driving forces behind my stint as DWIR. (If you are feeling digital enough to fill in the Google form above, you might want to consider submitting a piece to Friends with Drinks as well!)

Now, during my third week as DWIR, I already feel engaged–if not to you (whoever may be reading)–but to one online community among the many that exist, co-exist and interlink. Just by skimming through Carla Caruso’s last post as DWIR, I feel instant sympathy with her list of the pros and cons of digital engagement; I see the work that has gone into prior DWIR projects; I interact via this WordPress blog and the DWIR Twitter account, and feel as though I have a ready-made virtual circle to step inside.

As I read more (online) work about digital writing, I come across exciting perspectives from others belonging to this community. While searching for a thoughtful, initial definition of ‘digital writing’, I came across the DigiWriMo project, hosted by different writers/practitioners each year, which aims to redefine

“writing” in the digital, and not confine it only to words, but open up the possibilities of narrative and exposition within multimedia and multimodal projects.

This led me to Sean Michael Morris’ article Digital Writing Uprising: Third-Order Thinking in the Digital Humanities, a resonant declaration that fires me up about the significance of writing and sharing even a simple blog post:

…digital writing is action. Not that the writing inspires action, or comes out of action, or responds to action. But that the words themselves are active. They move, slither, creep, sprint, and outpace us. Digital words have lives of their own. We may write them, birth them ourselves, but without any compunction or notice, they enact themselves in ways we can’t predict. And this is because digital writing is communal writing.

Yesterday, in a Messenger dialogue with artist Peter Wildman, I was encouraged to reflect on the binary I tend to draw between ‘analogue’ and ‘digital’ writing. After some thought, I eventually came up with:

I get my notion of analogue and digital from photography…where even though the process of creating photographs relies on (different) technology, there are infinite and unpredictable variations to analogue images–transposing this to writing, I feel that it is the same technology of ink on paper, whether applied by hand or machine, that is subject to limitations but also to physical and tangible influences.

I’m looking forward to receiving your responses soon; to learn how you write and what you think about different aspects of digital media and creative practice.

If You’re Feeling Digital Google form:

Friends with Drinks: