Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Writing Conference that Most of Us Missed

This past week-end, there was a conference that sounded interesting at George Mason University. It was a fiction writing conference, but I was most interested in the panel on New Media and Publishing Creative Writing. Go here to see the schedule and presenters and what you missed.

I'm always tempted by these things, because I have family in the area, so I'd have a place to stay. But there's plane fare and the registration fee. And my major fear is that I'll go to all that effort and won't have learned anything new. Or maybe I'm just afraid that I'll feel lonely and out of place and have to really fight my impulse to flee the room--I've occasionally felt that way at academic conferences with a literary criticism focus.

It's interesting to be reading blogs and to find write-ups. Go here, here, or here to read complete reviews. Bernadette Geyer's post was the one that made me zip around to read as much as I could. She mentions "the idea of Twittering novels or poems. Forcing people to focus on a single line at a time. It reminds me of a video installation I saw at a Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt. The video artist, Bill Viola, had taken a home video of a child's birthday party and slowed it down so that each frame was held for a few seconds on a very large screen, with the audio equally slowed, and very loud. I loved that the technique highlighted and emphasized details that would normally be glossed over in "real time". Every millisecond was hyper-emphasized.Slow blogging, slow reading, slow food... there's a global movement afoot to slow things down. I appreciate that. Less is more. Focus on every ... single ... moment" (again, go here for the whole post).

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