Dene Grigar is an Associate Professor and Director of The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver who works in the area of electronic literature, emergent technology and cognition, and ephemera. She is the author of net art works, like “Fallow Field: A Story in Two Parts” and “The Jungfrau Tapes: A Conversation with Diana Slattery about The Glide Project,” both of which have appeared in The Iowa Review Web, and multimedia performances and installations, like When Ghosts Will Die (with Canadian multimedia artist Steve Gibson), a piece that experiments with motion tracking technology to produce networked multimedia narratives. She is a recipient, with Stuart Moulthrop, of a 2013 NEH Start Up grant for a digital preservation project for early born digital media. She is President of the Electronic Literature Organization and Associate Editor of Leonardo Reviews.
Her talk at THATCamp CAA 2014 is titled “AppArt Issues: Producing, Publishing and Preserving”
1. What is your current involvement with “digital art history”?
For the last decade or so, I have been curating “born digital” media art and find it an interesting challenge to draw an audience together to experience works in a public space, particularly when the exhibited works are found online and, so, already accessible to the audience on their computers and smart devices. I am also working, with my colleague, Stuart Moulthrop (U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), on methods for preserving the experience that comes with interaction with and participation in early born digital work, and we are writing about the outcomes in an multimedia, digital book.
2. What is one of the most pressing issues in the field of “digital art history” today?
Contemporaneous obsolescence––that is obsolescence occurring almost as soon as the art has been completed. Obsolescence has long been a problem when working with media art, but the speed at which technology is advancing has rendered works produced less than a decade ago inaccessible without an emulator or translation into a new platform. Artists are expected to push the envelop on methods, media, technologies, to see what can be made out of them, to experiment and explore––yet, have to be aware the durability of their work not “over time” but within a few years. These two concerns are not compatible.
3. Where do you see innovations happening?
Computer generated art; mobile media; sensor-based work stemming from Leap Motion, Kinect, Falcon, Arduino; 3D printing; AR and VR
4. What’s the panel or issue you’d most like to see proposed for THATCamp CAA in Chicago?
Hybrid media art forms like electronic literature
Multimedia digital artists books
Media art collaborations with social science, humanities, and science