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New Media Writing Prize 2011

What a refreshing journey it has been judging the 2011 New Media Writing Prize. It’s only really when you see such a fantastic range of projects created by those sitting outside of the publishing industry – like the entries for this year’s New Media Writing Prize – that you begin to get a fuller picture of possibilities for narrative in the digital realm.

The advantage that these entrants have, of course, is that they are creating projects that are not necessarily for commercial gain – a true exploration of digital narrative without having to think about the bottom line. While book publishers have been arguably bold in 2011, they are still not free to explore simply for the sake of exploration.

We’ll be deciding on the winners on Wednesday 23rd November but for now here is more on our shortlist:

Main Prize

He Said She Said – Alan Bigelow (USA)

Alan Bigelow writes digital stories for the web. These stories are created in Flash and use images, text, audio, video, and other components. These stories are created for viewing on the web, although they can be (and have been) shown as gallery installations. Source: Rhizome

Loss of Grasp Serge Bouchardon and Vincent Volckaert (France)

Serge Bouchardon and Vincent Volckaert’s “Loss of Grasp” explores the terrain of certitude as a tension between the “grasp” and its “loss.” As the title suggests, the piece opens up the space of the grasp after its hold on things has slipped away, focusing the reader’s attention on the anxious desire experienced in loss (as opposed to the more optimistic grasp of the one who aspires towards something). Source: ELO

88 Constellations for Wittgenstein David Clark  (Nova Scotia)

David Clark is known for his project, A is for Apple, which has played at Sundance, SIGGRAPH, FCMM, Transmediale in Berlin, and the Museum of Moving Images in New York. It won the top prize at the 2003 SXSW in Austin, Texas and the FILE2002 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein is a recent project and described as a piece. Source: NSCAD

Circle Caitlin Fisher (Ontario)

Caitlin Fisher holds a Canada Research Chair in Digital Culture in the Department of Film at York University, Toronto. A co-founder of York’s Future Cinema Lab, and Director of York’s Augmented Reality Lab, her research investigates the future of narrative through explorations of interactive storytelling and interactive cinema in augmented reality environments. Source: TIFF Nexus

Welcome to Pine Point – Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons (Vancouver)

In the words of Douglas Coupland, ‘This is a totally brilliant website. I LOVE IT. It’s so good, so thoughtful, so powerful.”

Welcome to Pine Point is a multimedia portrait of the disappeared Canadian mining settlement of Pine Point by one of its former residents.The town was built in the 1960s, but closed down with the mine when the stocks of zinc and lead ore ran out in the late 1980s: literally torn down and wiped off the map. The documentary made by Michael Simons, who grew up in the vicinity of Pine Point, and Paul Shoebridge about this former town revolves around memories and the objects that keep these alive. Source: idfa doclab

Student Entries

Chasing Pandora – Emily Devereux, Allyson Cikor, Trent Redmond, Mathew Vickery  (Alberta Canada)

5 Haitis – Simon Kerr  (Nottingham)

Maybe Make Some Change – Aaaron A. Reed  (Santa Cruz California)

Unravelled –   Spenser Wain, Zac Urness, Kollin Branicki  (Alberta)

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 23rd November at a special event at Bournemouth University. It’s also been fantastic to read and hear comments from my fellow judges Jim Pope, Andy Campbell and Christine Wilks and we’re all looking forward to the panel tomorrow night – where Matt Locke (Storything) will chair a panel including Dan Franklin, J.R. Carpenter and myself.

New Media Writing Prize 2011



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