Personal Stories, Corporate Templates

Jill Walker-Rettberg recently gave a talk, Personal Stories, Corporate Templates, which built upon an essay, “Freshly Generated for You and Barack Obama,” which is in press at the European Journal of COmmunication.

This presentation discusses contemporary personal media and narrative practices, such as those we see in social media. Some of these practices are constrained by corporations such as Facebook or Twitter, which steer our expression in specific ways. Others appear free, yet are heavily influenced by cultural templates, copying and voluntary rules. Often, corporations or organisations provide systems to automate some of these voluntary rules. We’re also beginning to see some examples of social media sites that take our contributions and create their own visualisations and representations of an aspect of our life

The talk, as well as many others at the Network as a Space and Medium for Collaborative Interdisciplinary Art Practice, was well-received. Nick Monfort offers a set of analects in place of the customary trip report. Perhaps the most intriguing of these is Raine Kaskimaa’s change of heart:

“For a long time I advocated that we have two classes of electronic literature – Class A which represents that work which is truly programmatic, and the other which is traditional writing. Increasingly, I don’t see this distinction as important.” -Raine Koskimaa