March 21, 2006

New From Norway

by Scott Rettberg · , 2:34 pm

Last week I was in Norway, where I had the pleasure of speaking at the University of Bergen to Jill Walker and Elin Sjursen‘s students in the Web Design and Aesthetics course. Talan Memmott was also there to give a talk. Talan showed some interesting new e-lit work I hadn’t seen before, including some work that is not yet on the web. Memmott showed work from two different streams of his creative practice, “network phenomonology” works such as his well-known Lexia to Perplexia, and a different “history of art” stream that includes new media interpretations of the lives and works of artists such as RenĂ© Magritte. Talan’s been working in particular lately in a combinatory vein, and many of his works include both combinatory text and music. Of the newer work he showed, my favorite was “The Hugo Ball,” a recombination of a nonsense poem of 78 unique words by the Dadaist poet. As you mouse over the face of the Hugo Ball, it recombines and speaks the 78 words to you as they flash on the screen and the face “speaks” the words in layers of visemes. It’s a fun, and vaguely creepy, piece. While he was there, Talan was also interviewed for Bergen Student Television. The interview is available online for your viewing pleasure.

Take the F TrainAlso new from Norway, by way of New York City, is Hanna-Lovise Skartveit’s Take the F-Train, a fun and innovative online documentary about the F-Train in NYC, and by extension, about the population of the great melting pot itself. The piece includes a mixture of drawn characters, video of the train’s interior, and interviews with riders of the F-Train, many of whom are immigrants living in New York. The documentary captures the cosmopolitan nature of America’s largest city. The project is part of a larger Digital Storytelling project funded by Norwegian Radio/TV NRK.