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<nettime> A workshop on Digital Narrative
fran ilich on Thu, 15 May 2003 19:16:41 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> A workshop on Digital Narrative

On the Cartuja in Sevilla
by Carolyn Guertin 

Taller de Narrativa Digital
A workshop on Digital Narrative
The International University of Andalucía (Seville, Spain)
January 7-10, 2003

Along the date palm-studded banks of the lazy Rio Guadalquivir in sunny
Seville, Spain, surrounded by fragrant orange and lemon trees at the low
land on the banks known as the Island of the Cartuja, a group of scholars,
writers, musicians, photographers, film makers and performers gathered in
January 2003 for the first ever workshop in digital narrative held in that
country. The students arrived from the several campuses of the International
University of Andalucía (UNIA) and the delegates flew in from Barcelona,
Brussels, Canada and Mexico. We gathered together there in a state of the
art classroom in a 15th century monastery - reputed to have been home to
Christopher Columbus in his old age and now the home of the conference
centre for the university - to discuss the latest trends in 21st century art
and technology.

These four days on the cusp of the new year introduced the university's
Spanish-speaking students to five different areas and concerns of the new
media arts. The brainchild of Fran Ilich, Coordinator of the Multimedia
Laboratory at the National Centre of the Arts of Mexico City, the workshop
events were kicked off each day by him with discussions of interactive
cinema and web.narratives. Showing examples and probing the possibilities
for future investigations, Ilich explored everything from streaming media to
webcams. Celebrated video game developer Daniel Sánchez Crespo, of the
Public University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, chose to investigate the
tension between narrative, cinematic techniques and play in electronic
games. Web artist Dora García, a Spaniard currently living in Brussels,
examined the potentialities of expanding the glass wall between performance
spaces and the web as media for art.

The lone Anglophone in the crowd, a tutor at trAce and a professor at the
Universities of Alberta and Athabasca, I led a workshop on the dynamic
nature of browsing and storytelling, textual structure and the aesthetics of
narrative on the web through the tongue of Fran Ilich -who acted as my
translator. The star of the week was prominent film director José Luis
Guerín of the Public University of Pompeu Fabra, who showed his new film En
Construcción about the interconnected lives of the inhabitants of a
Barcelona apartment building, and who openly explored in his talks ways to
use technology as a form of resistance.

The all-pervasive scent of oranges and lemons, and the constant chorus of
birdsong, seemed a portent of great things to come for this Canadian, and
that energy only served to underline the students' and delegates' enthusiasm
for the myriad possibilities yet to be explored in the new media. Next year,
not only will UNIA be holding another workshop in digital narrative for its
interdisciplinary students, but MECAD/the Media Centre d´Art i Disseny of
the School of Superior Design in Barcelona is also launching a new graduate
degree in creation and communication for Interactive Media. Long celebrated
as a dynamic centre of avant-garde film practices, Spain is now a place to
watch for a whole new generation of ideas, innovations and techniques in the
electronic realm as well. Good things are clearly in the offing.


Guertin, Carolyn:

García, Dora. Insertos en Tiempo Real:

Garzo, Gustavo Martin. La Senora:

La Henciclopedia:


Ludin, Diane. Los Dias y La Noches de Los Muertos.

Mayra, Vera. Pensar:


Millán, José Antonio. Home Page:

Sánchez Crespo, Daniel:

Universidad International de Andalucía.

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