davey dreamnation

seething since 2001

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Tag: sweden (page 1 of 2)

By popular demand: my thoughts on Eurovision 2015

One of the strange but perhaps obvious beauties of the new social media confabulation is that platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be used by people across different timezones and locations in order to get together and share their thoughts on a particular issue. Like Eurovision.

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Coming soon … ‘Tanto’

Long-term readers may recall that in 2011 I set up a poem newsletter project, ‘Poem of the week!’.

As you may also recall, a total of 22 posts were sent to subscribers during the project’s most active period, between October 2011 and April 2012. These posts were then compiled in a chapbook entitled Tjugotvå – twenty-two poems. I still think it’s a great little book and have my subscribers (around 60 by the time the project wound down) to thank for helping make it possible, through their words of encouragement and our interactions via the newsletter.

Well, two years later I’ve taken the plunge again and decided to once again indulge my ‘inner Swede’, a barely three-year-old creature struggling with Swedish customs and language. Maybe it’s because I’ve signed up for Swedish lessons, but I have a burning urge to write into life the strange world in which I live, where characters with names like ‘Åsa’ really do exist.

Åsa Strålande i ‘Tanto’, a new serial work of fiction, takes place in present-day Stockholm, and features locations and practices that will be familiar to residents of Stockholm but which may seem strange to non-Swedes (as may the dialogue, which is almost exclusively rendered in Swedish). However, the story also features several fictional venues and—needless to say—characters and is suitable for all readers over the age of 18. All you really need to know is that Tantolunden (or Tanto for short) is a park on Södermalm in central Stockholm.

The story will only be sent to those who have subscribed to the newsletter. The first episode of ‘Tantolunden’ will arrive in your inbox shortly. I look forward to sharing this strange and mysterious story with those of you who would care to join me on a journey to … ‘Tantolunden’ …

SIPRI Yearbook 2012: its part in my downfall

Heh, heh. Well, not really. But in the spirit of Spike Milligan, one could say that the last six months, during which I’ve been working at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) as an editor, have well and truly opened my eyes to what’s goin’ ahn in this crazy, mixed up world.

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Photo Memories: Karlskrona 2011

In celebration of my impending departure from K-Town, here’s a little gallery of images taken throughout 2011 that, for me anyway, brings back some lovely memoreez …

Stockholm Calling

Just like a Californian burrito maker, I’ve been preventing myself from spilling the beans by keeping them strictly under wraps (rim-shot!) but now seems as good a moment as any to announce that I will be moving to Stockholm. In ten days.

For the past twelve months I’ve been living and working in Karlskrona, a lovely ex-Naval town in the southern province of Blekinge. It’s certainly been a big change from the three years I spent in the crowded cities of the Netherlands; in fact, the only place I can think of that I can really compare Karlskrona to is Wagga Wagga – although I suspect Wagga has a few more pubs than K-Town, and is probably a little warmer in the winter.

Work-wise, my stint as a post-doctoral researcher as part of the ELMCIP project has challenged my idea of what literature can and should be in a digital context. Despite having been an editor of an online journal for the last eleven years, it wasn’t until I arrived here that I really considered the myriad ways in which electronic literature can engage with readers (players, viewers, users, co-creators).

As a consequence, I consider the most recent issue of Cordite, which features electronic works for the first time, to have been something of a watershed in terms of my own understanding of e-lit. In this context, it was great to be able to interview my colleagues Talan Memmott and Maria Engberg, both of whom have a great deal of knowledge and experience of digital literature and practice.

This year has also been a great one in terms of meeting other researchers and practitioners in the field of electronic literature. I’ve attended conferences in Jyväskylä, Karlskrona, Ljubljana and Amsterdam (where I also gave a paper), and acted as a co-editor of the forthcoming ELMCIP anthology of European electronic literature. I’m also really looking forward to being in Edinburgh for the final ELMCIP conference in November this year.

On a more personal level, it’s been really fun to experience all four distinct seasons here in southern Sweden, from last winter’s extreme snow and blizzards (strangely absent so far this time around), to spring’s slow awakening, summer’s long and glorious days and autumn’s drop-dead multi-spangled beauty. Karlskrona being a town surrounded by water, it’s also been great to see some of the islands in the archipelago, go for walks along deserted rocky beaches and get lost in seemingly endless forests.

Image: Saltö Strand, Karlskrona

Of course, there’s never enough time in life to do everything on one’s personal ‘to-do’ list but I’m glad to say that I have experienced midsummer in all its ‘songs about frogs and drinking snapps’ glory; witnessed the batty antics of graduating high school students riding around town wearing sailor’s caps in the back of trucks; played some awesome games of kubbspel and mini-golf; tried and rejected the taste of sill, glögg and skagentoast; and been a part of the national celebrations when Melodifestivalen winner Eric Saade came third in Eurovision.

Now, as the nation prepares for another crop of Melodifestivalen losers, it’s time for me to move on once more. The good news, however, is that I’ll be moving to Stockholm, the epicentre of Sweden’s bizarre solar system and the home of the Melodifestivalen final. W00t!

In Stockholm I’ll be taking up a position as a research editor with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an organisation which, for those who don’t keep up with these things, has apparently just been ranked second in the 2011 Global Go To Think Tank Index Rankings, just behind the UK’s Chatham House and ahead of Amnesty International, the International Crisis Group and any other (non-US) think-tank you’d care to mention.

I’m excited to be starting a new life in Stockholm, and looking forward to sampling the delights of the city’s bars, restaurants and cafes, as well as the multitude of museums, clubs and cultural activities on offer. Nevertheless, while it’s easy to see that Karlskrona lacks most of these things, I will miss being able to look out the window of my house and see the sea; and I’ll miss the laid-back summer days and the picture-perfect islands of Saltö, Dragsö and Langö.

Then again, if I ever win the lotto, I’m pretty sure that the first thing I’ll do with my squillions of kronor is buy a pretty little stuga somewhere on the archipelago, stock it with all manner of food and drink, and then while away my golden years playing kubb, whittling pieces of wood into ornamental pipes and distilling my own mead. Until then, I will take away many happy memories of Karlskrona, and hope to return again.

Hej då.

Hourly forecast for Karlskrona (Blekinge, Sweden)

While most of my Australian friends sweat it out in typical summer fashion, here’s what we’ve got to look forward to over the next two days:

  1. Near gale, 15 m/s from south
  2. Near gale, 17 m/s from south
  3. Gale, 19 m/s from south
  4. Gale, 18 m/s from south-southwest
  5. Near gale, 17 m/s from south-southwest
  6. Near gale, 15 m/s from south-southwest
  7. Near gale, 17 m/s from southwest
  8. Near gale, 16 m/s from southwest
  9. Near gale, 16 m/s from southwest
  10. Near gale, 16 m/s from southwest
  11. Near gale, 17 m/s from west-southwest
  12. Gale, 19 m/s from southwest
  13. Strong gale, 21 m/s from west-southwest
  14. Gale, 20 m/s from west-southwest
  15. Gale, 21 m/s from west-southwest
  16. Strong gale, 21 m/s from west-southwest
  17. Gale, 21 m/s from west-southwest
  18. Strong gale, 23 m/s from west-southwest
  19. Strong gale, 24 m/s from west-southwest
  20. Strong gale, 23 m/s from west-southwest
  21. Strong gale, 22 m/s from west-southwest
  22. Gale, 20 m/s from west-southwest
  23. Gale, 19 m/s from west
  24. Gale, 19 m/s from west
  25. Near gale, 17 m/s from west
  26. Near gale, 17 m/s from west
  27. Near gale, 17 m/s from west
  28. Near gale, 16 m/s from west
  29. Near gale, 16 m/s from west
  30. Near gale, 16 m/s from west-southwest
  31. Strong breeze, 14 m/s from west
  32. Strong breeze, 14 m/s from west-southwest

Happy St Lucy’s Day!

Today is St Lucy’s Day or, in Swedish, ‘Luciadagen’.

Invitation to a lecture …

Invitation to: Public Lecture and Poetry Reading: organized by BTH Department of Culture and Communication and the EU-Art Line Project

You are invited to attend the following public lecture and poetry reading sponsored by the Art Line project, Digital Art Platform Initiative, and organized by the BTH Department of Culture and Communication.

Lecture Title: “Bonfire of the Vanity Presses – Publishing and Self-Publishing in the Field of Poetry,” presented by David Prater, Ph.D. (Post-Doctoral Researcher, BTH, Department of Culture and Communication)
Date: Nov 16, 2011, 15.15-17.00
Room: C413A
BTH, Campus Gräsvik (Karlskrona, Sweden)

This lecture will be based on Dr. Prater’s PH.D. thesis, entitled “Bonfire of the Vanity Presses: Self-Publishing in the Field of Australian Poetry.” The presentation will examine examples of Dr. Prater’s self-published poetry chapbooks and will discuss issues of authorization and reputation raised by the confusion between ‘vanity publishing’ and ‘self-publishing’ as cultural practices. While the thesis does not specifically address the place of digital self-expression within the cultural field, the lecture will offer a chance to discuss the impact of electronic writing on the literary field and on literary arts in the current age of digitalization. Examples of Dr. Prater’s self-published books will be available for viewing during the lecture, which will also incorporate readings from these works.

This lecture is organized by BTH researchers in the Department of Culture and Communication and in the Digital Art Platform initiative within the EU-funded project Art Line. Art Line is an International cooperation between the academy, cultural institutions and tourism within the Southern Baltic region to explore art innovation in physical and digital space. The Digital Art Platform seeks to research, promote, and publish art and creative critical practices informed by developing media phenomena, technology, and artistic expressions.

About David Prater:

David Prater was born in Australia in 1972. He holds a BA from the University of Sydney, an MA from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. His first poetry collection, We Will Disappear, was published by papertiger media in 2007, and Vagabond Press published his chapbook Morgenland in the same year. His poetry has appeared in a wide range of Australian and international journals, and he has performed his work at festivals in Australia, Japan, Bulgaria, Canada, the United States, the Netherlands and Macedonia. He has also undertaken two writers’ residencies in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and has worked extensively as a teacher, editor and researcher. Since 2001 he has been the managing editor of Cordite Poetry Review, an online journal of Australian poetry and poetics. He is currently undertaking post-doctoral research on electronic literature and pedagogy at Blekinge Tekniska Högskola as part of the Electronic Literature as a Model of Creative Practice (ELMCIP) project.

For more information about the lecture/reading, contact: Lissa Holloway-Attaway, Senior Lecturer at BTH (lat@bth.se) or Aje Björkman, Information Officer at Art Line (aje.bjorkman@artline-southbaltic.eu)

Kevin Rudd on Sweden and his poor Swedish language skills

Jag är glad över att vara tillbaka i [Sverige]. Ett land som jag länge beundrat, och där min karriär som diplomat började för nästan trettio år sedan. Australien och Sverige har en lång gemensam historia. Faktum är att Australien kude ha blivit svenskt. Gustav den tredje gav order om en svensk bosättning i Västra Australien i November sjuttonhundraåttiosex, två år innan brittiska skepp anlände för första gången. Men kungens plan stoppades av krigsutbrottet med Ryssland nästkommande år. Så mitt modermål är inte svenska, utan engelska. Och efter trettio år är min svenska inget vidare.

Kevin Rudd, at SIPRI (May 2011)

@daveyinsweden’s 500th tweet!

Cabaret Voltage: Intermission

While I’m in a video posting mood, here’s what could be considered a lost gem: footage of the world premiere of Intermission, a performance piece by Talan Memmott and Eric Snodgrass at Cabaret Voltage, an evening of electronic literature performances held as part of our ELMCIP workshop in Karlskrona in June. Notable, if you ask me, for my own performance as the chess-playing maniac centre stage and that special moment, at 8:25, when I throw a chess piece at Eric’s head, only narrowly missing him. Sit back and enjoy. It doesn’t get much weirder than this.

Cabaret Voltage: Intermission from ELMCIP on Vimeo.

Art Line comes to Karlskrona!

Art Line is an international art project running from 2011-2013, and featuring fourteen partners from five countries in the South Baltic region: Sweden, Poland, Germany, Russia and Lithuania. In October, Art Line comes to Karlskrona, with a range of events planned, including the above seminar. Check out the last name on that interesting list of speakers. W00t! I feel like an obscure chill wave band performing for the first time at Coachella. Or something.

Coming soon to a Dead Poem Office near you

ELMCIP Twitter Stream (13-17 June, 2011)

I realise that things have been a little quiet on this blog recently. I blame the onset of a fair-to-middling Swedish summer, which has encouraged me to get out of the office slightly more often than usual (not to mention the fact that the entire campus here in Karlskrona seems to have shut down over the summer break, library included).

Nevertheless, I’ve been thinking a lot about electronic literature over the past few months, which is just as well given that I’m currently undertaking a post-doc on the subject. I have to admit that even six months into the post-doc, I still feel like a complete n00b when it comes to e-lit. In many ways it’s been a real challenge to my preconceived notions about writing and the digital realm.

One experience that really helped to put my mind into focus in terms of grappling with these issues was attending the ELMCIP workshop my colleagues and I organised last month in Karlskrona on the subject of electronic literature pedagogy. While I did not present at the workshop, I did undertake the task of updating the ELMCIP twitter feed for the duration.

I must say, as someone who’s always thought that the people at the BBC who update the ball-by-ball text commentary during cricket matches have the best job in the world, that I really enjoyed the experience of composing short tweets on the presentations, responding to the tweets of others following the proceedings and re-tweeting various pithy statements.

The problem of course, as with many manifestations of electronic or digital media, that much of the context of that experience is/was temporal – ie, impermanent. It’s impossible to capture the full extent to which the ELMCIP stream was followed, responded to and digested. Nevertheless, I think it’s still necessary to do whatever one can to document these sorts of experiences.

So, I’ve made a screenshot of the hundred-odd tweets I wrote during the workshop. While the screenshot cannot capture the number of tweets that were re-tweeted, it does, hopefully, give a kind of summary which I can look back on with pride in my dotage (ie the duration of my life post-post-doc). Check it out, as they say, ‘over the fold’.

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Coming soon to K-Town!

Things have taken a turn for the untold here in Karlskrona, with today’s unveiling by Talan ‘Mad Skillz’ Memmott of a poster advertising the upcoming Cabaret Voltage event.

Scheduled to rock the Scandinavian e-lit scene in a manner not witnessed since the last Icelandic ash cloud, Cabaret Voltage will be the final event in a three-day extravaganza of electronic literature (otherwise known as the ELMCIP workshop on electronic literature pedagogy, hosted by our research group at BTH) and will feature performances, readings, shouties and even an on-stage game of chess.

While details of the exact names of the chess players remain under a media embargo, you’re free to feast your eyes on the above piece of post-Soviet goodness, which we plan to paste up all over town. And if you’re planning on coming along on the evening of Thursday June 16, you’d better get cracking, as I’m told all SJ train services on that day are almost fully-booked.

Okay, I’m only kidding about the train bit. And the ash cloud.

But the poster is real.

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