Sign in or register
for additional privileges

Teaching and Learning Multimodal Communications

Alyssa Arbuckle, Alison Hedley, Shaun Macpherson, Alyssa McLeod, Jana Millar Usiskin, Daniel Powell, Jentery Sayers, Emily Smith, Michael Stevens, Authors

You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.

in absentia: APIs and the Refusal of Erasure

In absentia is a Google Maps API-based e-lit project created in 2008 by artist J.R. Carpenter. Carpenter created in absentia to “address issues of gentrification and its erasures in the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal, where [she] lived for seventeen years.” Carpenter uses the API to create a portrait of a neighbourhood on the brink of existential change, where fictional narratives are embedded in a shifting environment; the project thus becomes a forensic snapshot of the neighbourhood as it stood before it “changed” and its preexisting locals were forced to live elsewhere. Carpenter describes the effect as a “web ‘site’ haunted by the stories of former residents of Mile End . . . a shared memory of the neighborhood as it never really was but as it could have been.”

Author: Shaun Macpherson
Word Count: 136
Join this page's discussion (1 comment)

Discussion of "in absentia: APIs and the Refusal of Erasure"

Working against the Current

Along with the theme of erasure in in absentia, Carpenter's use of the Google Maps API to generate an experience of discoverability is striking. I sought to emulate these qualities when constructing my own response to this prompt. Two of the pages in the response ("Neighbourhood Anxieties and Animosities" and "An English 'Home'") are intentionally digressive in that they interrupt my analysis and take the reader off the course of an intuitive reading experience.

Such digressions serve to undermine the conventional linearity of text—something that Scalar lends itself to—while challenging the reader to hierarchize the body of discourse. In other words, the reader must ask herself how reading "front to back" can be accomplished when there are tangents to consider. In this sense, the finished prompt, while centring on text, works against a traditional readerly instinct.

Author: Shaun Macpherson
Word Count: 138

Posted on 9 July 2013, 11:19 am by Shaun Macpherson  |  Permalink

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path 3. Granulation, page 9 of 23 Next page on path