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Workshop / Conferences

Direction: Fran Ilich
Coordination: Pedro Jiménez
     - Workshop and conferences: Universidad Internacional de Andalucía's Aula del Rectorado room, Santa María de las Cuevas Monastery (Isla de la Cartuja).
     - Concert by Scanner [Friday 12th March, 21:00 h]: Monasterio de la Cartuja Refectory (Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo) Santa María de las Cuevas Monastery (Isla de la Cartuja). Monasterio de Santa María de las Cuevas, Isla de la Cartuja (Sevilla).
Date: 8th >> 12th March 2004
Participants: Julián Boal, Andrea Zapp, Olia Lialina, Nora Barry, Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner




It is no coincidence that in spite of the fact that the special effects and computer-generated images in The Matrix might appear wholly unreal to us, there are details (and not just a few) that talk of our times and reality. Not unusually, millions of people identify with the film's metaphors.

Although The Matrix comes to us from Hollywood, it stimulates us to re-question everything that our senses tell us (we would not be wrong in describing the film as Plato's Myth of the Cave, with a remix by DJ Spooky or Alec Empire), and simultaneously to read the meanings of our perceptions more calmly, to reason, to use our reason, we could say, to read the code within the "cyber lingo". This evidently leads us to talk of media literacy/digital literacy. In other words, to talk of our capacity to read and write in the different media. As we are aware, reading and writing the code is not easy and it is certainly not one single activity.

When we talk of today's cinematographic language, we know that there are millions of readers, but in comparison there are very few who can write (in other words produce an audiovisual work). We should also mention that such a language has changed remarkably since it was born. Sixty years ago Alexander Astruc reflected upon the "camera-stylo" and the arrival of a new period in the development of cinema when this medium could be as flexible as a simple fountain pen. According to Astruc not only would we soon see fiction films of the types and genres that have now become essential for the movie industry (especially for Hollywood), but that we would also make/see cine-essays, cine documentaries, etc.

Astruc also expected to see future film libraries (similar to today's book libraries) where all film-makers and all those who wished, could borrow different types of works and where they could find quotations to include in their own cine-essays. It goes without saying that these quotations would not be included between quotation marks, as in a traditional essay, nor would there be footnotes. On the contrary, these quotations would be like a sort of primitive hypertext where reality or creation would be revisited by several authors. This is evidently rather complicated to put into practice, due to the copyright laws that govern such activity in the West.

It would be interesting here to question the exact extent to which desktop computers, laptops and palmtops foment and facilitate this creativity as well as giving Astruc's dream another chance to become reality, something that the new wave, cinéma vérité and cine-essayist film-makers achieved to a certain degree but which today however have remained as unfulfilled or little-distributed genres.

As in Ancient Greece, today's predominant narratives help society to a certain extent in formulating and constructing its moral codes and identity. Today however the Internet holds out new promises that are not completely fulfilled due to issues involving both "digital literacy" and the "digital divide" or in other words, access to new technology. Perhaps to speak of economic models that encourage narrative in the media is still at present rather Utopian. This however does not mean that it is a question that should be avoided (we must remind ourselves that although many of the world's countries the literary industry is rather small, the television fiction and cinema industries are able to generate thousands of millions and capture huge audiences).

Because of this it would seem essential to reflect and develop themes with regard to realism in the narrative media, both in theory and in practise. Certain details of the method of literary realism developed by Flaubert in the 19th century can be compared in with Lars Von Trier's dogma 95. However, to talk of reality in this period when reality is interpreted by the communications industry, which in turn is controlled by national governments and transnational corporations, leads us to observe a probable fictionalisation of reality. This in turn makes us return to the myth of Plato's Cave, The Matrix and of course the question of how to use the media in the widest sense of the meaning in order to develop stories: from staging and performances in spaces under CCTV surveillance to interactive narratives using Wi-Fi devices in urban spaces.

Alain Robbe-Grillet questioned the form of realism saying that it was not very realistic to create an omniscient narrator, a psychological reading of the characters and a description of their thoughts. Jean-Paul Sartre on the other hand questioned language as giving a narrative piece its value, reminding us that a story can be narrated via several media. Narrating is narrating: orally, textually, digitally, audiovisually, sonically, graphically.

This project, directed by Fran Ilich and coordinated by Pedro Jiménez, is inserted in zemos98_6's "narrative-media" programme [], an audiovisual festival that will take place in Seville and El Viso del Alcor, the week before the workshop, from March 1st to 6th 2004.



The project will take place from March 8th to 12th and is in two parts:

Morning sessions of a practical nature for registered participants and will be given by the invited guests: Nora Barry, Andrea Zapp, Julián Boal, Olia Lialina/ Dragan Espenschied and Robin Rimbaud a.k.a. Scanner.

> From March 8th to 12th 2004, 10:00 h.
Workshops are open to registered participants only >>

The afternoon sessions will establish the workshop's theoretical framework. These sessions will be open to the public and simultaneous interpreting facilities will be available.

Monday, 8th March 2004
· 19:00 h.
Cinema Online. Nora Barry

Tuesday, 9th March 2004
· 19:00 h.
Narrativa and netword. Andrea Zapp

Wednesday, 10th March 2004
· 19:00 h.
Teatro del Oprimido [Theatre of the Oppressed]. Julián Boal

Thursday, 11th March 2004
· 19:00 h.
Storytelling on net art. Olia Lialina/Dragan Espenschied

Friday, 12th March 2004
· 19:00 h.
Conciert by Scanner.
Monasterio de la Cartuja Refectory. Free entry.
In collaboration with the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo.




Fran Ilich
Fran Ilich is the author of the novel, Metro-Pop, (publ. ediciones sm); of the These kids are Narcojuniors, which participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus; the Modem Drama, based on the text of the reality show Big (b)0ther, which was presented in the Walker Art Center; co-author of the videogame Beaner, presented in the MEIAC, and Story Streams. He was editor of the digital culture magazine Sputnik, scriptwriter of Interacción on the Discovery Channel and researcher at the Centro Multimedia del Centro Nacional de las Artes [the National Arts Centre's Multimedia Centre]. He has directed festivals in Mexico such as Cinematik 1.0, the first cyber culture festival to be held in Latin America; in collaboration with Natalie Bookchin and sponsored by MOCA Los Angeles and CalArts, and Borderhack. At present he is curator at the Otra Narrativa es Posible exhibition, publishes a column on tactical media in La Jornada newspaper and is studying Latin American Studies at Alliant International University, Mexico.

Pedro Jiménez []
Pedro Jiménez holds a degree in Audiovisual Communications from Seville University. He is a media researcher and coordinator at zemos98, a collective that works on projects that concentrate mainly on the audiovisual as a possible means of "education/re-education" with regard to the media and global culture. He also organises the zemos 98 audiovisual festival. He belongs to the Indymedia Estrecho collective, works as a network resources designer and has taken part in exhibitions and projects such as Reunión 03, Ceci n'est pas un congrés; the attachment of borderhack 2.0; Big [b]Other, Walker Art Center; and numerous audiovisual festivals. With aid from the European Union, Zemos98 has just created the zemos 98 Laboratory for New Technologies and Narrative Media whose aim is to develop interactive cinema projects for adolescents and workshops for interpreting images and the audiovisual culture.

Julián Boal []
Julián Boal is a translator, cineaste and director of the Teatro del Oprimido [Theatre of the Oppressed]. He is son of and assistant to Augusto Boal (father of Teatro del Oprimido). He has translated into French and reorganised the following of his father's books: Rainbow of Desire and Games for Actors and Non-Actors. He is also the author of the book, Images of a Popular Theatre, dealing with the Brazilian theatre movement during the 1960's. He directs workshops on Teatro del Oprimido in Pamplona, Barcelona, Croatia, France, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany, Norway, Brazil and in other countries .

Andrea Zapp []
Andrea Zapp is a researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University. She specialised in cinema and media theory at Philipps-University in Marburg, Germany. She was resident artist at the Future Lab of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz. She edited the book, Networked Narrative Environments as imaginary spaces of being, and co-edited, together with Martin Rieser, the book and DVD New Screen Media, Cinema/Art/Narrative, BFI Publishing, London/Center for Art and Media, zkm Karlsruhe, 2002. In 2003 she organised the symposium Networked Narratives in Liverpool's FACT Media Centre and is at present working on an exhibition for 2005. Her artistic pieces include Little Sister - A 24 hr. online surveillance soap, 2000 and The Imaginary Hotel, 2003/04. His work has been shown internationally in spaces such as Ars Electronica. ISEA, Filmfestival Rotterdam and Transmediale.

Olia Lialina []
Olia Lialina is regarded as one of the pioneers and founders of She is a lecturer at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart, and author of such seminal pieces as First Real Net Art Gallery, The Most Beautiful Web Page, My Boyfriend Came Back From The War, Agatha Appears, Anna Karenina Goes To Paradise and is co-author of Zombie & Mummy. She has exhibited in Ars Electronica, Next Five Minutes, zkm and the Walker Art Center, among others.

Nora Barry []
Nora Barry is the creator of The Bit Screen, the first website for films created on the Internet and of Streaming Cinema, the first festival in the USA to specialise in films made for the Internet. She is the president of Druid Media, a network of websites dealing with the cinema including The Bit Screen, Cinema Lounge and (an interactive web-based film). Before concentrating on the Internet she wrote several scripts and co-produced a television series for children. She has participated in such festivals as the Berlin Beta dvdays and Ars Electronica. She has been co-curator of zkm's Future Cinema exhibition.

Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner []
Robin Rimbaud creates sound images using technology in unconventional ways. He began making music using cell phone conversations and gradually began to concentrate on the hidden sounds of the modern metropolis. He has collaborated with artists from various fields such Bryan Ferry, Laurie Anderson, The Royal Ballet and Random Dance, Michael Hyman, Luc Ferrari, Mike Kelley and Derek Jarman. As well as his compositions and audio CD's he has created film soundtracks, performances, radio and site-specific inter-media installations. He has presented and exhibited pieces in such places as SFMOMA, the Pompidou Centre Paris, Tate Modern London, Transmediale and the Royal Opera House London.

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