The aim of this series of seminars is to experiment with opening up and rethinking the way we conduct events within The Centre for Disruptive Media in specific and within the humanities more in general. Following the format proposed here, the idea is to challenge the time- and location-bound format of the conference, as well as, in some ways, the ‘self-contained’ and solistic nature of a conference paper. With this format we also want to start breaking down the barriers that exist between a ‘conference’ and a ‘publication’, turning these events into rich collections of resources than can be re-used and re-assembled.

These seminars will build on recent experiments in ‘opening up’ events using digital and social media. The idea is to make extensive use of video-conferencing and live-streaming/recording of the events, to make them accessible for a wider group of speakers and participants (whilst also blurring the distinction between both). Next to that we will encourage social media engagement via Twitter, blogs and wikis. We will also investigate more interactive elements, by for instance making use of multiple screen sharing, but also by more established forms such as live-blogging and live-tweeting of the papers.

Based on the ‘Living’ or ‘Liquid’ books concept however¹, the aim is to extend this even further by experimenting with the re-use and remixing of older conference/video/podcast material, both from the rich archive the Centre can already draw upon, as well as from openly available material from other events and places that would be available for re-use. This could for instance include a seminar that consists of (part of a recording of an old Open Media talk (which we could present anew in another context), juxtaposed with a Skyped-in ‘live’ presentation by one of the seminar speakers. We could also think of a format in which the speaker(s) respond to the material already available on the wiki, or take part in a debate with the author(s) of one of the resources on the wiki, either ‘live’, via chat, tweets, or also via video-conferencing. The material on this wiki can then again be re-used by other people interested in hosting their own ‘living’ conferences or ‘open’ events.

We want to explore this possibility of re-using old recordings and materials from previous conferences and events in order to re-contextualise and re-use them in another context, in this way introducing them to a new debate. The aim is to emphasise that seminars and presentations are not (or do not have to be) mere recordings of time-bound events and contexts but that they can be re-purposed in new settings, confronting them to new questions and enabling potential new forms of critique whilst encouraging different conversations to happen

¹ Living or liquid books are themselves living in that they’re open on a read/write basis for ongoing collaborative processes of writing, editing, updating, remixing and commenting by users.

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