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J.R. Carpenter: CityFish

About CityFish :

CityFish is a hybrid word, title of a hybrid work, tale of a hybrid creature. Part classical parable, part children’s picture book, CityFish is a web-based intertextual hypermedia transmutation of Aesop’s Town Mouse Country Mouse fable. Winters, a Canadian girl named Lynne freezes in Celsius in the fishing village of Brooklyn, Nova Scotia (Canada), a few minutes walk from a white sandy beach. Summers, she suffers her city cousins sweltering in Fahrenheit in Queens, New York (USA). By now Lynne knows everyone knows it’s supposed to be the other way around. Lynne is a fish out of water. In the country, her knowledge of the city separates her from her school of friends. In the city, her foreignness marks her as exotic. Meanwhile, the real city fish lie in scaly heaps on long ice-packed tables in hot and narrow Chinatown streets. CityFish represents asynchronous relationships between people, places, perspectives and times through a horizontally scrolling browser window, suggestive of a panorama, a diorama, a horizon line, a skyline, a timeline, a Torah scroll. The panorama and the diorama have traditionally been used in museums and landscape photography to establish hierarchies of value and meaning. CityFish interrupts a seemingly linear narrative with poetic texts, quotations, Quicktime videos, DHTML animations, Google Maps and a myriad of visual images. Combining contemporary short fiction and hypermedia storytelling forms creates a new hybrid, a lo-fi web collage cabinet of curiosities. The story of Lynne and the city fish unfolds in this strange horizontally scrolling world of absences and empty spaces - furious, intimate, and surreal.

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About J.R. Carpenter:

J. R. Carpenter is a Canadian artist and author of poetry, very short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction and web-based non-linear intertextual hypermedia narratives. Her electronic literature has been presented at museums, galleries, conferences and festivals around the world including: OBORO, Dare-Dare and Muse de Beaux-arts (Montreal), Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto), Arnolfini (Bristol), Inspace (Edinburgh), Machfeld Studio (Vienna), Jyväskylä Art Museum (Finland), Web Biennial 2007 (Istanbul), Cast Gallery (Tasmania), Rhizome ArtBase at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York),,, Interrupt Festival 2008 (Brown), Electronic Literature Organization Conference 2008 (Vancouver, Washington), Media in Transition Conference 2009 (MIT), E-Poetry 2009 (Barcelona), OLE Officina di Letteratura Elettronica at the PAN Palazzo delle Arti Napoli (Naples) and is included in the Electronic Literature Collection Volumes One and Two. Carpenter's poetry, short fiction and essays have been translated into French and Spanish, broadcast on CBC Radio and published in journals and anthologies in Canada, the USA, the UK, Spain and Italy. She is the winner of the QWF Carte Blanche Quebec Award (2008), the CBC Quebec Short Story Competition (2003 & 2005), and the Expozine Alternative Press Award for Best English Book for her first novel, Words the Dog Knows, published by Conundrum Press in 2008. Her second book, Generation(s), a hybrid code narrative, was published by Traumawien in 2010. She serves on the Board of Directors of OBORO, an artist-run gallery and new media lab in Montreal and is currently a PhD research student at University College Falmouth in the UK.


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