Syndicate is a unique initiative bringing together writers, musicians, artists and researchers working in, and in response to, digital technologies, new media and evolving network practices. It is organised by Lila Matsumoto, Jo L Walton and Samantha Walton, in collaboration with New Media Scotland and with the support of the Edinburgh Fund’s Innovative Initiative Grant.
Bram Gieben, Justin Katko, Lisa Otty, Jo L Walton performed / presented under the broad rubric of Real Time Strategy. The term chiefly refers to a genre of computer game, and thereby hints at Syndicate’s large — even ontologically nosy — exploratory remit. Real Time Strategy also has an aura of the ad hoc, of acts on the fly. Just as allopoiesis elides with autopoiesis, so “real time” suggests a raft of unreal types of time: turn-based time, false time, untimeliness, being out of time, and – ahead of all – being before one’s time. Syndicate’s scrutiny turned to newness as such and a constellation of related concepts: the avant-garde, innovation, freshness, pretension, the prophetic, early adoption, cutting edge, the future, posterity, and signs of things to come.
An energetic clash of cyberpunk and apocalyptic fantasy Bram E. Gieben, is a member of The Chemical Poets, the founder of Weaponizer Press, and makes hip-hop as Texture. His unpublished novel was shortlisted for the 2012 CWA Debut dagger Award for crime fiction, and his short fiction has been published by Timid Pirate Press, Red Squirrel and BoingBoing. He has released music on his own Black Lantern Music label, and on Aural Sects. A music journalist since 2004, he is currently Staff Writer at The Skinny Magazine, and writes for Mishka NYC and Future Astronauts.
Lisa Otty is an AHRC Early Career Fellow at the Centre for the History of the Book, working in partnership with the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Lisa’s current research focuses on a network of modernist small presses founded by poet-publishers in Paris and London between 1910 and 1940. Her project examines the political underpinnings and aesthetic ambitions of these ventures, how they are influenced by and contribute to Surrealist aesthetics, and how they integrate and reconfigure the English model of Arts and Crafts publishing and the French tradition of the livre d’artiste.
Justin Katko is a poet from Kentucky, studying now in Cambridge. His publications include the electronic multimedia opera “The Death of Pringle” (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/cprc/publications/Veer_Publications/BurnerVeer007) and the poem “Rhyme Against the Internet” (http://theclaudiusapp.com/). His collaborations with Jow Lindsay include the books “Finite Love”, “We Are Real: A History” (http://plantarchy.us/real), “Superior City Song”, and the forthcoming “Animal Crater”. He is a co-editor of Edward Dorn’s recent “Collected Poems” and he runs the small press Critical Documents (http://plantarchy.us/).
Jo L Walton is a contemporary poet, fiction writer, and editor of Sad Press. His published work includes Invocation (Critical Documents, 2013); Hax (Punch Press, 2011) and Pressure in Cheshire (Veer Books, 2009). An excerpt from his talk/poem on the night appears on his blog (simply scroll yourself, impervious, past the 3D-printed guns).