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  • Writer's pictureGEM LAB

Works-in-Progress (WIP) Workshop Series presents: Media Spreads and Day Old Bread: SPAM Zine and Alt

Wednesday, January 30, 2018 at 6 PM – 8 PM in the GEM Lab (FB 630.15)

Put simply, media spreads. Like butter, it spreads across digital platforms, across cultures and networks, and even across the printed page. Books, viral videos, hypertexts, passports, social media, ghost stories, oral histories, smart phones, radio, news reports, television. Media occupies the air around us, and gives form to our daily interactions, pleasures, and economies. To extend the metaphor, media is also as tangible and ubiquitous as a slice of bread. Media’s footprints leave behind messy crumbs. Scattered across the kitchen table, wedged into our keyboards, or accumulating in our jean pockets. SPAM: Society, Politics, Art, and Media is a new zine dedicated to the physicality, experiences, and histories of media in our everyday lives. This zine offers an alternative platform for sharing original research, ideas, and art about audio-visual media and technology. Each issue, helmed by a different author, seeks to bring scholarly and creative research into the public sphere with an emphasis on progressive politics and socially-engaged perspectives—working within but also beyond conventional scholarly networks. As a collaborative project, SPAM is written and facilitated by members of the Stale Bread Collective. To lift a line from Marshall McLuhan, SPAM is here to serve up media, hot or cold. In doing, we hope to leave behind a few bread crumbs of our own. The SPAM Zine Jam will offer a creative space to showcase our project and discuss some of the politics and practical challenges of contemporary zine making. In the first half of the workshop, members of the Collective will present the early issues of SPAM and our goals behind the project. Edo Ernest dit Alban (Concordia & Paris 8) will then present his in-progress issue dedicated to Japanese women and queer fun zines. The second half of the workshop will use SPAM as a platform to discuss some of the creative, political, and methodological aspects of creating paper zines in our era of digital cultures and resurgent media technologies. What methodological and creative challenges do alternative platforms for research dissemination pose? How might zines contribute to bridge-building between academic and local communities within Montreal within and beyond the university setting? The workshop will have zines on hand for curious readers and more information about how to get involved in the project. The Stale Bread Collective is comprised of amateur media-makers, late night bakers, and university researchers invested in playful and critical interrogations of audio-visual media and technology. Formed in Montreal, our members now bake and create across three continents. The Stale Bread Collective is: Melanie Ashe, Natalie Greenberg, Rachel Webb Jekanowski, and Edo Ernest dit Alban About WIP: The workshop is meant to showcase new and developing projects by the Fine Arts graduate community (and beyond), creating a space for interdisciplinary critique and feedback. Encouraging the engagement of workshop participants, the emphasis will be on research methodologies and future directions. We aim to create a space for alternative methodologies and practices, investigating research trends in the humanities such as visual anthropology, digital ethnography, field recording and sound experiments, approaches to information technologies, and other on the ground research practices. - Patrick Brodie

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