About Text Camp Next Wave Festival

Editorial Dylan Rainforth

Design Notes Something Splendid

Credits Text Camp Reader 2010

Thanks Text Camp Reader 2010 Supporters

Shine on You Crazy Diamond Pip Wallis

Territory Time Jessica Booth

HIGH VIS DANDY Anna Zammit

The Words are Not Real… Sean Wilson

Homemade Worlds Miles Allinson

The View from Here Pip Wallis

Brotherhood, Masculinity, Dance Megan Garrett-Jones

The Fucken Chicken (Sound) Stampede Megan Garrett-Jones

After the Rainbow Stephanie Van Schilt

Brother, ManKatie Dircks

I'm Fine Katie Dircks

I Thought a Musical Was Being Made… Amelia Schmidt

Risk vs. Irony Amelia Schmidt

No Risk Too Great Tiara the Merch Girl

Bromance Nicholas Walton-Healey

Even My Best Works… Paige Luff

Infinity Tube Vox Pop Duncan Felton

This site is navigated both with
vertical scrolling and horizontal
panning between columns.

Tap the left or right sides
of the screen to explore.

Shine on You Crazy Diamond Pip Wallis

Territory Time Jessica Booth

HIGH VIS DANDY Anna Zammit

The Words are Not Real… Sean Wilson

Homemade Worlds Miles Allinson

The View from Here Pip Wallis

Brotherhood, Masculinity, Dance Megan Garrett-Jones

The Fucken Chicken (Sound) Stampede Megan Garrett-Jones

After the Rainbow Stephanie Van Schilt

Brother, ManKatie Dircks

I'm Fine Katie Dircks

I Thought a Musical Was Being Made… Amelia Schmidt

Risk vs. Irony Amelia Schmidt

No Risk Too Great Tiara the Merch Girl

Bromance Nicholas Walton-Healey

Even My Best Works… Paige Luff

Infinity Tube Vox Pop Duncan Felton

Next Wave’s Text Camp Reader 2010 is an online publication that draws together a series of critical and creative responses to the 2010 Next Wave Festival.

Text Camp Reader 2010 was produced through Text Camp 2010, a three-stage workshop, mentorship and publication program developed by Next Wave. An ambitious evolution of the inaugural, and highly successful, Text Camp program (2008), Text Camp 2010 provided opportunities for nine emerging writers and five emerging publishers to work with, and learn from, three established writers and editors. Over the course of the program these young writers and publishers also built new professional networks and contributed to the critical and creative discourse around the 2010 Next Wave Festival, and contemporary art practice more broadly. Comprising three parallel teaching streams, which explored methods in creative and critical writing and online, electronic publishing, Text Camp 2010 explored the many ways that art projects can be responded to through writing.

Each writer and editor selected for the Text Camp 2010 program attended one of three half-day, skills-based workshops, that were presented as part of Next Wave’s Risk Talkers program. Here the writers and editors discussed and experimented with different styles of arts writing and current arts publishing practice, exploring the relationship between art and writing and exchanging ideas with other engaged arts writers, editors and creative practitioners.

Following the workshops, the writers and editors each undertook a mentorship with Rosemary Forde, Nic Low or Dylan Rainforth, three leading young Australian writers and editors. The writers attended Festival shows with their mentors, afterwards sharing their responses and following up with artist interviews and further research. The mentors taught their writers more about the field of art writing, providing industry advice and contacts, as well as feedback and guidance on all the texts that appear here in the Text Camp Reader 2010.

The most significant and exciting development in the Text Camp 2010 program is the introduction of a third learning-stream, focusing on online publishing and editing. This new enhancement saw five emerging editors commissioning texts from the nine emerging creative and critical arts writers, and compiling them into a vibrant and interactive online magazine.

Text Camp Reader 2010 incorporates reviews, interviews, feature articles and experimental contemporary art practice engaged with text. The styles of writing range from the critical and analytical, to creative, fictional and speculative. Text Camp Reader 2010 offers dynamic, shareable content, allowing readers to distribute it in parts to their peers via Twitter.

Read more about the 2010 Next Wave Festival on the 2010 Next Wave Festival site, on the Next Wave Organisational site, or follow the Next Wave Twitter.

The mentor for Text Camp’s Creative Stream, Nicolas Low, shared an interesting idea with me on the first day of the public workshops we ran as part of the 2010 Next Wave Festival. Nic was getting his group to look at the 2010 Festival theme, No Risk Too Great, through the lens of risk management. It’s a risk to trust Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”, but let’s assume vandals aren’t attracted to entries that quote the International Standards Organisation in their first sentence. Let’s take a risk. According to Wikipedia:

“Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks (defined in ISO 31000 as the effect of uncertainty on objectives, whether positive or negative) followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities. Risks can come from uncertainty in financial markets, project failures, legal liabilities, credit risk, accidents, natural causes and disasters as well as deliberate attacks from an adversary.”

The key concept there is the “coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control” risk. The message: risk is bad. Nic asked his workshop participants to flip that on its head by imagining strategies of inverted risk management where the goal was to maximise risk in their responses to the Festival. The goal was not outright failure but embracing risk as a creative impetus. The Creative Stream took this as carte blanche to let their hair down — and, in two cases, take their clothes off. Others went far out of their comfort zones as they revealed personal details or put their bodies and selves into their responses.

They were inspired to do so by a provocative Festival that, all over, exemplified Nic’s metaphor of inverted risk management. The contemporary arts environment relies on carefully worded grant applications, established track records and successful projects acquitted on time with ample evidence of the benefit to the maximum number of end users. I’m not saying that the Next Wave Festival team don’t do a fantastic job of crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s — if they didn’t they wouldn’t still be here (Next Wave was established in 1984, about the same time many Text Camp participants and Next Wave artists were born). But, unlike the majority of other arts events or projects, Next Wave embraces risk on a grand scale. A one-day event with twenty different performances in the bowels of the Melbourne Cricket Ground? Why not? A keynote lecture that takes the form of indigenous dancing, black comedy and discomforting spoken-word performance? You bet.

I’m pleased to attest that everyone involved in Text Camp responded to the risk-taking and bravery of the Festival’s many and myriad works by taking all kinds of risks themselves. The Creative Stream might have provided us with the most overt examples but the same was true of the Critical Stream where participants were invited by mentor Rosemary Forde to leave behind the well-tested conventions and guiding principles of academia or journalistic writing to invest their pieces with personal revelation and associative leaps. The resulting essays, reviews and extended writings that stretch beyond recognizable genres contribute erudition and levity in equal measure.

The Publishing Stream, an innovation of this year’s Festival, did not content themselves with editing paragraphs and correcting grammar. They leapt at the chance to explore what was possible as the Text Camp Reader you are now browsing made the jump from paper to an online platform. They worked closely with designers Something Splendid to make necessity (a reduced budget that meant there would not be a printed reader) a virtue when it came to coming up with a design concept that not only fully embraced online media but integrated the Festival theme, No Risk Too Great, into its own structural integrity (to borrow a term from a 2010 Next Wave Festival Keynote Project). They then went even further by coming up with written pieces of their own — critical, creative and all shades in between — that have helped take this publication even further into the realm of risk.

On behalf of all involved — from the Next Wave organisational and curatorial team, to the participants in the three Text Camp streams and the inspired design duo at Something Splendid — I hope you like it. And, though we are immensely proud of all the responses and writings here, if it seems like some things haven’t quite worked, well, by definition taking a risk will never pay off every time. Because there would be no risk in that, would there?

Dylan Rainforth
Managing Editor, Text Camp Reader
Mentor, Publishing Stream, Text Camp 2010

What do you do with a literary publication that doesn’t have the budget for an extended print run? Just throw it online and see if it sticks? Will anyone even read it?

We were psyched to start designing the Text Camp reader for the 2010 Next Wave Festival, having thoroughly enjoyed Chase & Galley’s printed publication for the 2008 Festival. Our dreams for an experimental printed publication were quickly dashed — the project was to be principally a website.

Reading on the web is a tricky thing. We’ve been trained to scan text rather than read it, and it was hard to imagine an online Text Camp reader as a workable reading experience. Extensive work on this topic has been undertaken by much smarter people than us; products like Marco Arment’s Instapaper and Inventive Labs’ Monocle spring to mind. Both of these projects present text content without the clutter and flash that characterise typical online reading experiences.

View of Text Camp Reader 2010 on a mobile device.
Illustration, 2010

The format of this year’s Text Camp reader borrows heavily from Thinking for a Living, a marvellous online design publication by Duane King. The horizontal scrolling breaks the text up into manageable chunks, and the clean presentation allows a reader to concentrate on reading the articles rather than merely browsing them. The clean, column-based layout also translates very well to the iPhone version of the site, where a single column fits perfectly on the mobile device’s screen. There is an excellent article by Frank Chimero that details more of the thinking behind Thinking for a Living’s horizontal format, entitled ‘Horizontalism and Readability’.

The normal and safe versions of the Text Camp logo in animation
Animation, 2010

Visually, we wanted the Text Camp reader to respond to the 2010 Next Wave Festival theme, No Risk Too Great, and its implications in web development. Like most excitable developers we try and implement new technologies in our projects, often with some serious compatibility consequences. Older internet browsers won’t support newer technologies, and often require elaborate workarounds or alternative feature-limited versions. We decided to play with the idea of a website’s ‘safe mode’; harking back to our earlier computing ancestry. The normal version of the online reader is heavily influenced by The People Collective’s brilliant 2010 Next Wave Festival identity; it features the Arno typeface and detailed illustrations from the 2010 Festival Program. By contrast, the safe version of the website is decked out in vintage Apple Mac Beige and features the original Macintosh system fonts Chicago and Geneva. The logotype and top left corner of the site expose a diagonal slice of the alternate version underneath. By toggling the Safe Mode button, users can control their reading environment and switch between the safe and normal versions of the site.

Something Splendid are a Melbourne-based design and development studio. You can see more of their work on their website somethingsplendid.com

Text Camp Reader 2010
2010 Next Wave Festival
No Risk Too Great
13–30 May 2010

Critical Stream
Mentor
Rosemary Forde

Participants
Miles Allinson, Jessica Booth, Megan Garrett-Jones, Stephanie Van Schilt, Pip Wallis

Creative Stream
Mentor
Nicolas Low

Participants
Katie Dircks, Tiara the Merch Girl, Amelia Schmidt, Nicholas Walton-Healey

Publishing Stream
Mentor
Dylan Rainforth

Participants
James Donald, Duncan Felton, Paige Luff, Sean Wilson, Anna Zammit

Managing Editor
Dylan Rainforth

Next Wave Artistic Director
Jeff Khan

Project Managers
Ulanda Blair and Meg Hale

Design
Something Splendid

Published by Next Wave
Copyright Next Wave Festival Inc. 2010
www.nextwave.org.au

Acknowledgements
Next Wave wishes to thank all of the writers and editors; Rosemary Forde; Nicolas Low; Dylan Rainforth; Din Heagney, Angela Brophy and the un Projects committee; Bel Schenk and Emily Andersen at Express Media; Claire Smiddy, Chrissie Sharp and Michael Williams at the Wheeler Centre; James Yencken and Jonathon Bellew at Something Splendid; and all of our sponsors, staff and volunteers.

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