Writing Coastlines : Locating Narrative Resonance in Transatlantic Communications Networks.

Carpenter, Jessica (2014) Writing Coastlines : Locating Narrative Resonance in Transatlantic Communications Networks. Doctoral thesis, Falmouth University.

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Abstract / Summary

The term ‘writing coastlines’ implies a double meaning. The word ‘writing’ refers both to the act of writing and to that which is written. The act of writing translates aural, physical, mental and digital processes into marks, actions, utterances, and speech-acts. The intelligibility of that which is written is intertwined with both the context of its production and of its consumption. The term ‘writing coastlines’ may refer to writing about coastlines, but the coastlines themselves are also writing in so far as they are translating physical processes into marks and actions. Coastlines are the shifting terrains where land and water meet, always neither land nor water and always both. The physical processes enacted by waves and winds may result in
marks and actions associated with both erosion and accretion. Writing coastlines are edges, ledges, legible lines caught in the double bind of simultaneously writing
and erasing. These in-between places are liminal spaces – points of both departure and arrival, and sites of exchange.

One coastline implies another, implores a far shore. The dialogue implied by this entreaty intrigues me. The coastlines of the United Kingdom and those of
Atlantic Canada are separated by three and a half thousand kilometres of ocean. Yet for centuries, fishers, sailors, explorers, migrants, emigrants, merchants, messengers,
messages, packets, ships, submarine cables, aeroplanes, satellite signals and wireless radio waves have attempted to bridge this distance. These comings and goings have
left traces. Generations of transatlantic migrations have engendered networks of communications. As narratives of place and displacement travel across, beyond, and through these networks, they become informed by the networks’ structures and inflected with the syntax and grammar of the networks’ code languages.

Writing Coastlines interrogates this in-between space with a series of questions: When does leaving end and arriving begin? When does the emigrant become the immigrant? What happens between call and response? What narratives
resonate in the spaces between places separated by time, distance, and ocean yet inextricably linked by generations of immigration? This thesis takes an overtly interdisciplinary approach to answering these questions. This practice-led research refers to and infers from the corpora and associated histories, institutions, theoretical frameworks, modes of production, venues, and audiences of the visual, media, performance, and literary arts, as well as from the traditionally more scientific realms of cartography, navigation, network archaeology, and creative
computing. Writing Coastlines navigates the emerging and occasionally diverging theoretical terrains of electronic literature, locative narrative, media archaeology, and networked art through the methodology of performance writing pioneered at Dartington College of Art (Bergvall 1996, Hall 2008). Central to this methodology is an iterative approach to writing, which interrogates the performance of writing in
and across contexts toward an extended compositional process.

Writing Coastlines will contribute to a theoretical framework and methodology for the creation and dissemination of networked narrative structures for stories of place and displacement that resonate between sites, confusing and
confounding boundaries between physical and digital, code and narrative, past and future, home and away.

Writing Coastlines will contribute to the creation of a new narrative context from which to examine a multi-site-specific place-based identity by extending the performance writing methodology to incorporate digital literature and locative narrative practices, by producing and publicly presenting a significant body of creative and critical work, and by developing a mode of critical writing which intertwines practice with theory.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Writing & Journalism > Creative Writing
Depositing User: Lucy Seale
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2018 10:35
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:29
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/2826


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