Greening Narrative has had a very eventful year!
Since August, the research team of Greening Narrative, headed by Professor Jill Didur, has been active in developing our project through a locative media application and through critical research.
Together with computer programmer Emma Saboureau and sound artist Eric Powell, we have built a locative media application that is tentatively called Global Urban Wilds, which is geocoded to allow users to engage with collectible icons scattered throughout Montréal’s Champ des Possibles protected urban wild. In our design of the app, we have focused on asking: how can we use ubiquitous mobile technologies in ways that defamiliarize everyday technologies, spaces, and histories?
To gather content for Global Urban Wilds, the Greening Narrative team has sought an assortment of source material, including literary mediations of urban wilds, texts on biodiversity and Indigenous plants in Montréal, and interviews with experts and artists. Towards an interview archive, Professor Didur, translator Arianne Legault, and the team have had in-depth conversations with the president of the Champ des Possibles, an artist who has worked in the urban wild, and a curator of the Montréal Botanical Garden’s Indigenous Garden–with more interviews planned soon.
In research, Greening Narrative has participated in the fields of the environmental humanities, locative and geomedia, interactive narratives, and Indigenous histories and cultures. In May 2017, Professor Didur and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Lai-Tze Fan went to Uppsala, Sweden, on a pilgrimage to the home and gardens of botanist/zoologist Carl Linnaeus, the father of the Latin system of naming species.
While in Sweden, Didur and Fan also presented a paper on the development of Global Urban Wilds at the 2017 Geomedia conference. They also presented this research in Toronto, Canada, at the Canadian Comparative Literature Association for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and they are currently revising their essay for publication in a media journal. Independently, Professor Didur has presented her research on botanical gardens at the Université de Montréal and Concordia University, and Dr. Fan published an article on locative media narratives and spatial exploration.
In March, we were delighted to invite mobile media expert Professor Adriana de Souza e Silva (North Carolina State University) to Concordia University to join us for a special “shinposium” on Pokémon GO and to speak on her own riveting research on mobile culture in Brazil.
The work and members of Greening Narrative have been featured in several periodical newsletters, including on the Milieux Institute’s website and in a forthcoming issue of Pause Button.
Greening Narrative heartily thanks the numerous organizations, insitutions, and people that have been instrumental to our project’s development. These include the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Concordia University, the Department of English, the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture, and Technology, and the TAG (Technoculture, Art, and Games) Lab.
We are excited for what the next years have in store for Greening Narrative. Until the 2017 — 2018 year!