QUT Digital Literature Award

Mez Breeze

Mez Breeze for Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads (Beta)

About the book

Alice Field is back in a special Inanimate Alice story spanning the gap between Episodes Six and Seven of the award-winning series. Fans of the series who have been following Alice’s adventures for over ten years will be just as thrilled by this latest chapter, Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads. In this Part One Beta version of Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads, Alice strives to remain upbeat in the face of a challenging world filled with environmental upheavals, identity questioning, and geographic displacement.

About the author

Since the mid 1990s, Mez Breeze has been busy creating splodge-like arrays of award-winning digital fiction, books, VR and AR experiences, games, experimental storytelling, and other genre defying output that often can’t quite be categorised into neat little boxes (she secretly enjoys this fact). Mez can be found tinkering at mezbreezedesign.com.

Judges' comments

A wonderful new iteration of the long-running Inanimate Alice series. Mez bring her own voice to the character of Alice and the integration of sound, image, and animation with text brings the project up to date. We look forward to the promise of subsequent episodes in the series.

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Pascalle Burton

Pascalle Burton for Generation Loss (after Alvin Lucier)

About the book

Generation Loss (after Alvin Lucier) is a response to Alvin Lucier’s 1969 work I am sitting in a room, in which the artist’s speech is recorded, played back and recorded again until the iterations become unrecognisable and incorporate the frequencies of the physical space. Generation Loss contemplates duplication and decay; the ‘generations’ here respond to concepts of text degeneration in a digital environment and acknowledge the integrity of Lucier’s conceptual approach to experimental music.

About the author

Pascalle Burton is an experimental poet and performer working with words, sound and artefact. Projects include UN/SPOOL (with Nathan Shepherdson), 24 Hour Gym (with Tessa Rose), and performing in the band The Stress of Leisure. Her debut collection About the author is dead is forthcoming with Cordite Books.

Judges' comments

Drawing inspiration from Alvin Lucier, this piece uses digital artefacts and glitch art to present a fascinating mediation on preservation and repetition in the digital age.

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Jason Nelson

Jason Nelson for Nine Billion Branches

About the book

The world, its politics and environments, conflicts and economies, is in peril, in disarray. We are flooded with tragic tales and the shameful deeds of others. And because of this we have lost sight of the beauty, the story and narrative hidden in the local, in the landscapes around us. We filter out the seemingly mundane of our immediate world. And yet it is in this immediate world where beauty lives, and change begins.

About the author

Jason Nelson is a creator of curious and wondrous digital poems and fictions of odd lives, builder of confounding art games and all manner of curious digital creatures. He professes Net Art and Electronic Literature at Australia's Griffith University in subtropical metropolis of Brisbane.  Aside from coaxing his students into breaking, playing and morphing their creativity with all manner of technologies, he exhibits widely in galleries and journals, with work featured around the globe at FILE, ACM, LEA, ISEA, SIGGRAPH, ELO and dozens of other acronyms. And was recently a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Bergen in Norway. There are awards to list (Paris Biennale Media Poetry Prize, Newcastle Digital Poetry Prize), organizational boards he frequents (Australia Council Literature Board and the Electronic Literature Organization), and numerous other accolades (Webby Award), but in the web based realm where his work resides, Jason is most proud of the millions of visitors his artwork/digital poetry portal secrettechnology.com attracts each year.

Judges' comments

Nine Billion Branches finds a unique way to represent fragmented and non-linear narrative. It grasps at meaning in a way that is thoroughly contemporary, reminiscent of grappling with social media threads mid-conversation. It requires its readers to actively negotiate their way through a conceptually three-dimensional space (up and down, left and right, in and out). Its structure recalls the manic pace of today’s rhetoric, but the narrative reveals itself only when the reader, by choice, slows down to reflect on each fragment of text as a piece within a complete picture. In Nine Billion Branches Jason Nelson makes a pointed critique of Australian culture, the commercialisation of public spaces, and the politicisation of private spaces. It is a piece that could only exist in a digital environment, but maintains a handmade aesthetic, finding beauty in mundane space of everyday life.

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David Thomas Henry Wright

David Thomas Henry Wright, with Karen Lowry and Julia Lane for Paige and Powe

About the book

November 2008, mid-GFC. Kim Powe, Australia’s once wealthiest citizen, is depressed and obsessed with the $3.9 billion he lost in overseas investment. He writes ‘business plans’ for his personal life. March 2014. Paige Bligh, a runaway from Karratha, recounts her experiences for Right Now! Weekly’s follow-up feature article: Confessions of an Australian Sex Worker. Paige & Powe is a digital epistolary novel that depicts Australia’s wealthiest citizen losing considerable money, and Australia’s poorest citizen coming into considerable money. As their two lives eventually intersect, it explores controversial social issues, specifically the impact of recent Western Australian casino and prostitution legislation.

About the creators

David Thomas Henry Wright was shortlisted for the T.A.G. Hungerford Award, Viva La Novella Award, and Overland Short Story Prize. He has a Masters from The University of Edinburgh and lectured at China’s top university, Tsinghua. He edited Westerly: New Creative and is a PhD candidate at Murdoch University. www.davidthomashenrywright.com Karen Lowry (Digital Interface) is a lecturer at the SAE Institute. She completed her PhD in digital poetry at Curtin University. www.kazzalow.com Julia Lane (Illustrator) is an artist, graphic designer, and a PhD candidate at Edith Cowan University.

Judges' comments

This piece, a non-linear narrative is constructed from a collection of found-object texts, benefits greatly from the author’s attention to detail. The use of design in each of the documents give the story’s bizarre events an appropriately jarring realism. The use of track changes as a narrative device we considered a standout feature.

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* Due to an administration error, a previously shortlisted title has been removed from this section.