Call for Papers

N.B. Extended cfp deadline!

The shifting configurations of digital and non-digital terrains are topographic formations characterized by transience, mutability and impermanence. New communication technologies in particular have repeatedly been addressed in such spatial terms, and spatial metaphors have been an integral part of the language of digital media platforms, information networks and various other forms of computerized interaction in recent decades. This applies to our everyday digital vernacular as well as to creative and scholarly discourses: our media encounters are taking place via sites, maps and navigation, and explored through media archaeology and cloud computing, as well as concepts varying from McLuhan’s media ecologies to Bolter’s writing spaces.

The digital domain is thus largely understood as an environment. Its spatial dimensions are also entangled with the material and phenomenal spaces of the non-digital domain, and connected to them via interfaces, points of encounter between multiple systems or entities. They include screens connecting users and computers, meeting points between digital devices and platforms, software and hardware, or the biological and the machine-based. The interface encompasses, but goes beyond, the aesthetics of the digital screen. It also offers a perspective for interrogating issues related to biopolitics, neural networks, artificial intelligence, and hybrid organisms incorporating human and non-human code. What is our place within such systems and processes, and how do we gain knowledge of it? How can art and literature examine such phenomena?

The organisers of “Transient Topographies” thus invite proposals for papers exploring the aesthetic topographies of the digital age, and the spaces and interfaces of contemporary media and technological environments.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • Digital literature & art, and place and landscape.
  • Technology and perceptual aesthetics.
  • New materialism, space and interface.
  • Aesthetics, technology and material environments.
  • Media ecology & digital literature and art.
  • Intersections between art forms (literature, music, visual arts, audiovisual arts, etc.)
  • Human and non-human ethics and aesthetics.
  • Digital economy and digital ecology .
  • Creative practice and technology in/and natural ecosystems.

Confirmed invited speakers and artists

  • Dr. J. R. Carpenter (Plymouth University, UK)
  • Alinta Krauth (Griffith University, Australia)
  • Dr. Jason Nelson (Griffith University, Australia)
  • Dr. Søren Bro Pold (Aarhus University, Denmark)

The deadline for abstracts (max. 300 words) for 20-minute presentations is 20 January 26 January 2018. The abstracts should be sent to We also welcome proposals for creative contributions. Information on accepted papers will be available by 9 February 2018.

The conference is organized under the auspices of the Digital Cultures Initiative (DCI) of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway. For questions and queries, please contact anne.karhio[at]