Strange and wonderful is how cyber poet and artist Dr Jason Nelson, a senior lecturer at the Queensland College of Art, describes his digital artworks which have won an array of awards this year.
In June he won the Woollahra Digital Literary Awards’ poetry category for Nine Billon Branches published by Hyperrhiz. The poem encourages people to interact with the everyday – a shopping mall, a bedroom, a lounge room, a computer screen replete with word – directing the reader’s gaze in ways only possible online.
In October, his web-based installation, Acesulfame K, was awarded a special mention in the 23rd Videomedeja awards in Serbia. “This playful and iconic world displays a skeleton tumbling down a pit of trash, made of food packaging. Every collision with an object elicits a text to popup on the screen,” the judges said.
More recently, The Wonders of Lost Trajectories was shortlisted for the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards in the Digital Literature Category.
A collaboration with the Queensland State Archives, where Dr Nelson was artist-in-residence earlier this year, Wonders is a collection of digital poems using archival material built into a physical space.
The exhibit explores new methods for combining interactive storytelling and poetics with digital creative content, physical computing and the res-use of old library equipment such as card index drawers and microfiche machines.
“I’m particularly honoured as this research was able to prove that seemingly obsolete technology can be brought back to life through digital technologies,’’ Dr Nelson said.
“The research explored new methods for combining truly disparate fields (history, museum studies, government archiving, public engagement, art, literature and digital technology) through digital literature.
“I was also able to involve my students in the development of this research, with one having just been awarded a QSA residency for 2020.”
Dr Nelson ends the year on a high note with an exhibition in Norway this month. The False Unlimited exhibition is sponsored by the Digital Narrative Network at the University of Bergen.
“This work is a unique mix of art-game and digital poem with a focus on deconstructing and rethinking common languages and phrases used in the media,’’ he said.
“It comments on the way language is used in discussing politics and divisive issues and allows audiences to break that language apart through the game interface.”