DAC 2005 in Copenhagen!
My advisor, Espen Aarseth, started the Digital Arts and Culture series with a generous four-year grant from the Norwegian Research Council. I was the local coordinator for the first DAC, back in 1998, in charge of emails and the website and practical details. I had lots of help from Torill and others in the final weeks – I was finishing my MA at the same time and it was really exhausting! Look, the conference website is still there, papers and all! The year after, Terry Harpold chaired the second iteration at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and it was excellent: twice as big as the year before and webcast and full of art installations and far more food than anyone could eat. (I met my not-yet-then-boyfriend for the first time; he was sitting in the sun with a group of young men and they fascinated me though I didn’t speak with them much. Later I insisted they come to the hotelroom party and he and I flirted but that was all.) I haven’t checked whether the webcasts still work – perhaps you can still watch quarrels about narrative and cybertext and fiction? The year after that, the conference returned to Bergen, chaired by Jan Rune Holmevik, and new people turned up, lots of people I still know and love to meet at conferences. The DAC 2000 website (designed by Elin) is still there too. 2001 was the final year of Norwegian Research Council funding, and the conference was held at Brown, where Espen was a visiting scholar. I arrived late for this conference, having – uh – well, actually I turned up at the airport with my daughter’s passport and understandably wasn’t let on the plane. Interestingly it only cost $50 to change my non-refundable dirt-cheap ticket to one leaving the next day, so I turned up a day late and the conference was already in motion and I never quite caught up. (I barely spoke with my not-yet-boyfriend but there was a smile as we rushed past each other; his hands were full of ELO t-shirts and he gave me one. I was surprised, and pleased.) There was a gap after that, until RMIT in Melbourne sponsored DAC 2003, which featured kangaroos and bite-sized lamingtons in addition to excellent shopping and a lot of very good papers.
I’m so pleased that the IT University in Copenhagen is keeping DAC alive with DAC 2005. Obviously I’m partial, having been involved in this baby’s conception, but the Digital Arts and Culture conferences have been my home ground, the place I meet people doing things like me and things I’d never have though of but intensely related to what I might want to do. They’ve combined art and literature and theory, and they’ve usually been small enough to be social, though I guess I got a pretty serious head start in the socialising. I hope I’ll see you there!