The verb ‘capture’ implies both acts of preservation and of restraint. In his novel The Collector, John Fowles explores this duality, implying that the paradox of art is that “in signalling the importance of freedom, art inaugurates another kind of imprisonment.” [i] In The Collector the imprisoned Miranda believes “when you draw something it lives and when you photograph something it dies.” [ii] Similarly, Jeanette Winterson argues that the act of capturing is not mere reproduction:
The wrestle with material isn’t about subduing; it is about making a third thing that didn’t exist before. The raw material was there, and you were there, but the relationship that happens between maker and material allows the finished piece to be what it is. [iii]
If capturing is a creative act, is it possible to retain the authenticity of the source material?
The digital era provides a new set of challenges to those engaged in acts of capturing. Digital technologies provide access to infinite artifacts: Winterson’s “raw materials”. How do we go about selecting and preserving them for posterity? For public historians—such as librarians and archivists—as Marcus Foth and Helen Klaebe observe, this act is particularly fraught: “[they face] the challenge to accurately capture and chronicle public history, which is increasingly represented through historical artifacts that stem from digital technology and vernacular forms of creative expression.” [iv] Similarly, the appearance of citizen journalists, ordinary web-users engaged in journalistic activities, has challenged traditional news-making practice and problematised notions of ‘authoritative’ news makers. [v]
The Capture edition of LiNQ (Literature in North Queensland) invites explorations of the relationships between maker and material, particularly in the face of the proliferation of digital artifacts available. Writers, artists and historians may struggle with the task of capturing an event, experience, argument or theme, a process that requires the navigation and molding of raw materials in a way that is recognisable to others, using the sometimes inadequate tools of their chosen form.
We call for academic articles and creative submissions (fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, and poems) that document and question the acts of capturing, selection, preservation and representation:
- What are the ethical implications of attempting to capture a life or event?
- Is there a point where capture becomes entrapment? Are there materials that are not meant to be caught and pinned down?
- How can events, lives, identities, topics or themes be captured in exhibitions, histories, short fiction, novels, digital media or nonfiction representations?
- Are some forms more suited to capturing certain experiences than others? Are there limitations of the form and how can they be negotiated?
- How can you capture an audience?
- Why do we engage in acts of capturing? What is the lure?
- What is the psychological impact of captivity?
- How does captivity relate to questions of race, the body and the natural world?
Submissions should be no longer than 6000 words. Include a brief abstract of the article or creative submission (no more than 75 words) and a 50-word biographical note. Book reviews of no longer than 1000 words are also welcome.
Follow MLA citation style and format. All contributions should be submitted as a Mircosoft Word file, double-spaced 12pt font. All images used must be with permission only.
Suitable papers will be double-blind peer reviewed.
Hard-copy submissions are not accepted and will not be returned. Send e-mail submissions to Ariella Van Luyn: email@example.com
Submissions close 31 July 2013 for our December 2013 issue.
[i] Cooper, Pamela. The Fiction of John Fowles: Creativity, Power, Femininity. Ottowa: University of Ottawa Press, 1991. [ii] Fowles, John. The Collector. Random House, 2004. [iii] Winterson, Jeanette. “Life is What You Make In It.” The Independent. 17 Jun. 2010. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/life-is-what–you-make-in-it-2002401.html [iv] Klaebe, Helen and Foth, Marcus. “Capturing Community Memory with Oral History and New Media: The Sharing Stories Project.” In Proceedings 3rd International Conference of the Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN), Prato, Italy. 2006. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/4751/ [v] Goode, Luke. “Social News, Citizen Journalism and Democracy.” New Media Society. 11.8 (2009): 1287-1305. http://nms.sagepub.com/content/11/8/1287.full.pdf+html