Author Archive | if:book

Willow Patterns at ISEA 2015

willow patternsGood news, everyone!

Late last year, we received notice that Willow Patterns: The Complete 24-Hour Book has been selected as an artwork for the 21st International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA 2015).

The symposium and exhibition will happen in Vancouver, Canada on 14 -18 August.

‘It’s an incredible honour to have if:book represented at such a prestigious event,’ said if:book manager Simon Groth, ‘and a testament to the work of everyone involved in the 24-Hour Book. It’s extraordinary that just twenty-three-and-a-bit hours of frenzied activity has continued to produce beautiful art and a rich set of ideas driving it more than two years after the initial “data capture”.’


ISEA is one of the world’s most prominent international arts and technology events, bringing  together scholarly, artistic, and scientific domains in an interdisciplinary discussion and showcase of creative productions applying new technologies in art, interactivity, and electronic and digital media. The event annually brings together artists, designers, academics, technologists, scientists, and general audience in the thousands. The symposium consists of a peer reviewed conference, a series of exhibitions, and various partner events—from large scale interactive artwork in public space to cutting edge electronic music performance.

The theme for ISEA2015 is disruption.

DISRUPTION invites a conversation about the aesthetics of change, renewal, and game-changing paradigms. We look to raw bursts of energy, reconciliation, error, and the destructive and creative forces of the new. Disruption contains both blue sky and black smoke. When we speak of radical emergence we must also address things left behind. Disruption is both incremental and monumental.

Willow Patterns: The Complete 24-Hour Book reproduces every saved version of the work in progress from if:book’s 24-Hour Book project into a database printed on lavish hardcover across 28 volumes.

Willow Patterns: The Complete 24-Hour Book

It has been selected at part of the exhibition focusing on the sub-theme of new text.

Text reveals language in code, poetics and discourse. How can text, code, and practices in electronic literature be explored in the frame of disruptive change? How do defamiliarization and rupture cross from literature into other spheres? Using text and code, how can we investigate contemporary aesthetics at this moment within bookforms, narrative, electronic, or generative literature? What are the possibilities of creation and destruction using the medium of code and the function of the literary in today’s culture?

Willow Patterns is currently on display at Queensland Writers Centre at the State Library of Queensland.

Waiting for the 4:45 to Toorak

ifbook_podcast_itunesThe latest if:book Podcast features the extraordinary Matt Blackwood talking cities of literature, sticky stories, the benefits of QR codes, and all things locative with Emily.

Our featured artist is the Broadway Melody Makers with ‘Any Place Where I Make Money (Is Home Sweet Home To Me)’, a wonderfully appropriate track from some time in the 1920s, first released on the delightfully named Puritan Records. This recording comes to us, as always from the Internet Archive.

Links to the stuff we talk about:



Podcast Feed // iTunes

Track Changes Salon

LITC_FrontLost in Track Changes is morphing into book form and we’re celebrating with a salon event on 2nd December at Avid Reader bookstore.

Join Cate Kennedy, Ryan O’Neill, Fiona Capp, Robert Hoge, and Krissy Kneen as they take the personal and intimate craft of memoir and turn it over to the cut-and-paste transformation of remix culture, combined with a hint of old-fashioned parlour games.

Edited by Simon Groth, Lost in Track Changes is a project from if:book Australia featuring the talents of five incredible Australian authors. It begins with a short piece of memoir, a vignette. Each of these pieces is passed onto another author within the group, tasked with transforming the piece into something else. The newly minted remix is passed along again and so on until each of the pieces have passed through all five authors.

Lost in Track Changes follows the journey of each memoir piece through its transformation, with hints of the changes tracked between. But it doesn’t stop there. This is a book in which you are encouraged to take part and make your own changes: highlight, cross out, make additions, even tear whole pages out. Lost in Track Changes is your book. Where we go from here is up to you.

At the Track Changes Salon, we will follow one story’s journey from personal reflection to futuristic dystopia to memorial poem for an imagined hack author.

It’s free to come but bookings are essential.

Where: Avid Reader Bookshop , 193 Boundary St, West End, Brisbane, Queensland 4101 (AU).
Date: Tuesday, 2, December, 2014
Time: 6:00:pm –   8:00:pm


Memory Makes Us See

so many memories have pressed on the ribbons / so
many rhythms crashed out on the keys
people passing through stepping back
into over around finding / or even avoiding
some fabulous forgotten feeling
or some uncomfortable childhood dream

memory makes us
memory makes us see

— Maxine Beneba Clarke, 1 November 2014

MMUAfter stops in four Australian cities, covering 18,887 km, and featuring the talents of eleven extraordinary authors, we have closed the book on Memory Makes Us for 2014.

Memory Makes Us, an ongoing experiment that creates an interface between writers and readers that blurs the boundaries of their roles in the creative process.

In its second year, the project expanded from a one-off experiment into a series of live writing events. Presented by if:book Australia in partnership with local festivals, Memory Makes Us challenged writers in Darwin, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to create a new work live before an audience.

During the event, the audience both online and in person was invited to make contributions to the writing in progress.

Our thanks go to all our contributing authors who were brave enough to create something in full view of an audience both face to face and online, their every keystroke visible to the world:

  • Marie Munkara
  • Levin Diatschenko
  • Kamarra Bell-Wykes
  • Paddy O’Reilly
  • Nicholas J Johnson
  • Angela Meyer
  • Josephine Moon
  • Sean Williams
  • Warsan Shire
  • Kate Fielding
  • Maxine Beneba Clarke

Thanks also go to participating festivals without whom none of this would be possible:

  • Wordstorm
  • Melbourne Writers Festival
  • Brisbane Writers Festival
  • Disrupted Festival of Ideas

Also a huge shout out to the Australia Council for the Arts who has supported if:book’s vision for literature that sometimes looks bookish and sometimes does not.

We are currently working to upload the typwritten memories from each event to complete the text for Memory Makes Us. Not long after that, though, everything will begin to fade away. Memory Makes Us was always intended as an ephemeral project and eventually, like all memories nothing will remain.

So read it now.

Memory Makes Us is coming to Perth

MMUTangles of hair and the music of life will surround the final Memory Makes Us event for 2014. Our memories bid their farewell in Perth for the Disrupted Festival of Ideas.

Share your memories with us now.

Kate Fielding will be writing to the theme of Haircut
Describe your favourite salon. What was your worst hairdressing experience? And what was your best? Did you ever cut, colour or style someone’s hair? How did it feel?

Maxine Beneba Clarke will be writing to the theme of Harmony and Rhythm
Music infuses our lives and the rhythm of life often creates recurring motifs: birth cycles, death cycles, seasonal cycles. Harmony may lead to thoughts of forgiveness and reconciliation, interpersonal and otherwise.

Memory Makes Us is a live writing event that challenges two writers to create a new work using as their inspiration collected memories from the general public. You can watch the work unfold and deliver your memories to the author in person or contribute and check in via the web site.

On the web, your memories can take the form of text, images, or video. If you join the authors live at the State Library of Western Australia, you can scribble or type your memories and deliver them by hand. Then keep an eye on the work in progress. Your memories may be picked up by the authors and used to spur their creative work.

Location: State Library of Western Australia

Time: Saturday 1 November
10:30am – 4:30pm

Authors: Maxine Beneba Clarke
Kate Fielding


The N00bz Canberra Launch

theN00bzeditiasiteWith Editia Press and Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, we present the official Canberra book launch of The N00bz: New Adventures in Literature

Saturday 27 September, 6.00pm
Bogong Theatre at Gorman Arts Centre

To launch The N00bz, a panel of industry professionals will discuss the fresh perspectives generated by literary experiments and their impact on both the writer and the reader.

Alex Adsett – CHAIR

Alex Adsett is a consultant offering publishing contract advice to authors, publishers and booksellers. Alex has more recently extended her services into the more traditional role of literary agent. She has fifteen years experience working in the publishing and bookselling industry, including stints at Simon & Schuster, Penguin and John Wiley & Sons.

Duncan Felton – Panellist
Duncan Felton is an editor and writer who also works in a library. He’s founding editor at Grapple Publishing ( and one of the co-coordinators of Canberra literary collective Scissors Paper Pen ( His words have appeared in FIRST, BMA, Burley, Voiceworks and Verity La, among others.

Charlotte Harper – Panellist
Charlotte Harper (@editia) is founder and publisher of Editia, a Canberra-based digital first press focused on short non-fiction and longform journalism. Charlotte is a former Fairfax journalist, a Walkley Award-winning web producer and ex-literary editor of The South China Morning Post.

Simon Groth – Panellist
Simon Groth (@simongroth, is a writer and editor of fiction and non-fiction. His books include Concentrate and Off The Record: 25 Years of Music Street Press. His first two novels were shortlisted in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and his short fiction has been published in Australia and the United States. As manager of if:book Australia, Simon writes and speaks regularly on the future of the book and took the role of lead writer for the 24-Hour Book project.

More information is available from the Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres.