Call me “Ishmael” if you want, but others call me…
I am a digital culture and media scholar currently living and working (since Fall 2014) outside of Skövde in Sweden. I’m 2 hours from Stockholm and 1 hour from Gothenburg between the giant lakes, Vänern och Vättern.
I live in a lovely rural village of 100 people, and there are definitely more cows, horses, and sheep than people. I drive down long, winding country roads to get to the university where I work (the University of Skövde), and it’s a perfectly peaceful beginning and end to each day, when the deer and moose are not flinging themselves in front of my vehicle. Prior to moving here, I lived in Karlskrona, Sweden (from 2005-2014), a small town on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
As an ex-pat (originally from Canada, but having lived many years in the US as well), I am adjusting well to life in a land where caviar comes from a tube and speed bumps are called “farthinder.” More significantly, I am actively working to find my way through an interdisciplinary maze of digital culture scholarship (in art, literature, media, performance, games, and onward), criss-crossing many genres, practices, and phenomena. This blog is an attempt to document that messy journey. (More info. on my teaching and research is documented here as well.)
“Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.” (Chapt. 1, “Loomings” M-D)
As you may have guessed, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is an inspirational text for me, in many ways–and not only because it evokes the sea, which I love. After it quite literally rescued me (while taking an American Lit. night school course) from a period of profound creative disorientation after theater studies, propelling me from construction work and waitressing to grad school, it has always served as a text of opportunity for me. A guide book for thinking and doing “otherly,” it has little allegiance to genre and form and is content to entangle the reader in its many unbecomings. And conduct un-becoming always works for me.
Tattooed cannibals, one-legged sailors, albino sea creatures and orphans find a context for co-mingling in Melville’s work, proving that strange bedfellows make the most interesting cohorts. Always ready to miscegenate and hop into bed with cannibals, I set sail in the watery parts of the (digital) world to stave off my “hypos” and to stop me from “methodically knocking people’s hats off.” That said, Melville’s work is sometimes an actual focus of research for me (as you’ll see on this blog) but it’s also just an exemplary frame for my musings, creations, performances, and cetological ramblings.
Mo’ and Mo’ Moby, I say. Bring it.