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Books in Browsers VII: Telling Small Stories
November 3 & 4, 2016 | San Francisco

Unless invited, additional proposal submissions are now closed. June 1 2016. Thanks!

All around us, people are making up different kinds of stories, creating new ways to inform, share, and entertain with myriads of digital impressions. Using mobile photography, we are recording texts ranging from pages in print books to grocery lists; snapping public signage as well as screenshots of our friends’ mobile phones and web pages. We are creating and sharing videos on periscope and other social platforms, documenting fragments of our daily lives and stitching them together into “filmlets.” With Google Cardboard, we’re in the early stages of merging camera views into immersive, full circle explorations of our world, with soundtracks and text captions.

The boundary between reality and story fades into shadow. Our ability to modify and share perceptions of our world has evolved in just a few years from imposing sepia tones on pictures to creating paths for viewers to explore in immersive VR. The availability of editing pictures and videos by adding narration, filters, or sound tracks is a leap beyond older conceptions of remix culture which focused on recombining or commenting on larger wholes in a new form.

This is a storytelling world of many small pieces. Pictures, pieces of texts, short segments of VR, Streetview, and even animated gifs: we’re weaving these recordings and impressions together to create new forms of art; new windows to our world. Many of these individual recordings are addressable on the internet – with their own URL, metadata, and varying degrees of persistence – available to be re-combined with an ease rarely before seen.

Books in Browsers VII is about how we are telling small stories, and how we are knitting together our networked impressions to form larger wholes. Join us, November 3-4 at the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts’ theater, in the Mission District of San Francisco as Books in Browsers pushes beyond the boundary of text based publishing into this new, growing world of many small pieces, loosely joined.

Books in Browsers VII is open for proposals. Our gathering runs over two days, with typical attendance is around 125, heavily skewed toward active developers, UX specialists, designers, and artists. Our talks run short – 10-15 minutes, and we will experiment more with informal breakouts this year. We encourage collaborations. Sight, sound, and moving image are all supported formats. Registration is waived for speakers; we can sometimes make a modest contribution to individuals requiring travel assistance. International submissions are strongly encouraged. Edginess is courted.