The journals electronic book review (digital literary studies, est. 1995) and The Digital Review (born-digital arts and writing, est. 2020) are proud to announce their first collaboration: a special double issue on “Critical Making, Critical Design” that pairs digital works of making or design with critical and scholarly mediation.
See the Table of Contents of The Digital Review issue as well.
From prose and art installations to craftwork and video games, creative works are often released without giving artists the opportunity to explain their processes, contexts, and motivations. Else, creative works may be examined through through separate forms of static, print-based scholarly publishing that risk isolating works from their creative impulses and taking works out of their and their artists’ original contexts. In response, new approaches emerge from both scholarly and artistic origins that attempt to connect creative practice with critical thinking, including “research-creation,” “critical making,” “critical design,” “practice-based research,” and “theory as practice.” Of course, the Fine Arts have long engaged in these practices; what is unique to areas such as “research-creation,” however, is the chance to merge creative approaches across various disciplines, allowing critical thinkers regardless of their training to address 21st Century issues in innovative ways.
Our issue of electronic book review rethinks the dissemination of these works, reimagining academic publication and research in digital contexts. Indeed, such efforts have been one of the core goals of ebr since its inception in 1995 alongside the public introduction of the Internet. Featuring essays, maker projects, a roundtable conversation, and an interview with a feminist media collective, we seek to ask and also begin to answer: how may digital platforms–especially through publicly available open-access publishing venues–better mobilize research-creation works and increase transparency of their production processes?
This double issue was made possible through generous funding by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, specifically through the Connection (Outreach) Program. We are also grateful to have received financial support from the University of Waterloo (Canada), the Electronic Literature Lab of Washington State University Vancouver (USA), and both the Games Institute and Survey Research Centre at the University of Waterloo.
EBR SENIOR EDITORS:
Jin Sol Kim