Mission Statement

Moebius is a journal of the iARTA (Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts) research group at the University of North Texas. The editorial board includes David Schwarz, David Stout, Jenny Vogel, Shane Mecklenburger, Jennifer Way, Jon Cates, Nathaniel Stern, Nell Tenhaaf, Dick Rijken, Kevin Korsyn, Mladen Dolar, leah abir, Paula Gaetano-Adi and Paula Sibilia.

The Moebius strip represents a founding premise of our journal-the ways in which one term of a binary opposition becomes the other along an inscrutable continuum of transformation. For us the terms of this binary opposition are practice and theory. For centuries there has been a temporal remove between a practice of artistic composition and discourses that have explored their internal workings; at the outset of the twenty-first century, we feel that the temporal remove is shortening to the point that soon (and perhaps already) theory and practice have not only merged but are mutually giving meaning, in a single cultural moment, to each other.

We also feel that there has been an uneasy fit between practice and theory in contemporary discourses devoted to the interactive, electronic arts. It is common to encounter descriptive accounts of processes of creating art, applications of new software, new interfaces, interviews, technical accounts of debugging, and ethnographic accounts. While we embrace these discursive techniques, we additionally seek to raise the sophistication of theoretical discourse on interactive, electronic arts to levels achieved in contemporary writings about other art forms, philosophy, cultural studies, literary studies, and studies in race, class, gender.

We also feel that there has been an uneasy fit between practice and theory in contemporary discourses devoted to the interactive, electronic arts. It is common to encounter descriptive accounts of processes of creating art, applications of new software, new interfaces, interviews, technical accounts of debugging, and ethnographic accounts. While we embrace these discursive techniques, we additionally seek to raise the sophistication of theoretical discourse on interactive, electronic arts to levels achieved in contemporary writings about other art forms, philosophy, cultural studies, literary studies, and studies in race, class, gender.

Each contribution to Moebius will embody a take on the practice / theory binary, either in single-authored contributions or through collaborative work. We particularly encourage commissions or paired collaborations along the twin trajectories of new approaches to content and discursive strategies.

The content we seek spans topics that include, for example, performance and performativity, aesthetics and politics, the archive, the body, interaction and relationality, narrative, gaming, and various forms of technology and the technological. With regards to discursive strategies, the editors invite contributions for a series of regular columns, based on methodology rather than content. Examples include discourse histories, inspiration chains (following artistic and theoretical influences in retrograde from manifestation back to sources), connecting generational approaches, busting up myths one at a time, portraits of labs / studios / places, couplings or dialogues between artists and theorists, on-line visual essay challenges (studio, curricular), writings on speculative or failed projects, or new takes on artists statements, interviews, and auto-ethnographies.

We invite explorations of metaphors involving such terms as media, tools, environment, theater; neutrality / non-neutrality (what's at stake in discourses, practices); representations of the body; conceptual position of the user, instrumentality (function, design, appropriation); dramaturgy (in the product / in the use of the product), performance.

For single-authored projects, we hope to receive submissions on topics that may span: modes (instruments, systems development, complexity; technology as performer/ance; performance on line; myths of resolution / lo-fi; tight frames / endless possibilities (dirty new media); meta-media; directness; aesthetics; politics (open source, copyright, intellectual property regimes, corporate cultures, digital media literacy); myths and interventions into the power structures of technological times.

The futures of the pasts and the pasts of the futures; archives and histories; problems of storing dynamic entities, archives as processes, metaphorical dependences upon criteria of use, (re)interpretation / (non)availability of the past; (re)/(pre)mediation; authorship behind code; documentation of "user's" experience with interactive, electronic art; variable media network (strategies for preservation); restoration.

Cultures and policies; funding and innovations (Creative Industries) disciplines; relationships among structures and identities; the nature of the arts (music, painting, theater) and the arts of nature (biomedia); next nature (ecological, biological, technological systems); curricula and pedagogy; the role of the academy and business; crises of past/present/future; relations with markets; relations between art and society; content and infrastructures.

The body and / as subjectivities; relations between cartesian and post-cartesian subjectivities; inscription / exscription; embodiment in art and media; non-human affect; roles of the machine in new media and representations of new media; relations between and among local and global politics and new media; role of capitalism in coerced notions of individualized freedom, (trapped in captivity and freedom); the design of behavior (of the product, of the user); blindness to technology / technophobias; nostalgia.

Art game cultures with topics on artists and user/participants; engagement/addiction with games via the porous fields of art games, serious games and indie games in relation to methods of critical play and counter-gaming; influences from game theory (rule analysis); game studies and platform studies; dramaturgy (the narrativity-vs-ludology debate); breaking/hacking games; social policy; games that address gender constructions and games designed or programmed by women; innovations and technological developments in mixed and augmented realities, porous disciplines (how at the fringes of one discipline one discovers the fringes of other disciplines).