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ELO 2015: The End(s) of Electronic Literature

Chez Moi: Lesbian Bar Stories from Before You Were Born

Caitlin Fisher and Tony Viera(York University, Canada)

Performances and Screenings
Wednesday, August 5  15:30 - 17:00 (Sydneshaugen skole: Auditorium B)

There were few social spots for women when the Chez Moi opened in Canada in 1984, and it marks a cusp moment in Toronto’s lesbian bar scene, as women moved from dark basements and women’s community centre dances to the above-ground Chez. But who can blame the fictional narrator of your walk along Hayden Street in search of both company and an elusive lesbian imaginary, for missing those basements more than just a bit?

This piece was commissioned for Toronto World Pride 2014 and was originally mounted as a locative media walk through the location of an historical Toronto lesbian bar. A video walk-through including instructions to viewers/readers was produced and rather than reworking the piece as a GPS cinema experience in Bergen (though it might have been an interesting counter-narrative to a space like that) we thought that video walk-through might be better suited for the ELO 2015. It can be found here:

The piece was conceived very much as an e-lit piece – as a fragmented, spatial narrative. Although the video walk-through is linear, we think it gives a good sense of how mobile media can be used for fictionalized histories, memoir, as vehicles for spoken word and as pieces that can teach us about audience attention and the specific affordances and constraints of site-specific stories.

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