Splice: an underwater event
The information environment that we inhabit in the twenty-first century gives us imaginative access to the novelty and challenge of a world reshaped by cables and signalling. At this full-immersion undersea event we were invited to experience the materiality of the nineteenth-century Atlantic Cable at first hand, and to think about its material history alongside its long-term legacy in electronic messaging today. The event included soundscapes, readings from the logbooks of the cable-laying ships with details of the practices of grappling and splicing and unwinding and rewinding cable, and practical demonstrations of splicing. The focus was on material practice and the materials themselves involved in laying the first transatlantic cable between 1857 and 1866.
Thanks to everyone who joined us on 20 October 2014 for our Arts & Humanities Festival piece, Splice! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. If you missed it you can experience some of it here
Splice I: Making the splice
Atmospheric musings in which Cassie Newland discusses multiple and stereoscopic ideas of splicing within the trans-Atlantic cable, from the mechanical to the political to the social. Watch the video.
Splice II: Narrative frames and Christmas Stories
Anne Chapman takes us through the many ways in which narrative frames were used to splice together short stories for Christmas numbers of magazines and the ways in which Dickens moved to resist generic repetitions in Mugby Junction, his final Extra Christmas number that presented spliced, framed tales. Accompanying power point available here.
Splice III: Engravings
Natalie Hume explores the splicing of lines in nineteenth century engraving and print making. Accompanying power point available here.
Splice IV: Stereographs and the birth of 3D visual media
Phil Chapman on optics, splicing and nineteenth century explorations into the physiology of the human eye. You will need your 3D glasses for this one! Accompanying power point here.
Splice V: Mermaids, cables and the deep sea
Clare Pettitt talks about the depths of the sea in Victorian Literary imaginations. Strange new creatures, productive ooze and, of course, mermaids. Accompanying power point here.