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“V[R]ignettes” Wins the 2019 QUT Digital Literature Prize

2019 has been the year of peaks and troughs. I’ve forged incredible new career paths and wrestled wild learning curves. I’ve also been lucky enough to connect to sparkly new colleagues and peers [some of which now fall into the collaborator, and friend, categories]. I’ve also dealt with a fair share of sadness and loss [as we all have I’m sure, so I won’t go into extended detail, but I will say that having a colleague/friend battle and lose extended mental illness struggles has been profoundly affecting]. I’ve watched as national and global political spheres devolve and mutate into juddering powerscapes and right-wing conservative horrorshows.

I’ve seen our drought-riddled country [Australia] burn and flood and burn again, and the worldwide climate emergency accelerate into unprecedented territory. I’ve continued the ongoing stewardship of a permaculture setup on a section of Gundangara land, and have made enormous strides in terms of how it all interlocks, with microclimates and pollinators getting special attention. It’s also been a very tough year financially, with my decision to launch a Patreon campaign coming more from absolute necessity than anything else. On the flipside, being awarded the 2019 Marjorie C. Luesebrink Career Achievement Award has been absolutely beyond amazing, with it being the uncontested [or so I thought] career highlight of the year until…

 

. . . *p r e g n a n t  p a u s e  +

d r u m r o l l  g o e s  h e r e* . . .

 

…tonight’s official announcement that “V[R]ignettes”, the Virtual Reality Microstory Series, has won the QUT Digital Literature Prize as part of the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards!

I’m absolutely gobstonked to have won such a prestigious award with a work that’s not only largely experimental in terms of concept[s], but is also one that takes risks with WebVR and XR tech. To win “…the world’s richest digital literacy prize” with such a work is double+triple+quadruple+googol-sized-good, to put it mildly. And I seriously can’t thank enough those who have been incredibly supportive of my practice over the years. It’s this support that has allowed me to take the time to actually create works like “V[R]ignettes” that are [as I said in my acceptance speech]: “…very unconventional and…not standard“.

So basically: thanks to those who know who you are [and thanks to those who may have no idea how much they’ve helped] and I’ll leave you with a section of my acceptance speech that unfortunately had to be cut [we were allocated one minute to speak which I then proceeded to cheekily stretch to two, and this part made it even longer so it got the snip]:

“I also have a list of those I’d like to anti-thank, including any and all governments, institutions, and associated mouthpieces who are actively ignoring the climate emergency we currently face, and those who promote fear, division, and the removal and dismantling of human rights and democratic principles. Let’s resist and counteract this type of divisive action and propaganda, together.”