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    The Interstitial Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study, support, and promotion of interstitial art: literature, music, visual and performance art found in between categories and genres – art that crosses borders. Find out more!

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    IAF INTERFICTIONS ONLINE INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN ends above target goal

    Thanks to 277 generous backers for our Interfictions Indiegogo Campaign, we raised $10,318 by the time our campaign ended at midnight, July 14th, 2014.  When we launched on June 3rd, we were staggered to find donations doubling almost daily, until after about 3 weeks we had reached our original target goal of $8,500, and were able to move on to our Stretch Goal of $10,000.

    Which means we not only get to publish Interfictions Online for another year, but we can pay our contributors at higher rates now, rates more in line with the effort and talent that innovation requires. Thank you, each and every one of the 277 generous donors who stepped forward to say that interstitial art is valued and valuable. The number of people is as important as the number of dollars raised. We are awed by your generosity.
    Now [...]

    INTERFICTIONS issue #3 is up online!

    The editors of Interfictions Online are happy to announce the birth of the journal’s latest issue, on May 22, 2014!

    The Spring 2014 issue’s non-fiction offerings include Mark Craddock’s poignant collage in Aerial Acrobatics and Gender Reassignment Surgery – A How-To Guide, while Inda Lauryn’s Parallels and Transitions splices analysis of contemporary female vocalists into a graduate school memoir. Isabel Yap’s Life Is Not a Shoujo Manga speaks for itself. And in an interview with Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss, the two creators discuss their illustrated guide to writing, Wonderbook.

    The fiction offerings remix tropes from ghosts to automata, with new work by Richard Butner, Su-Yee Lin, Kat Howard, Tade Thompson and S. Craig Renfroe Jr.

    Several of the poems in this issue reimagine older narratives: Sridala Swami’s AI Winter draws on the Mahabharata, Sonya Taaffe’s Double Business on Hamlet, and Mary Alexandra Agner’s Hypothesis Between Your Ribs on the brief life of Charles Darwin’s daughter.

    [...]

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    Cecil Castellucci: The Interfictions 2 Interview
    By Christian Desrosiers

    (Note: To celebrate the launch of Interfictions 2, the IAF's second anthology of short interstitial fiction, Christian Desrosiers from Small Beer Press interviewed several of the anthology's contributors. The first of these interviews was with Cecil Castellucci, author of "The Long and Short of Long-Term Memory". For more interviews with Interfictions 2 contributors, please visit our Interfictions 2 Interviews page.)


    Cecil Castellucci

    Why did you decide to mix scripted dialogue with a traditional narrative and pictures? Was there a particular effect you were going for or trying to emulate?

    By mixing those different forms, I hoped to convey the sense that much like how the brain categorizes memories, the story did too. I wanted there to be a representation of the many different aspects of the ways in which we store memory. Almost as though different parts of Dunbar's life were arranged in a sort of map the way that memories are stored in the brain.

    Studying memory and teaching others about memory is the anchor of Dunbar's life. The scripted dialogue was to differentiate from the traditional narrative part of the story. I wanted the lecture part to correspond with the lecture that Dunbar is giving to his intro to neuroscience class, so I included the slides that you would see if you were one of his students. As a reader, we then are also receiving the lecture about short term and long term memory and storing that information into our own sense of how memory works.

    By having traditional narrative, pictures and scripted dialogue I was attempting to illustrate on the page different ways that things are remembered. Perhaps some things are best remembered as the fiction of our life. Or as half remembered conversation. Or as a strong image.

    Did you ever study neurobiology formally? Or did you pick up most of it from your father? Do you frequently employ this theme?

    I have never studied neurobiology. While I was growing up, my parents, who are both scientists, hung out with a group of neuroscientists, so their conversations about the brain, memory, and neuroscience were huge influences on me. Science informs their worldview, and by being their daughter, it informs mine. My understanding of neuroscience comes from dinner table conversations and shop talk that my parents have had and still have.

    I always imagined that at some point science would make its way into my work, but this was the first time that I had ever employed it in a concrete way in one of my stories. It's actually a huge departure for me and is one of the very first non-YA stories that I've written. In the past, my stories were contemporary young adult stories about girls who are in the process of discovering who they truly are at their core. I love telling those kinds of stories, but after suffering a psychological trauma, I found that I was no longer capable of writing in that voice. I realized that my entire worldview had changed and as a result, the stories that I wanted to tell had changed.

    At the start of my treatment, I lived with my parents in Montreal, and one day I attended my father's neuroscience lecture at the University of Montreal, where he is a vice dean. I was struck by the fact that every day, my father would leave the house and try to understand how short term and long term memory worked. I very desperately wanted to remove the memory of the trauma that landed me in treatment. My father's lecture on the mechanisms of memory gave me the idea to weave fundamental elements of his lecture with the story of a man who had his own traumatic memory, which he was trying to live with and was determined to forget. In writing it, I became fascinated with the philosophical ramifications of memory manipulation. I began to have conversations with my father about memory enhancement and memory suppression and what that could mean to identity and to being human. After all, who we are? What makes you you and me me? The choices we make to zig or to zag all have to do with our own particular accumulated experiences, and what we remember and what we forget. I wondered if you remove those memories, are you still you?

    Did mythology inform your story in any way? The characters with their extreme predilections seem to have a lot in common with mythological figures.

    I'm not quite sure I understand this question at all. I don't really see any mythology or mythological creatures in it. But if you read that in there, rock on with your bad self! I love it when people find connections to pieces of work on their own. Perhaps reading my story opened up a neural pathway that unlocked a stored memory of mythology. Cool!

    Did you conceptualize your story as taking place at a specific time? At some undetermined point in the future? In an alternate present?

    I did want the story to seem as though it were taking place about 20-30 years in the future. The world is much the same, but there are little technological leaps and day to day things that have changed. I find it interesting that as much as the world has changed in the last 30 years, there is still much that is familiar. Obviously, in my story there is a moon-based hotel. Let's talk in 30 years and see if there is actually one! If there is, I'm totally going and I will buy you a drink.

    Why did Heidi get her hippocampus removed? I thought she was trying to remember.

    Heidi did want to remember everything. When she used her science on herself, she did remember every single thing and it was excruciating and unbearable. She severed her hippocampus because it was the only way that she could be certain that she would stop forming new memories. Everything that was already there and stored remained, but she can't store anything new.

    What is interstitial writing to you?

    To me interstitial writing is like making a quilt. It's scraps of things that might not fit anywhere else put together to make something whole. In interstitial writing, I think things come at you from a slightly different direction. It could mix up different genres, or forms, or it could reinvent something within in one genre.

    What happened to Patient HM?

    Patient HM died a few days after I submitted this story to Chris and Delia. For years, he was known as HM, and his true identity was secret. And yet he was one of the most important figures in modern neuroscience. He contributed greatly to our understanding of memory and the brain. Here is his New York Times obituary.

    Is memory suppression and memory enhancement something that is real?

    Recently I saw an article in the New York Times about the science that Dr. Todd C. Sacktor is doing, which is the same as what Dunbar's research is attempting to do. Sacktor's work is pretty much asking the exact same questions, scientifically and philosophically, that my story does. It was so amazing to read about. I'm totally going to send Dr. Sacktor a copy of Interfictions 2 when it comes out. I think he's going to get a kick out of the story.

    As for memory enhancement, that is happening, too.

    About Cecil Castellucci

    Writer / Director Cecil Castellucci's first young adult novel, Boy Proof, came out in the spring of 2005 on Candlewick Press. It was named a Booksense 76 Children's Pick, BBYA 2006 and a Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers by the American Library Association (ALA). In 2005 she was also named a Flying Start by Publisher's Weekly. She also received an Honorable Mention in PW's annual cuffie awards as Most Promising New Author. Her second novel, The Queen of Cool, came out in February of 2006 and was followed in May of 2007 by her third novel Beige, both also on Candlewick Press. Her first Graphic Novel The Plain Janes came out in May of 2007 under the DC Comics Minx imprint. Her next book, Rose Sees Red, is a YA novel due out from Scholastic Press in the summer of 2010. She has also previously published stories in the Los Angeles Times Kids Reading Room and is an active Read Aloud volunteer at Mayberry Elementary School in Echo Park.

    Performance pieces that she has written and conceived of include; "The Shirt and Other Awkward Stories", "The Ladies Room", "My Heart, The Whore", "Seven Women/Seven Sins" and "Dear Friend."Her latest piece, "Spinster", a collaboration with author / performer Jen Sincero was performed in October 2005.

    She has participated in the Lincoln Center Directors Lab West and the Banff Centre for the Arts "Writing with Style" program and had both writing and directing assistantships at the Taper. Cecil was a founding member of the Alpha 60 film club. Alpha 60 was a club dedicated to discovering narrative voice and encouraging creative endeavors in film.She volunteers as an Alternative Screen Programmer at the American Cinematheque. She has also been a field producer on MTV's Big Urban Myth Show and was Director of Recreating Radio at the Museum of Television and Radio. Recently she wrote and directed her first feature film, Happy Is Not Hard To Be. It debuted in Los Angeles at the Alternative Screen series at the Egyptian Theatre.

    Among other creative pursuits, she is an indie rock musician, performing under the name Nerdy Girl and Cecil Seaskull. With two CD's under her belt, and many tours across the US and Canada, she participated in musical festivals from CMJ to SXSW and Canadian Music Week. Her songs have charted on college radio and been used on television shows and independent films.

    Some of the grants she has been awarded include an Explorations Film Grant from the Canada Council and the PAFPS Grant from the National Film Board of Canada. Cecil was also awarded a Hero in Education 2001 from the California State Lottery. She grew up in New York City where she attended the Laguardia High School of the Performing Arts in New York City and later studied at theatre in Paris at the Ecole Florent. She received a B.F.A. in Film Production at Concordia University in Montreal.

    More about Cecil Castellucci and her work can be found at http://castellucci.wordpress.com/ and http://www.misscecil.com/.

    How to Order Interfictions 2

    Interfictions 2

    Interfictions 2 is now available from Small Beer Press, Powell's and Amazon, and via IndieBound. The book was published on November 3rd, 2009 from Small Beer Press and was named one of Amazon.com's Top 10 Books of 2009: Science Fiction & Fantasy.

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