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Deep Immersion: Terri Ann White and trAce


This was the first online residency of the Deep Immersion: creative collaborations' project.

Terri Ann White (Perth, WA) undertook a residency in 1997 with trAce (Nottingham, UK) who provides information about writing resources of all kinds and offers an arena for literary debate between writers and readers working in cyberspace and beyond.

Terri Ann worked from Perth, and in discussion with Sue Thomas of trAce developed ways for other contributors to participate in this project in the spirit of collaboration, critique and exploration of the online environment. One of Terri Ann's aims was to explore ideas about memory, from the individual act of memory to its transmutation into collective memory, and especially to the complexion that collective memory acquires through social symbolism, ritual, and tradition.

She says of the project:

From family history to social history, my interest is in the material that sits on the margins: the unspoken and generally unwritten histories of people who inhabited marginal spaces within this society. Histories obscured by silences. What Michel Foucault names as counter-histories. I am interested in the material which is not recorded or spoken, which nonetheless' speaks' of a shame that shapes the ever-developing identity of a family and a community.

I am interested in developing a story which belongs to my family, but to generalise, this family has never been particularly interested in defining itself, in making public any aspects of its story. The writing will be textured with forgotten voices, it will be self-reflexive, and will tackle the paradoxes involved in telling stories from within the Western Australian family I belong to, one that resists telling its own stories because of shame and the lack of an authoritative, or socially given, voice. 'To recover, recuperate, exploring what is involved in forgetting and remembering, and doing this through a layering of stories, of voices, of form - so that from the first person narrative, I can ask questions, interrogate the material, be self-reflexive.

So, my job in this work is to write back in characters and happenings that haven't always been recorded, let alone edited out. To do this through a little detective work, but largely by imagining them. "I have always been driven in my writing practice by collaborations with other artistic languages: of dance, music, visual arts, other forms of writing. These have sustained many of my'singular' writing projects as well, and the idea of another opening out of opportunities for this major work in the form of dialogues and scrutiny appeals to me.

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