CFP | 2017 R-CADE Symposium, Camden, NJ Due November 11, 2016

The Rutgers-Camden Digital Studies Center welcomes panel proposals for the 2017 R-CADE Symposium. The Rutgers-Camden Archive of Digital Ephemera (R-CADE) provides scholars and artists the opportunity to do hands-on work with digital ephemera. The R-CADE defines ephemera broadly – nearly any digital artifact can be considered “digital ephemera,” from early videogames such as Spacewar! to websites like Friendster to the iPhone 5. Given the pervasiveness of planned obsolescence, there are seemingly infinite technologies that fit the category of “digital ephemera.” Unlike many archives, the R-CADE does not necessarily aim to preserve artifacts, at least not in the traditional sense of this word. Scholars are encouraged to take apart, dissect, and repurpose artifacts as they attempt to understand their significance, explore possibilities, and retell the histories of digital technology. While the R-CADE does not preserve in the sense of keeping objects in their “original” condition, the archive is in fact an exercise in the preservation of digital culture. By allowing for the study and exploration of digital ephemera, the R-CADE aims to ensure these digital artifacts a place in our histories and our various scholarly conversations. R-CADE research outcomes may be presented in various formats including papers, lectures, remakes, hacks, performances, art objects, and other media forms.

Panels for the 2017 R-CADE Symposium will address a single technology, make use of hands-on methods to either study or repurpose that technology, and address the technology from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. While previous R-CADE Symposia focused on a single object (see the web pages for the 2015 and 2016 symposia), the 2017 Symposium will feature a full day of panels, each one focusing on a single piece of digital ephemera. Scholars and artists are welcomed to explore the cultural, historical, technological, and expressive potentials of a broad range of digital technologies. Each accepted panel will receive a budget of up to $1,000 for the purchase of hardware, software, or any other equipment necessary for research or creative work. The R-CADE Symposium will take place during the course of a single day, and each panel will share the results of their work.

Panel proposals must include the following:

  • Detailed description of the technology that the panel will address
  • Discussion of why this technology is of interest to artists and scholars as well as a provisional list of the research questions panelists will ask and/or creative methods panelists plan to use while exploring the technology
  • Detailed budget and budget justification for the panel (maximum $1,000)
  • Bios of each panelist (preference will be given to interdisciplinary panels)
  • Expected outcome of the research and/or creative activity and a plan for how that outcome can be shared on the R-CADE website.
    Scholars and artists on accepted panels will work during the months leading up to the conference by examining, researching, and/or repurposing their shared object of study. Each panelist is free to engage the object in whatever way they see fit. They may choose to conduct an analysis of the object or to develop creative work that engages it. Regardless of what panelists choose to do or make, projects should take advantage of the R-CADE’s ethos of hands-on engagement. Researchers and artists should feel free to take apart, remake, reprogram, and circuit-bend objects.

Attendees will share the results of their work at the R-CADE Symposium, which will take place April 21, 2017 at Rutgers University-Camden. Rutgers-Camden sits adjacent to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is accessible by PHL International Airport as well as rail lines. Lodging information will be available in December.


Rachel Simone Weil is an experimental designer whose work engages electronic nostalgia, cute culture, and the history of computing and video games. Weil has done extensive work creating cute, alternative-history games and hardware for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Her work with the NES includes ConnectedNES (2016), a WiFi hardware peripheral and Twitter client, and Electronic Sweet-N-Fun Fortune Teller (2014), a love horoscope game. In addition, she heads up FEMICOM Museum, an online and physical archive of girly video game history, and serves on the board of directors for Juegos Rancheros, a non-profit indie games collective in Austin, TX. She currently works as a technical evangelist at Microsoft.