Squatters' Writes

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Bruce Barber knows squat, and he's not afraid to talk about it. The artist/writer/curator/ teaches Media Art, Historical and Critical Studies at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia -- a city whose easygoing lifestyle and derelict buildings have made it the squatters' Mecca of eastern Canada. Novel Squat is the latest project in a series of interventions involving homelessness and the production of art. Capitalizing on the internet's capacity for dialogical, collaborative, interactive artmaking, Barber adds to the theoretical discourse surrounding the sociocultural and political implications of littoralist art practice. The site gives a history of previous Squats that saw Barber and colleagues offered homeless writers abandoned urban spaces, each fitted with a webcam, in which to live and work, all in the public eye. Visitors can check out multimedia documentation of those projects, read essays on littoral art, collaborate in an online novel project, or download the 'squatscreen.' A Room of One's Own just got bigger. - Peggy MacKinnon