The structure of Alan Bigelow’s work “Brainstrips” is really interesting. It is made up of three separate parts: “Strip”, “Brain”, and “S”. I really love the part entitled “Is color real?” in the first part “STRIP”, which is about some “Deep Philosophical Questions”. In this part, there are three characters in a comic strip. One character said that he senses a blackness around them, which is actually the frame in dark color of the comic strip. Then, the other two characters’ dialogues indicate that they knew they are characters in the strips. Which attracted my attention is that in the second strip, outside of the two windows of the boats, there are a pair of human’s eyes actually. I think it reveals the fact that they are in the comic strips, rather than the reality. However, the eyes are actually a part of the comic strip, too. That kind of makes me questioned that “am I a part of comic strip or reality?” or “how can we make sure that we are not just comic characters?” I feel that comic strip questioned and challenged the boundary between reality and fiction or imaginary world.
It really reminds me a lot of a South Korean television series, which is called “W”. In the teleplay, the hero is the hero in an alternate universe written by the heroine’s father in his comic book. The heroine goes back and forth between the two worlds. And at last, the hero comes to the real world and realizes that he is only a character created by a comic book creator. Both of the teleplay and the Elit make me confused about my exact identity and the world I live in (hhh)… Like… Am I real? How could I know? Maybe I am just a character created by someone in the other world…But anyway, I feel like I can never figure out the answer. So, just live the way I want and do whatever I like hhh…
By the way, I really do not like the dialog bubbles which are kind of vibrating and quivering. They make me feel weird and make my eyes tired reading them. But I can kind of get it, like the author is trying to convey the message that trying to query and overthrow some of the stereotypes.
It seems that Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is the one that I was able to understand the best and the easiest among all the E-lit works we have learned up to now. When comparing with other E-lit that we read or played, Hobo Lobo of Hamelin has a more simple and clear form, which is a webcomic, at least from my perspective. It is talking about and sticking to one story line, which is easy to follow for me.
The story starts with a typical beginning of fairy tale “Once upon a time…”, which makes me feel really familiar and curious soon. The first page of pictures is colored in black, gray, cool-toned yellow and pink, under a gloomy and somber atmosphere. As I clicking on the rest parts of Page 1, all the pictures are colored in the same pattern with the first one, indicating the thread and the mood of the story, which is a dark fairy tale.
Then the main color changes to green as the story turned into Page 2, in which the story is describing the free life of Hobo Lobo. I really enjoyed the slides here, which were so fun and interesting.
Next, the color turned into blue at the first half part of Page3. And the story started to be told in sounds rather than words here.
Followed by the red color in the second half part of Page 3.
I really loved that the color tone of the pictures parallel with the development of story, which helps the readers to understand the story and experience the emotions better and deeper.
I think it is because that I have not read enough E-lit till now, E-lit always surprise me when I read a new one. To illustrate, the Bots collection. At first, when I clicked the buttons and open the websites, I did not realized that those twitter accounts were the contents of the Bots collection as a E-lit. Therefore, I clicked and opened all of the twelve bots that were included, then I found out that this E-lit is made up with those twitter accounts. That is interesting!
Station 51000 exists as a unmoored buoy drifting in Pacific Ocean. The author of this E-lit gives life to this adrift buoy, endows it with personality and emotions, and tries to tell a story from the perspective of a buoy. The stories being told and the existence of the account itself combines realistic with ridiculous. Although some of the accounts is difficult to figure out how and where to start reading for me, I was able to kind of get the meaning and the idea the author were trying to convey. Similarly, there are some accounts exist as “objects” in Weibo, which is a social media common used in China. Many people leave their comments on those objects’ account, telling their stories and expressing their feelings.
As a Chinese University student major in English, I had never acknowledged Electronic Literature before in both my study and my life. To be honest, I was kind of afraid to take the class at the first as I have never heard the word “ELIT” before. For me, the definition of Electronic Literature used to be very simple, just the literature that people read online, until I took the class and read the article entitled “Navigating Electronic Literature” by Jessica Pressman. I realized the great importance of “navigation” in ELIT, which “affects the ways in which we read and interact with digital textuality.” Since navigation combines readers’ actions to the works’ performances, it shows the significance and meaning of ELIT, which can be described as “interaction”.
When I read “Twelve Blue” by Michael Joyce, which confused me was that sometimes I cannot help but ask myself “Am I reading a literature?” The reading experience of “Twelve Blue” is really different to traditional literature, when you just read through the words whether they are on the book pages or on the screen. It is more close to playing games for me. Personally, I have not read any books like “choose your own adventure books” as a Chinese, but I have play some choose your own adventure games when I was an elementary school student, in which you jump to different questions depends on your choices and answers to the previous questions. The reading process of “Twelve Blue” reminds me of those games I had played before. However, when reading the book, I started a new story with different characters and contents when I turned to different “questions”. Hence, it is really difficult for me to remember all the stories that I read previously. I ended up almost a mess in my memory, as I failed to figure out the names of different characters in different stories.
Nevertheless, the brand new reading experience does excite me to a large extend. I feel that ELIT makes it possible for readers to have diverse choices and experiences even though they read the same works. They are allowed to kind of play with the work, which makes “reading” itself much more attractive and interesting. Therefore, I am excited to learn more and read more ELITs in the following classes.
The official class site for Dr. Mia Zamora's Fall 2018 Electronic Literature course.