This week we had two presentations. First up was Ally with Separation by Annie Abrahams, and second was Megan with Sooth by David Jhave Johnston. With Abrahams linear yet interactive poem Separation, we are prompted to think about our relationship to machines (computers). What is the relationship between the human body and the computer? Are we joined to our computers as much as we think? With each click, we receive one more word of a poem written expressly to/for the computer. The pace forces you slow down, and the exercise supports a kind of “restoration” of your body. We agreed that the interactivity presented here takes on a new tenor – it is simple, linear, and yet it forces not just your mind but your body to engage in the interaction, drawing attention to how much our physical embodiment is strained under the sway of one’s personal computer.
In Sooth, David Jhave Johnston creates a “suite” of six love poems that use the same interface, each of which has its own tone and strategies. Each of the six panels opens up to an electronic poem – images, floating/flowing verse, and ambient sound files mingle -responding to the click of your mouse. There is a kind of simplicity to the design which is appealing, but deceptive, as the piece offers complex meditations on varying states of being (in love). Looping meditations that are also a quest for truth. The word “Sooth” has the same root as the word “truth.” Thanks Megan for an insightful walkthrough. We discussed a bit about the truth about love – how it is also a truth about satisfaction and its limitation. As Johnston touches the truth about love, you are confronted with both an ugly-looking grouper or moray eel as well as soothing fields of snow.
For next week:
-Alica-Rae will present on “With Those We Love Alive” and Jessica will present on The Cape. Please read and blog about these texts. Also, please mull over the title of collaborative article on TiL and offer your suggestion at the end of your blog. (**I will work on the final editorial touches of the collaborative article as editor. All of your individual reflection submissions should already be in that TiL document).
Your individual elit piece is due by next class (12/6). Please email me your piece, and if you would like to frame your work with a kind of “descriptive/explanatory cover letter” you are welcome to include that in your email to me.
Last class period we will have a potluck celebration and we will walkthrough each of your own pieces. Each student will contribute some food to our final party. Here is a google doc for sharing your contribution to the overall menu.
We are almost there! Two more weeks everyone, you can do this :)….
See you next class,