Meanwhile, in "The Cape," it was very straightforward in its navigation. I liked that the black and white images, because it was "as old as the story"; however, even though it used simpler methods, it had a few elements I was not expecting. I just thought I would click through, and it be over. However, they added that news audio excerpt about whistling, which I thought was clever and set that "old" mood to the piece. Additionally, I liked the option to click to see more details about the glacier, as if it took us behind the rock itself where the author and her uncle were trying to whistle. It was a short story, as the author points out at the end, but the topographical images and monochromatic scheme added life to this supposedly "pointless" anecdote. It gave more personality and empathy to the story, as we dipped into a brief moment in this person's life; however, we experienced more than just a story, and I love that about the multimodal elements of electronic literature.
Again, both pieces used elements of sound, which has been a significant and reoccurring theme throughout a lot of the pieces we have experienced in class. I think it's important to note the depth, again, that these different mediums can add to the story. Sound bytes, graphics, music, videos, and a spectrum of other media help flesh out the narrative we find in literature. It creates a more empathetic experience for the reader, which is something regular text can be limited to.
Additionally, my contribution for the TiL curation title is something along the lines of "Finding Our Quad (and Ourselves): An Analysis of the Netprov Experience for Thermophiles in Love"
J. R. Carpenter’s The Cape, is an interesting form of a hypertext poem using both words and images combined. It is about a woman who seems to be young, visiting her grandmother and uncle in Cape Cod. Although it is believed that the images, maps, data, video, etc. all seem to be factual, we know this not to be true because Carpenter explains it in her description about Cape Cod being a real place, but the pictures and characters are not real or not real in their size. It discusses its history with old black and white photos.
When entering this piece I was tempted to click on an “out-of-order” image when given multiple options, but because of the type of reader I am in which I like things to go from start to finish, I decided on clicking the first image on the top left which was the window of a house. The first few lines describe the woman’s location of where she was or was going and who she would be seeing out in Cape Cod. All of this came along side a compass and an image of what is believed to be her Grandmother’s house because she discusses her grandma living in “Cape Cod with a Cape Cod house” and her uncle living in the same place, but not in that “type” of house so ultimately I saw this house as the “Cape Cod” house. A portion of a map is also provided in order to help the reader get a better understanding of its location.
The next image was interesting because once I scrolled over the larger image, a piece in the middle began floating away slowly. Under that, the image starts moving very slowly as it reveals itself. Fortunately, I was able to find a way to see the image as a whole because I was not seeing the whole picture. By clicking the image and dragging it a little, the entire image pops out in full and we can see it is a person standing on the beach dressed as if it were freezing outside. This goes along with the text describing how in the winter they would walk on the beach.
The next image over is revealing a map and discussing how because this was from so long ago, everything is in black and white. All images still remain black and white as I scroll through. The slow revealing of the images given in some of the sections seem to be slow because back in history everything was slower. Now people are always moving so quickly and not taking the time to really see things anymore. These slow, old images come out little by little allowing the reader to take their time with it.
The last image is interesting because I expect another part of the story, but instead the reader chooses to explain the story and why they did the things they did. For example, it is explained that navigating the piece is fine in anyway chosen, but the narrator does from left to right. There is also a comment box for the reader which I have not come across in any other Elit piece. Overall, I was not a fan of this piece. It was slow and a little boring to me because the black and white images revealed so slowly. I like fast- paced pieces with sounds to help capture my attention.
With Those We Love Alive is a game built to be an interactive storytelling world of a whole new outlook on elit. Gameplay consists of reading and clicking links, with a platform provided by shifting background colors blistering meaningful words. It’s not your typical game that you would think would be played on a game console or phone for instance. This is a game that will have you traveling through a portal created by your own mind and it’s outcome.
Language is everything in this game, and Porpentine uses it to eerie and mesmerizing effect. Caromine, one of many names serves the Empress, a multi-faceted being whose appearance naked bone, spider legs, moth fur, slithering coils is determined by players’ own choices. Although technically a prisoner, Caromine has the run of the palace and city — she can visit a glass and leafbone garden filled with half-sunken statues, meditate by an inky, dead lake, and sip intoxicating potions at the dream. Some of the language usage and word placement seems to be of a weird and ironic kind. But it best served the underlying message the author was trying to portray.
There is a central question to With Those We Love Alive: “Are you part of the world, one with others, a person, or are you alone and apart?” And unlike the game’s other choices, this one has a right answer.
This piece gave me mixed emotions, I didn’t know whether to prepare myself for an inspiring piece, or a history lesson. Clicking into this bland black and white template that would let me select from nine picture frames. Researching this piece, I didn’t find much but only about the author himself and how he discovered his own life writing this piece. Hitting each square from left to right, and even out of order, just made me frustrated that there was no substance or structure to follow. The images and lack of color gives me a very old feel just like the books I did not want to read back in grammar school. The story is so short and bland that it almost gave me the impression that the author became lazy in the midst of it all. The way he seemed lazy in making it, I felt lazy having to read it. Call me a new soul, but I was eagerly looking for color, character, the climax, a conclusion, SOMETHING! It needed to know this story was going to progressively get somewhere, and that’s what frustrated me the most was that it didn’t.
At first I clicked too fast, and a sign flashed in front of me saying ‘You don’t have the right attitude in front of a computer.. You either click too fast, you use too much force, or you’re too tense…etc.’ I slowed down and a text similar to a poem started to appear on the page, one word with each click.
The lines that I found interesting were,“Your body became mine,but mine, mine muscles, nerves overused, abused, neglected, You don’t feel my pain.”
As I was reading these lines it made me slow down and click after reading each word several times, allowing the next word to appear. These words caught my attention and made me realize how overworked and overused our bodies and minds truly are- and we take it for granted. Even as I was forced to slow down and click slower. The slide that immediately appears after these lines is “Rest” which then leads you to a visual exercise of putting your head on your legs, hanging your arms to the side, and simply breathing. At the end of the text, it states “How to relax a computer? How to massage a computer?” and with one click, a yellow circle appears with what looks like text that I cannot read because it moves across the page so quickly. I tried several times to get to this point “Separation” but failed to comprehend its last word.
All in all, I enjoyed to purity of how the piece opens your eyes to what the world has become blind to. There are many ways during our everyday lives where we lose touch with reality.
The Beauty of e-poetry
“Sooth” David Jhave Johnston
Since childhood, my favorite type of writing has always been poetry. I always looked at it as a chance to put into words a certain feeling or emotion that you want someone else to read and feel. Being raised in a house full of boys, I always found it hard to express myself in a way that others would understand. Technology is and has always been a big part of my life. Having the privilege to read electronic literature and electronic poetry has opened up a whole new world and way of reading that I greatly enjoy. Discovering e-poetry is something that I find great for readers that already enjoy reading and writing poetry.
Electronic poetry is a good tool to help convey the emotion behind the written piece in clever ways that cannot be done on tangible pieces. The piece “Sooth” by Johnston is the piece I will be reviewing. This specific piece draws upon series of love poems recreated into a piece of electronic poetry. The basis behind this piece is the tone and how it’s portrayed within the realm of technology. Instead of flipping through a book, you are forced to electronically travel through several love poems. Sooth is a set of love poems interactively triggered by clicks on each video in tune to display words of a poem. Sounds associated with each phrase are mapped to audio which pans and volume shifts in space as the saying flies through each picture. These phrases are intended to display a certain emotion and/ or behavior within each poem. Interestingly the title “Sooth” means truth. Each poem is derived back to these title theme, presenting words of truth and thoughtful emotional themes.
Upon opening Johnston’s work, the reader is introduced to a dark screen with grey text, forcing the reader to select a poem from the left menu hypertexts. The first of these poems is the piece named “Sooth”. Clicking on the title links starts a video, in this case wind moving ferns. Each new click of the screen introduces new phrases of the poem. The words glide smoothly on to the screen and seem to rustle in the wind with the ferns. The poem and video are combined with sounds of birds, water, and music. With each click and introduction of new words to the screen, the video pans to a different aspect of the landscape and the tone and quality of the color of the video screen changes. As you click on the video and the phrases load, you can see that as the poem continues to pop up on your screen the emotion of the video gets stronger, the music becomes louder, and the colors become more darker.
The second poem, “Weeds” which shows a close up panning of a woman laying down, resting. Their eyes open and close intermittently. There appears to be a strong focus on appearance and texture, of the skin, clothes, and even words. The word choices and movement of each line delivery are both eradicating and interesting. Various words are brought on to the screen and float around. Flashing and fading in and out the same way that the first poem does. The color tone of the screen changes constantly, altering the mood of the poem in front of you as a written piece could never portray.
The third poem, “Body” follows the same format. The video is an image of a color changing scenery of what could be the curves of a body or the outline of a landscape. The words come on the screen in clicks in the same way as the previous poems, overlapping and creating alternating stanzas of compelling language and beautiful words. What stood out to me most in this one was how fast the words would fade out, I thought there was a deeper meaning behind that, but I wasn’t too sure.
“Root” is set to a flowing water in a calming background image that features the poems lines swirling and flowing back and forth as soon as they appear on screen, moving with the flowing water. Once I thought the last one was fast paced, this one went even faster, I could barely make out the words at this point. I had to play it a few time to get the words again and again. Each new line seems to be a complete thought, each which flows together nicely with the next. So if the author intended it to be face paced and unreadable, than they succeeded.
“Soul” is a poem in which the background is dark with a fish breathing through its gill very deeply. Each new word comes up twice above the fish. Once in large letters that fades out in the background and is replaced with each click and introduction of a new word, plus a smaller pairing that is always in motion alternating in size and brightness with each other word. The words of this poem are about sex and love, an interesting pairing against such a non-sexual or romantic background setting. At first the language is set in French until you realize there is a button on the bottom that lets you change the language in English. After that sigh of relief that you can actually understand the poem, you than read and realize that this poem had deep sex meanings that came out of nowhere. I guess it was fitting with the whole “love” topic.
The final poem in the series is “Snow.” This still video features and extreme close-up of clean, perfect, snow with a small strip of blue at the top of what looks like the sky. Each phrase appears in white, an interesting choice against a white background that can make them almost unreadable, but each set of words floats up to the blue sky above it, making each phrase legible. The poem features lines about being together and alone at the same time. As the sounds becomes deeper, and the background becomes more of a blur, the words get stronger and begin to shake showing some type of reaction towards that certain part of the piece. The author really made the music match the effect of every word and meaning towards the poems.
The word “Sooth” has the same root as the word “truth”. By the end of the series of love poems, it is evident that these poems are meant to be a quest for truth: The truth about the self and the other, for instance, or the fact that both are indistinguishable (“i sooth i with u / u sooth u with i”). Overall, the author did a great job utilizing the music, moving dramatic images, deep words giving them its meaning, and the way the words faded jumping at you in each poem. I enjoyed reading the e-lit series of love poems as it reminds me of my favorite kind of work as a kid, and that was writing poetry. Hopefully I am inspired enough to go back to what inspires me most to write, poetry is a dead art that I must reach back into.