Recognizing Realism . . . Positive and Intriguing

This week both readings were truly different, but truly grabbed my attention each with the authors content. I showed me to different approaches that can be taken in E-lit, still fit the genre of E-literature, but can still be different in so many ways. Throughout this genre i have learned many different approaches so far throughout this semester, and with the wide variety I feel the authors always do what works best for them. Each of these compelling pieces both had a unique spin a ordinary ideas that we as writers may take for granted at times.

“If approached form this point of view then it is an obvious conclusion that you should be celebrated simply for being here”. This quote comes from the Artist Statement in “Everything is Going to Be Okay” that really spoke out to me even before I started the reading, but I really grew to understand it as I started the piece. The author believes in the idea that when it comes to victims of trauma, abuse, and depression are survivors which is opposite of what most people think on this topic. I felt this was a good way to portray this entire topic in whole and enlighten those who may not be aware of how deep this subject could possibly be.

I watched the initial video and was slightly confused at first. I wasn’t sure what was going on honestly. Only certain parts were meant to hear though as i look deeper into the entire piece. The bunny was introduced to us here and I truly liked how the author picked such a harmless creature, in look and action, and went with the theme of depression and trauma. She said she wanted to make it more fantasy, but she still portrayed the message with something that represents almost the opposite of it in a way. I also enjoyed how the entire work was a extension and it wasn’t all within the browser. I want to learn how to do this myself, possibly for the final project within this class. I thought it added a layer a depth, but also if we speak about the tech side gave here room to add the graphics she was trying to achieve.

Each “page” or click of this work really allowed for the reader to see another layer of this work unfold. She used game, stories, the readers input, and many other interactive models to portray this message. Unfolding the work was also up to the readers choice as everything was scattered around. This offers a unique reading experience for each reader, and I feel it keeps you engaged and wondering what might be coming next. I took an image from one part that i will leave below.

The Story I “Created” From Page 5

This is just one example of the work readers were able to create during this work. I feel this piece was a great telling of the people who have gone through things that may make them feel. like they don’t want to be here anymore, and for those who may not feel this deeply but still may have bad thoughts.

Blackout Poetry Tool was a unique twist on poetry and a great way I felt the author may have used their favorite pieces to influence this. An idea that seemed so simple but it made such an impact on the idea of what poetry could be. It allowed me to honestly dive deep into a way to see how other people see poetry as well.

So the way it works is at first you click your way into a poem, then the bot chooses, then the bot and you choose together, next you choose one the bot chooses one, and the last one the bot picks something that is already given.

The bot created this one
One I created on my own!

With both of these you can clearly see how I thought of the words i chose carefully. The bot was very random, but both pieces could be used as poems you could possibly find meaning in. I like the idea of the bot being random, because I felt I may have thought about it to much. I truly enjoyed the entire experience of this piece because although it was simple it could offer a lot of potential insight.

Blog 4: Blackout Poetry Tool

I really enjoy this game of words.

The visual design is clear. I feel comfortable seeing the screen and playing this game.

I did not click on the guidance link talking about what blackout poetry is at first. Instead, I clicked on Thesis Mode, which makes me confused. I don’t know what the meaning is of clicking on a certain word and it turns to pink color. After that, I kept exploring the four modes left. The antithesis mode gives me a good example. The synthesis and symbiosis modes are the most interactive mode in this game. They remind me of the online Five in a Row game. The last mode is Visual. I cannot really distinguish this mode from the Antithesis mode. They are both bot selects. If I have to tell the difference between these two modes, I think the Antithesis has the animation effect of scanning and selecting while the Visual mode only shows the results.

Here is my poetry under Symbiosis mode:

Thunder for a soft ears on a little man as the marble so seemed.

I think it is beautiful at the beginning of the little poem—“Thunder for a soft ear on a little man” even though it is a lil bit messed up at the end. It shows the contrast between horrible thunder and “soft ear” & “little man”. A picture of a little kid being afraid of thunder shows up in my mind.

Black Out Blackout Poetry

I have no idea about blackout poetry because I have never touched it before. After researching it, I found that blackout poetry is created by removing words from a printed passage of text from a book, newspaper, or magazine and replacing them with your own words.

We can make our blackout poetry personally because it is straightforward. Firstly, find a piece of writing from a newspaper, an old book, or a magazine that you feel comfortable modifying. Then, look for the word that will serve as the focal point of your poetry while you skim the text. After that, read the poem from beginning to end. And return and circle any different words or phrases that might connect to your attention-grabbing word or phrase.

Also, you can always find a website that helps you make it. Here is my piece of work.

The title of the poetry is Machine: a still on blossoms over who was beyond more a hover. Sounds beautiful to me, and I also notice that it even rhymes, over corresponds hover. So maybe next time I can play it with my friends, and I am sure we could have a lot of fun with it.

Blackout Poetry Tool and Everything’s Going to Be Ok

For this week’s readings, I began by playing around with Blackout Poetry Tool by Jazer Chand. Unlike the other pieces we’ve looked at thus far, Blackout Poetry Tool is not a narrative but, as it says in the title, a tool. With it, you can create blackout poetry from given excerpts, collaborate with a bot to make said poetry, let the bot generate poetry all on its own, or have the bot draw a “wave” through the text. My favorite mode is “synthesis,” in which the user selects a word, the bot selects the next, and so forth. This is a piece I made from an excerpt of The Great Gatsby using synthesis (so, actually, it’s a piece we made, the bot and I.)

“People that descended in War in season that found at breakfast over lonely on pathfinder on freedom of neighborhood”

I know, it sounds a little…incoherent, but I think that if the reader chooses to put some punctuation in some places, imagines filling in some “missing” words in others, one could find meaning in it. As it is, I still think it’s quite pretty and thought provoking.

Here’s a poem made in “antithesis” mode (picked only by the bot.)

From the Civil hardware until a original freedom

This one feels like a reflection on government (Civil hardware?) and freedom.

Finally, here’s a poem made in the “symbiosis” mode, where you select words and the bot makes suggestions for what to pick next.

Great generations are here in a country eighty firm wisdom over day until some guide conferred the freedom.

I really enjoy this e-lit tool. I already liked blackout poetry prior to this discovery, but working with the bot (or just seeing what the bot creates on its own) adds a new layer to this poetic technique. It’s also an exercise in making meaning out of words and poetry, out of trying to figure out some message and some coherence behind something that on its surface may not make a whole lot of sense. It’s also an understandable, easy-to-use entry point into the idea of human/technology collaboration for making art.

Our second piece for this week was Everything is Going to Be Ok by Nathalie Lawhead. This work was very complex, with a lot of things to explore, interact with, and absorb. I played around with it for over an hour and still hadn’t completed everything, but by then I was beginning to develop a bit of a headache from all the noise and flashing visuals and so I had to stop. This is a piece that you would probably need more than one sitting to really complete and fully digest.

I first noticed that it was very computer-centric in its appearance. By this I mean that the font, the visuals, the program boxes, the way it was set up a like a desktop, the sounds, all made it very clear it was a computer program and that it was really leaning into that. It had a strong sense of its aesthetic and how to really utilize it.

The piece does a great job of exploring depression, the recovery from trauma, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and other mental health topics. One bit that really resonated with me was the discussion about fearing how little control we have over everything. I have a lot of personal experience with this fear. Back in March, I had a major panic attack (or rather, a series of them) after a lot of build up of stressors. I was worried about catching covid and giving it to others, having a heart attack, having something medically wrong with me that I didn’t know about, having people hate my writing…ultimately, I was afraid of dying and I was afraid of people hating me. I tried to take control in whatever ways I could: I limited my eating, trying only to consume “healthy” foods to keep my cholesterol low; I frequently checked my heart rate and blood pressure; I took at-home covid tests constantly, usually at least once a week, sometimes more frequently; if I had even a tiny sniffle or the hint of a sore throat, I would panic and test; I often missed class and work because I feared I had covid; I stopped wanting to go out and do things for the same reason; I told myself I would alter my writing to make it more acceptable, more appealing, less objectionable; after my most major panic attack, I told myself maybe I’d just stop writing at all.

None of this was my first bout with anxiety. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. It was, however, my most severe struggle with it in a few years. I went on medication again and started with more frequent therapy and self care, and I started to improve, but it was a fight. This franticness of this piece, the way there is so much happening at once, so much noise, reminds me of how my thoughts get when I’m anxious. The spiraling, often nonsensical worries that flood my brain and stop me from focusing on anything else. The struggle, the tedium, the way it tires you out.

A few months after all of that came to a head and I started to recover, my dog Cody got seriously hurt and required a pretty major surgery. Since then, he’s continued to have health problems, some related to that injury and some not. He’s twelve years old. There’s barely a day that passes where I don’t worry about him dying. Every time something happens that requires another vet visit, I break down. It all comes back to that terrible lack of control. There is nothing I can do. Anything can happen. It’s out of my control. All I can do is be there for him and do my best to help him through what I can’t prevent. All I can do is love him. Like Everything is Going to Be Ok says, all I can do is live one day at a time.

Did I enjoy Everything is Going to Be Ok? I don’t think enjoy is the right word to use. I don’t think it’s something you’re supposed to enjoy. But it made me think, and feel things, and relate. It resonated, struck a cord. Some of it was almost fun. Other parts were draining. A lot of the time, I just wanted to be finished with it. So…it’s exactly what it’s supposed to be. It’s not supposed to be easy, just like life.

Everything Is Going To Be OK & Blackout Poetry Tool

I started with Everything Is Going To Be Okay, and I loved the aesthetic. Visually it is incredibly eye-catching and made me feel nostalgic, from the titles to the graphics. When I read the introduction, it mentioned how it has dark humor, which honestly was off-putting. I am not a fan of dark humor, so automatically, I was weary of this piece. However, when I entered the games, it said I had to download everything. This makes this piece not the most accessible because not everyone has the space to download multiple files. I also thought the asking for donations was interesting, but I understand everyone has to eat. Since I had to download all the pieces, I decided not to read them. I simply did not have the capacity for all the downloads, but I am excited to learn more about it. After seeing the site, I cannot wait to delve into it today.

Before experiencing the Blackout Poem Tool, I was familiar with a blackout poem. I remember in middle or high school doing them for class, so I went in with a good understanding of what would happen. I liked that it had poem mode options, so you decide if you wanted to create something or let the bot do all the work. I like that blackout poems have endless possibilities, but they are also one-sided. Though you can create countless poems, at the end of the day, it is only one poem. I feel eventually, it can get repetitive and not as engaging.

Though I was not able to be captivated by these pieces, I am looking forwards to hearing more about these pieces and how others interacted with them. Once I hear other perspectives, I will probably gain a different outlook on them and be able to appreciate them more.

Blog Three

I found the readings in, “Blackout Poetry Tool” to be interesting. At first, I just went through the readings as so. Read the stories of what it seemed to be mainly centered around family history or the story of the writers immediate family, more specifically his dad and himself. Once I got through the readings, I was confused. Where was the electronic literature component of it? Usually other readings were more interactive. Well I was wrong. You can kind of almost miss it if you’re not paying enough attention.

On the sides of the text where it’s labeled “thesis” and so forth, in subtle text there is instructions of the electronic literary part of it. You where either selecting, or the “bot” is selecting the words for you. When I was selecting, I kind of just played around with the system and selected random words to feel what was electronic about this. But I didn’t notice much or maybe I wasn’t aware of what was actually happening.

When the bot was able to chose the words from the reading for me, I noticed not a pattern but maybe a poem was being created? For instance, In the last reading, Visual I noticed when looking at all the blackout words that the bot chose for me came out to read;

For of to thing man beaten alone cooked man helplessly had

Not sure if this is meant to be coded or if this is in some way a poem in itself. Regardless I found it interesting but I didn’t want to spend too much time thinking of it and making it into something it’s not. But I would like to know what was the purpose and meaning of this?

My Thoughts on Blackout Poetry

I have heard of Blackout Poetry before and this was a fun way to interact with it. I played around with the antithesis function. I liked the poems that came out of this.

Blackout Poetry is interesting. I let the bot choose a couple and I did a couple and the outcomes were cute. I enjoyed this one and it was cool to see what came from it.

The following are four poems that were done that I liked.