Link to my presentation.
I love letters, I love epistolary literature, but it is more passionate than making them is reading them. So Letters to X was a different and challenging experience. At first, I didn’t know very well what I should do, so I risked trying a lot of things, superimposing one page on another, writing in one yes and another no, continuing to overlap to see what came out. Crazy.
I think that this tool and this medium could be a good tool when you experience writer’s block, because you already have a scheme and it is only to look for which words fit better, thus achieving better results, but the good thing is that there are thousands of options.
I love how each week I am exposed to something I’ve never experienced before. For every reading I am excited to see how interactive the piece will be, I’m impressed each time. I enjoy that we are not just reading words on a screen but experiencing reading in a whole new way. Elit makes reading fun and interesting and leave you wanting more of the experience.
Letters to X was very interactive. As you browsed around there were different templates of letters that would appear. My first assumption was that they were all love letters. That definitely wasn’t the case. There were different topics like love, learn, hope, wonder, wish and so many more. I really liked how you were able to fill in the blanks and make the letter as creative as you liked.
I found one very interesting. I chose ‘learn’ and read the template, what I thought would be a happy story turned into something totally different. I thought to myself, “This is the one I want expand on”. Here is what I came up with.
This took an interesting turn but I enjoyed expanding on it and wished I was able to do more.
Wow. Two very powerful pieces of Elit. I am excited to look closer at both during class this evening.
My first impression of Letters to X was honestly a little anxiety filled. After a rough and busy week focused on outward performance, I felt pressure when looking at the empty spaces to fill. I felt there was a “right” answer I “had” to find.
I perused the site and looked at a few of the letters allowing myself to just be present with the piece and lean on my creativity over performance. Below is one of the pieces I created that is 100% fictional. (I had to upload it as a pdf so hopefully it is viewable).
It is clear how thoughtful the artist was in what spaces were left blank and how they shape the story around those spaces.
And then forgotten nights.
I loved this piece. the moon and stars, the cadence of the speaker, the words. The nature of the work is all encompassing and even though there is interaction and get to control the narrative in a way, it is a piece that is so easy to get swept into. I could have spent hours and hours here.
I think it is extremely calming as well and can see myself coming back to the piece when I need to re-center and/or grapple with memory, the past, and life in general.
Beautiful choices by Chelsea and Kefah.
Both of these pieces brought me back to my childhood somehow. Letters to X was a like a modern mad lib and Forgotten Memories reminded me of the many summers I spent camping with family staring up at the stars, which anyone can really relate to. I think both of these are very inviting and relatable.
Letters to X is made to fit your story in whatever way you please. It made me nostalgic to make something reminiscent of a mad lib. But, it was such a different experience as an adult. As a kid, comedy was the goal in most of the mad libs we tried. Here, these are realistic topics and I feel like that influenced word choices I made. It’s almost like a prompt too.
It’s strange how we are given so much freedom to customize the story with our word choices, but we are also given the option to see the work written out by someone else. This kind of made the story feel like it already existed in someone else’s life, we are just putting the pieces together. Still, it was an interesting piece.
The visuals of Forgotten Nights were intentionally simplistic and, honestly, my first impression wasn’t the best because of it. Once I read that it was an auditory poem, it made more sense. The walkthrough of this piece was pretty easy to follow and I enjoyed the author’s use of audio once I started to pick up on some of the themes of memory. As I was trying to pick up those themes, I had to laugh because of how fast I forgot what some of the lines were as they were speaking them. It worked perfectly.
I found the clicking of the stars intriguing because it felt so random, but the outcome worked almost every time for me. I’ll admit sometimes the lines lost me when I heard them repeat it too many times, it took me out a bit. Either way, the customization of the poems allowed me to take something new from it every time. It amazes me that even as the lines change, they feel united as a poem no matter what.
Wow, this class really broadened my horizons by learning something I had never touched before, which is so interesting. The last time was blackout poetry; this time is Letters to X, which seems like crossword puzzles while creating artwork.
After reading the author’s statement, I learned that an interface called Letters to X uses handwritten letters as a springboard for developing “new” social media. It is also a critique of how digital devices impair interpersonal relationships.
On the website, we can click the bottom we want, and then some letters will display the letter accordingly. When the letter is shown, we can fill in the blank to complete it and thus create a new letter, personally.
Following the instructions, I wrote the first letter to Derick, my friend, to show my gratitude. I feel the website is more like a temple for writing, so we need to fill in the blanks and edit any part if we want.
Here is the piece I made myself.
Well, to be honest with you guys, there is no Derick in my life. I don’t have such a good BF or even a BF. Still waiting…