Hi, my name is Daniel, I am currently working on my bachelors thesis at the university of Bergen. This blog will be used to talk about all the stuff i will be doing, and assignments during that time. Its not going to be the most exiting thing in the universe, my hope is that i can make it durable to read these posts.
I just wanted to start by apologizing to everyone for my absence from class today; I woke up in the middle of the night extremely sick and was not able to get to class. However, I did not want my piece of electronic literature to go without any explanation so I have decided to blog about what I was going to say. I hope you all enjoy it!
Originally what I wanted to do was start off with dice and the reader had to click it in order to “roll it” and one of six different choices would come up. We are all born into a specific life, we cannot choose our families that we get, so just like that, the reader was not able to choose their family. My six options would have been things like a person from a high-income family, someone from a different race, someone who was born from a low-income family, etc. Once receiving your “life” then you proceed to different scenarios that most people face in their lives from childhood all the way to adulthood. Some options you are able to choose and others you must roll the dice again to see your outcome because sometimes in life we do not have a choice and things just happen. I was going to have a pathway on a road to make the choices and a continuing theme of the dice to roll and see what happens. No gender is ever revealed. By the end, the reader would have came to a conclusion depending on what they have rolled and what they chose to do with their options. Those endings were things like death, higher education, homelessness, starting a family, etc. I had to make a lot of changes because I was not able to create such a challenging piece. Instead I made a hypertext linking piece by piece to click and move on, but I did keep the concept of some being choices and some just happening. In the end of the piece you can choose your ending, but if not satisfied you may go back and choose again. The reason I did this was because in real life you cannot choose what happens to you, but in the world of Elit I wanted to allow choices. I also changed the concept of the dice into doors because of my lack of knowledge on how to make dice. The original name was “Roll away, Scroll away,” but it was changed to “Settlement” because that is what I had to do with my piece and what ultimately happens to people in life. They must settle with their choices and with things that just occur and are out of their control.
I was able to create this entire piece using power point and the part that took me the longest to do was linking all of the hypertext to flow smoothly, it is very interactive because you must click to move on, but you must click slowly and wait for each and every part to appear. There are some sounds, for example when you click the door, but I did not add music because I did not want to distract the reader from what was really important, the main idea. The entire piece ended up becoming a huge contradiction at the end because you are able to make a choice and reverse that choice after the entire idea was suppose to be realistic and that is where the “Settlement” derived from. I used images from different sites and even a clip in which if you allow it to play through is a quick video to get a point across and allow my piece to be multimodal and give it a little more excitement.
I am not text savvy at all and was not able to make my piece the way I wanted at all, but I messed around with it for a while and tried to created it to the best of my abilities. I made it nice and short because I know how I felt when exploring one of the longer pieces and after a while my attention would be lost so I wanted to get the point across and straight to the ending which was most important.
Once again I apologize for my absence, I had a great time in class with all of you exploring this entirely new idea to me of electronic literature, thank you for taking the time to read through this blog!
Blog 11: The last blog: With Those We Love and The Cape
By Andaiye Hall
I found The Cape to be completely uninteresting. The black and white stood out to me but in the way that it was completely not engaging for me. It didn't captivate me as well as other pieces have managed to do for me. I think I'm really stuck in my way of how e-lit is supposed to be. Nevertheless, the author did do a variety of unique things to capture the general reader's interest. She had pictures that would appear out of thin air and audio files that would randomly play where she saw fit to place them.
I did like the other piece With Those We Love Alive predominantly a lot more than the rest of The Cape. I had explored this piece before and was confused at where it ended. During this revisit, I was still confused and stop at the same place I stopped before. It was a little personal when you were given some choices. I wondered if you chose a different b-day if your experience would change. I thought that if everyone would see something different, that would have been a lot for the author to have written. Even though this piece was simple it still had the key elements of music and color. These are what are very important to in terms of what I think e-lit can be. I want to turn to e-lit for the authors help in how to view the story and possibly hear the authors voice or what the author wants me to hear when I read his or her piece.
It's been a fantastic semester learning about this new branch of literature which isn't that new but I'll save the rest of my thoughts for my self evaluation.
Well. I do not know what to make of this piece. First, I must say I think it is outstanding that the author created a version for colorblind people. I have never seen that been done before and I think that was so cool of her to do. It started off with a nice sentence from the author talking to the reader. "Please remember: nothing you can do is wrong" across the screen. Soft music starts to play. Now after this slide, it asks you what month you were born in. I thought maybe I was going to take a journey as a Leo or some kind of adventure as my horoscope. I was prepared for something cool like that. But it turned out to be very different. Actually, I have no clue why I was asked when my birthday was because the rest of the piece was just a story filled with different possible outcomes but somehow... we all end up in the same place I think. I looked through the color blind piece just to see what would be different and it was all black and white. Very interesting. It made me appreciate color because the pinks and purples and blues were very nice.
For this week, while both pieces are more simple than others we have seen, I think they are just as valid and prove that electronic literature does not need to be technologically "flashy" and "advanced" for it to impress its digital reader. I like that with "With Those We Love Alive," it had gamelike elements to it, such as giving the reader an experience of customization and control in their adventure with the piece. I liked the hypertextual navigation and different options, and it felt, while there were no impressive or changing graphics, that I was moving along the city and palace and exploring the world of the story. I think it really is something special if an elit piece, like literature, can make you feel like you are inside the realm of the narrative without any visuals to guide you. The story itself was very fantastical and interesting, but I think I liked the title on the bar of the website the most, and that relationship to "writing on yourself" throughout the story and eczema.
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"
Well this is a different piece compared to the rest. I can't really think of any it reminds me of or any I can relate it to. This is more of a story telling elit piece from a girl's perspective about her grandmother. I like the scrollover text on each picture in the beginning. Even though I noticed the mouse turn into a little hand allowing me to click on the image, I kept scrolling over each image because the rollover text was all connected. No matter what picture you choose, you still have the option to see what the other pictures contained. At the bottom you can see the images and you're able to click on any that you want. Some parts of the story have sound, some don't. I thought it was cool how the ending allowed you to enter your email if you want any more information about Cape Cod or want to leave comments on the elit piece as a whole. Very interesting piece and also filled with information about Cape Cod that I was not aware of. I did find it a little dull due to the lack of color. That is just my opinion. I like when things are fun and entertaining but this one was very black and white with no cool sounds. That would be my only negative point. Other than that, cool piece.
Here is a link to my paper:
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.