Alternative worlds

Our agenda

Redshift & Portalmetal

Unsurprisingly, Amber’s presentation on Redshift and Portalmetal was well researched, thoughtful and insightful, and really brought to life this dystopian hypertext story that incorporates short fiction, poetry, memoir, and performance art.  It is both a meditation on climate change and the neocolonial impulse that drives it, as well as a sci-fi exlporation of overlapping/conflicting identities. How do legacies of colonialism pollute the air, degrade our communities, and map constraints on our very embodiment? With images of factories and frozen landscapes, we explore the story of Roja, a trans person of color who must leave her planet in order to survive. How can we imagine an alternative future, one in which we might resist the urge to colonize as we seek out new worlds for human habitation? With Redshift & Portalmetal, we imagine what it might mean to decolonize this planet, and we hear a call for solidarity, intersectionality, and agency – for people whose experiences have for centuries been eclipsed and erased by the machine of power.


Thanks to Karel for his walkthrough and presentation of Donna Leishman’s RedRidinghood.  This interactive narrative is a provocative re-interpretation of the well known French fairytale, and it invokes an ominous, dark, mysterious, and decidedly adult tone.  With jazzy, contemporary background music, an urban setting, the highly stylized comic imagery of this piece announces itself as a clear “re-working” of a classic.  It challenges the assumptions which stem from reading/knowing this age-old children’s tale.  This version seems to unfold in three parts, beginning with a city highrise location.  The second part of the text covers the forest/meadow interlude. Finally the third section of this narrative takes place upon arrival at “Grandma’s house”.  The text is interactive throughout, the reader is choosing outcomes through a variety of link options.  The reader is forced to seek for hard-to-come-by links which are for the most part hidden.  There are definitely elements to discover that are not easily noticed (including a revealing and dark diary which provides insight into Redridinghood’s psyche).  The necessary “active search” for links (that are veiled from reader’s immediate access) seems to suggest an emphasis on all things “hidden”.  Things are not what they seem.  There is more than meets the eye.  There are dark realities that exist beyond the surface.  This is most definitely a psychological piece, charged with frightening twists and uncanny discoveries.  Was Redridinghood violated?  Or was she a complicit agent in her own adulteration?  The text provides complicated layers which render this question difficult to answer.  This story seems to insist that there is indeed more than meets the eye at first.

Another Invitation for 11/19:

Your to-do list:

Read Tom’s selection:  The Hunt for the Gay Planet

Start to “mull over” a few questions: What were your favorite elit pieces so far? What has inspired you?  What kind of elit can you start to imagine making?

Your 11th blog post is due! Blog about your reading experience and understanding of The Hunt for the Gay Planet.

See you next Wednesday!

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