My Elit Piece- “Settlement”

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 Cape

cape http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/carpenter__the_cape/sound_carries_stairs.html

 

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.

Blog #10- Transitioning from Separation to Sooth

 

           Separation, by Annie Abrahams is what’s known as E-Poetry. This piece of electronic literature allows the reader to disconnect him or herself with technology. That is where I believe the title “Separation,” comes into play. Abrahams forces the reader to navigate through this piece line-by-line and I mistakenly fell short of her requirements. I am the type of person who likes to move quickly through things and get them over with. This was my downfall in reading through this piece by clicking way too fast and my punishment was, who I believed to be the author, sending a pop-up box ordering me to slow down and not click so aggressively. I believe there to be a comical side to this because obviously the author cannot tell how hard I am clicking the mouse on my computer. What the author does is states the initial reason for the pop-up box and then gives a couple extra “unrealistic” reasons this could have happened. Although, this did aggravate me a little because I had to start from the beginning, it also taught me a lesson. It showed me I do have to slow down in life and allow things to happen as they should, not try and fast forward everything in order to really understand certain concepts.

While navigating, slowly now, through the piece, I found myself confused as another pop-up box appeared. I thought to myself, “was I clicking too fast again?” After reading what the box has said, I realized that I was not and that now the author wanted me to apply what she was saying about pain and make it more of a physical activity by opening my mouth as wide as I could while I raise my eyebrows as high as I could. The expression on my face was funny, I know this because as I was holding it, my brother walked into the room and laughed at me. At the same time, I realized it was starting to hurt, holding it for so long. I assumed it was a simple expression to not only read the word pain, but feel it as well.

Soon after clicking through the poem, still slowly, another pop-up box appeared and this time it wanted me to shrug my shoulders. This involved some body movement so I positioned myself up right in order to do it properly. Although annoyed at not being able to relax as much as I wanted while navigating this piece, I found the end of the shoulder shrug to be realizing to my body. Clicking further into the poem, I noticed the next pop-up box appeared after the word pain again, but this time it requested for me to rest. I started to feel more and more relaxed and clicking through this piece slowly became less and less of a hassle.

Following through with the rest of this brilliantly made piece of electronic literature, I realized that the next few pop-up boxes that appeared, allowed me to stretch in very useful ways that allowed my body and mind a break from each section of the poem. The boxes seemed to appear exactly at the right moment of the poem between the times it popped up and after each and every word it appeared after. The previous word would always relate to my next move that was about to be made. I was surprised that at the end there was no pop-up box, only questions that made me think about our separation to not just the computer, but technology in general. This piece allowed me to slow down, inhale and exhale slowly, and just distance myself from technology. Ironically, I was able to do with while using technology and that was what the brilliance behind this piece was.

I am so glad I chose to do Separation before reading David Jhave Johnston’s Sooth. Now that I was calm and able to explore more intimately, I was able to really get the feel of this next piece if electronic literature. This too, is a type of E- Poetry so it was able to fit well with the other piece, but in a completely different way. Johnston created this piece with not only words, but also noises and sounds in order for the reader to get a better feel. Abrahams was able to do that with movement while Johnston allowed the reader to only listen in order to convey the message.

Instead of going through each and every one of the 6 poems the author delivers, I will only go through my favorite one and the one I related to the most. That poem is titled “Snow.” It begins with a moving image on a sheet of snow, self-explanatory. After clicking the image once, words in the poem, the first line, pops up abruptly and in a rotating form. This allows the sound of what seems like to me as melted snow dripping water from higher ground. Maybe my brain is clouded by the image of snow, but that is what came to mind. Then there is this music that starts to play as I click more and more for more lines of the poem to appear, also in a disoriented form. The music changes from upbeat to a more eerie sound and in the back of the music sounds like a fire crackling or something of that nature. I related that back to the beginning melting of the snow sound that I first came in to contact with.

Each time I click more and more into the poem and more lines appear while the others float around aimlessly, the sound waves differ. There are some that have an echo and others that sound almost “alien-like.” As if E.T. from the movie was trying to “phone home” right on the screen. While clicking through the sounds stop for a second and after one more click there is the sound of wind, which almost makes me feel cold in a way. After that it sounds as if footsteps are being walked through in the snow in a harsh way. Then the crackling of the snow appears through sound and disappears quickly, back to what seems like sounds waves of communication from a transmitter. After clicking and navigating more and more I see a pattern appear, this pattern is that of the words recycling and the noises and sounds as well. This indicates that the poem will never end unless the reader in fact, puts a stop to it. This is different than the other poem because that had a definite ending to it.

I think the reason I chose to discuss this specific poem is because the image related directly to the title, whereas the others had almost nothing to do with their titles. Both electronic literature pieces were created differently, but I enjoyed them equally. The transition was easy as I was able to relax between the 6 poems given in Sooth because of the set up from Separation.

Blog #9- Hobo Lobo of Hamelin

hobohttps://worstcomicpodcastever.com/2015/05/04/hobo-lobo-of-hamelin-60-second-review-episode-013/

STEVAN ŽIVADINOVIĆ’s Elit piece, Hobo Lobo of Hamelin, was an amazing piece of literature. This “flat 3D” fable resembling that of a comic book easily captured my attention and maintained it throughout the use of words used. I liked the modern twist on it and it was a fun and easy way to explore the story. It seemed to me that throughout the story, each page, in which there were 7 different sections, would become more and more advanced in the graphic designs. The words began to appear less and less as the images and sounds appeared vigurously throughout the piece.

The first page starts with a problem of “coked up rats” running around their town and the mayor does not know how to handle this situation properly. He goes to see a psychic who recommends a professional and then the story moves on to page two. In this part the images appear and disappear as you scroll through the pages inside the pages and it is not until the final page within page one, where you discover some movement in the images. The crystal ball appears purple, unlike the rest of the colors on the images and it has some kind of movement to capture the readers attention and lead them into the world of what is about to happen. It is a good transition from the images not moving into what we discover later on in this piece.

On the second page we meet Hobo Lobo, and his role is significant as he promises to help anyone with any problem they may have. The mayor describes the problem of the rats and explains that Hobo Lobo will be paid for his work of disposing of the rats as long as he gets the job done. The images on this page become more intense as they being to pop up, 3D but not 3D because it is flat. Images begin to move a little and the colors green and yellow take over the illusion of this page.

The third page changes the sequence completely. There is music that begins and only one of the pages throughout this has words, the rest are images popping up and moving around. The music drastically changes from something cheerful to something gloomy, this indicating that something bad may occur soon. The colors go from blue to red as the music changes its tone.

On page four I found myself having trouble on what to focus on. I was going back and fourth between the images and the words written under those images. There was no sound, but each page had words to distract the reader from that. The story continues on and page five almost gave me a heart attack when the mayor’s face appears huge on the screen. Thank god there was no sound because that would have made it even worse! On page six Hobo decides to sue the mayor for not recognizing what he has done for him and the story continues one. The images are moving and things pop up randomly throughout the page.

The last page had me confused as to how this all ended. I suppose it really hasn’t ended at all because there is a “more to come” box indicating the story is not actually over. Overall I did enjoy navigating this story and it was more of a linear story in which the others are not. There was a beginning, middle and end to indicate when to stop… well at least for now!

Blog #8- First Draft of the Revolution

first.jpg
https://www.thespace.org/resource/games-people-who-dont-play-games

      Unfortunately, I was not able to play this interactive Elit piece. I tried several times throughout the week, but was unsuccessful in accessing it. I did however watch the 7 minute video on how to play and the process behind Emily Short and Liza Daly’s “First Draft of the Revolution.” I thought about what the title meant and the word draft can pertain to two different meanings. First, it could focus on the draft from the window that is mentioned in the beginning of the piece and second, it could focus on the idea of a war draft. Revolution is mentioned so war is what automatically pops into my mind and then after reading the description I see that it is during the French Revolution.

As the video plays, the reader navigates through a letter that the wife, Juliette, writes to her husband, Henri, who seems to be very controlling of her. I wondered to myself as to why the letter had a scroller when it was so short. What was the reason we needed to scroll down a letter that stopped at mid page. After getting into the video even more I saw that this was an editing process of the original letter Juliette has created.

I do not like normally editing my own papers so I am assuming if I was actually able to get to play I would have felt a bit of frustration editing Juliette’s letter. I believe that maybe that is what the authors wanted their reader’s to feel because as I read along with the letter I felt as thought Juliette may have been frustrated with her husband for sending her away. The concept of editing was interesting in a way that we were pretty much in the mind of Juliette, what she was thinking about each and every line composed, we were able to see and feel. One thing that did surprise me was the fact that we could not change the line, “Your obedient wife, Juliette.” That was the one line I wanted to change immediately after seeing we were able to edit it and once I saw we were unable I once again felt that frustration. I am assuming that because the husband is so controlling of his wife that we cannot change that fact. He wants her to be obedient of him and that is how she must remain.

Overall, I did enjoy watching the video and really wished I could have went through this piece myself, but I did get a pretty good understanding of it from what I saw. I cannot wait to go over it in class today and see what is was that I missed about the Elit piece because I was very limited to what the reader wanted me to see. I feel an appreciation for Elit even more now because I like the fact that I have a sense of freedom of allowing myself to go through the pieces on my own. I felt caged in with this one!

Blog #7- Thermophiles in Love_Netprov

ther

When first entering the world of Netprov, Thermophiles in Love, I was excited as well as hesitant in approaching this new experience. When discussing this in class I immediately thought of it as an online dating site, but with a twist. I have never done any online dating so I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into, but knowing this assignment was for a class, I knew that there had to be something more to it, something worth learning about.

There were 5 different genders of cells you could have been and each had their own personality traits, just like humans have. The genders were basically stereotyped in a way we stereotype different groups in a high school setting. For example, Hype, was the so- called “jock” of the group in that those who were considered Hype were classified as, “too cool for school.” Another example of the type of different genders was Acido; those were the “outspoken and stuck- up” types who were mainly only concerned with their appearance the way a popular girl would be in high school. The gender I was assigned to be an Obli, and that gender, my gender, was considered to be a “sensitive soul” type of cell. We like to overthink every situation and choose our words carefully. It was funny to me that this was the gender given to me because that is kind of how I am in real life so it was very easy for me to get into my character. By the way, my character’s name is Obli_MimosaPudica and for those who do not know, Mimosa Pudica is a “shy” or “sensitive” plant and I found this appropriate to relate to the theme of cells and some kind of science related topic, and also it relates to the type of gender I was given.

Overall, I enjoyed playing this interactive collaboration for about half an hour everyday whenever I got the chance. I was able to break out of my shell, which as an Obli, was usually closed very tightly and not allowing others to enter. The only thing I found disconcerting was the theme of the entire Netprov. I felt as though if you did not have an decent background on the subject of cells or anything else relating to that then it was hard to understand some of the things the other players were discussing in order to remain focused on its theme. I found myself entering Google and trying to explore new types of phrases and ideas in a scientific method in order to portray a character that knew what I was trying to say and in a clever sort of manner.

While going through this experience day-by-day, I realized that people were really trying to portray their genders for what and who they really were, but I also noticed some genders trying to break free of that stereotype. For example, there were several Obli’s who explained their shyness and bashfulness, but explored the ideas of acting as if they were of the gender Hype, basically the total opposite of them. It was interesting to see people respond to my discussions, I did not believe I would receive so many comments and it was definitely a confidence booster for me in the Netprov, online world. My nervousness of the whole idea deceased more and more with each day that passed and I was able to make some great interactions with some great characters, whether they were in my same gender or in another gender.

Some new things I have learned from this entire experience were the connections people made and how when people are hidden by this kind of secret identity, they are much more opened into saying exactly how they feel. I connected this with electronic literature because of how I feel when I am reading someone else’s Elit piece and I try and notice the way I am feeling about that piece and at the same time trying to get a feel on the reader and how they want us, as the reader and as the audience to feel what messages they are trying to get across.

We were able to share our thoughts and ideas about the discussions we posted throughout the week and discovering the way other genders pursued not only their reactions, but the reactions of other cells only made it that much more interesting and that much for entertaining. This is what kept drawing me back, trying to discover what is being said and how it was being said. I definitely enjoyed this experience and felt no inconvenience when it came time to allowing myself to interact with these people who I either did or did not know.

Blog #6- This Is How You Will Die

this-is
http://www.secrettechnology.com/artgames.html

Unfortunately, I could not access Jason Nelson’s This Is How You Will Die so the first time I really was able to see it was in class during the walkthrough. I found this piece of Elit to be entertaining as well as spooky and life reflecting. What really caught my attention was the slot machine that we had to spin in order to make our way closer and closer to our death. The way I believe the slot machine relates to the darkness of death is because of Las Vegas. When thinking of Vegas I think of “sin city” and just a place where lost souls go or end up. We discussed dry humor in the piece and some people said they believed it was funny while others were completely freaked out by it.

I once had a near death experience in which I truly thought I was going to die so this brought up those bad memories, but at the same time I am able to appreciate life more and find myself always wanting to laugh and smile. I was able to laugh at the craziness of this piece and its specifics on how each person will die. We did not have enough time to find out what our ending result of death would be, but I got the whole point of Nelson’s piece. I am kind of relieved because I believe somehow going through with it would make me paranoid in one way or another.

The scary music had a real effect on the piece in that it made you more nervous than anything else and the overall darkness of the piece itself with its images and sounds coming from people who sounded a little mentally unstable made it that much more spooky. Overall I did enjoy the piece, but I believed it was a little overwhelming both physically and mentally. There was a lot going on with each spin and also sitting there thinking of what could happen in life and that anytime we could die, it’s a scary thought just like this was a scary elit piece!