Posted in Electronic Literature

Adding A New Poem

My apologies for missing last week’s class, I was knee deep in cutting sweet yams for Thanksgiving. But besides the point, I am pretty happy with the direction my e Lit piece is going. As discussed the prior week with two of my fellow e Lit scholars, I have been plotting on turning my poetry from last semester into some form of a digital piece. I am continuing with the idea of using instagram as a medium to host my art and poetry. I am in three posts so far, and I have about 13 more to go! These past two weeks have been my most creative weeks since starting the semester (perfect time to get creative again!). Alongside continuing with creating my art work, I ran across another poem that I have recently created that I would like to add to my e Lit Poetry experience. I know this was not created along with the other poems during my spiritual journey through COVID-19, but it is a great reflection on how I can now recognize and embrace all that I am. Below is the draft format of the poem that I will be refining soon.

This only the draft : )

Through the use of hashtags that either mirror the poem, imagery, or current moment at the time, this is where I am using the sense of literature to connect with others through the open space. The map out for the rest of my project is to create a piece everyday to post on my instagram. Please follow me e Poetry on instagram: @Mad_Black_Buddhist

Posted in Electronic Literature

Mad Black Buddhist: An Instagram Experience

Can you all believe that we only have four classes left for the semester? Through the course of the semester we learned about my different genres of electronic literature. This is the point of the semester where we get to create our own piece! Honestly speaking, I had my idea for my elit project since the beginning of the semester. It was inspired by a class I took last semester titled, Advanced Poetry Writing. From this course, I birthed a Chapbook of poems titled Mad Black Buddhist. From these poems, I went from finding my poetic voice to facing a full on pandemic. Through these poems, I was able to have a spiritual awakening that would set me on the path of open mindness. 

In yesterday’s class, I was paired with my lovely Nives and the brilliant Tom to figure out the beginning elements of my projects. Below are some notes I took from our discussion: 

Poetry – Drawing – Music. I want to turn my poetry from my Chapbook: Mad Black Buddhist. These poems are a reflection of me during the earliest stages of the pandemic 

I decided to turn my poetry into an instagram experience, which ironically, due to being on my phone so much is one of the main elements that made me go a little crazy during the early stages of the pandemic. I am looking to add artwork to each post of poems.. Maybe add a video and audio into it.. Still doing some research!

Posted in Electronic Literature

The Hunt for the Gay Planet

This piece was an interesting satisfying piece! In The Hunt for the Gay Planet, we are thrown into a hyperlinked adventure to find the planet of the gays. I was most attracted to this piece through the actual literature rather than the technical aspect (me inner literature fanatic jumped for joy)! This piece differently had some surprising turns I did not expect. As per usual with my elit blogs, I will break down the different aspects of this piece.

Navigation

The navigation for this piece was pretty straightforward. Using hypertext as mediation for game-like play, we follow our heroine (I do not believe they gave us a name for the character). By reading short passages and clicking options that are hypertext in hot pink, us as readers get to choose what our heroine explorers. When reading the Editorial Statement it states:anna anthropy’s The Hunt for the Gay Planet is a text-based Twine game that uses the medium of Twine to comment more broadly and bitingly on the status of queer representation in videogames.” Through my first go around of the game, I was a bit confused on the aspects of the twine being a form of representation for queers in video games.

Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Theory

When looking at literature in different lenses, what I mean by lens is by using theory. Of course it be most fitting for my use to use Lesbian, Gay, Queer Theory (the hyperlinked texted will take you to a presentation I made for my college students to explain the theory). If many of you can recall, I also used this theory to dissect my elit piece earlier in the semester. With that being said, I want to target the Basic Concepts of theory to dissect this piece a little more.

Homophobia

Homophobia can be defined as dislike of or prejudice against gay people. I know this may be a stretch of a claim, but if there is an entire planet dedicated only to lesbians, that is saying something..

Homosocial Activities

Before reaching Lesbionic, we are hit with the scene You swing open the metal saloon doors and step into a bar. It’s full of men. All men, tangled in each others’ tentacles. They stare at you like a poo just stepped on their shoe. Homosocial Activities is any social or interactive activites happening between two people of the opposite sex. Obviously, this scene (alongside other erotix scenes), shows these activities but it does not necessarily have to be so extreme. Acta such as kissing, holding hands, or any other romantic gestures can fall in this category.

Homoertic Imagery

“You step out of your ship, your eyes adjusting to the foggy light. The first thing you see is two forms on a bench nearby. A topless chick is pressing a mohawked femme down against the bench, her hand busy between the babe’s legs. The femme’s leg is over her partner, the painted claws of her toenails scraping the chick’s back. In public! Unmolested! Their eyes burning into each other like two stars colliding. The look in their eyes is fire. The curl of their lips is freedom.”

This piece did not imagery to guide us as readers, but through the vivid descriptions of scenery between characters, I was able to paint my own pictures! 

Deeper Reflection – My emotions

When experiencing this piece, I was brought back to my highschool years where I “explored” my sexuality. I felt this connection with our unnamed heroien who is exploring the galaxy to find a society that will accept her loving the same gender. I found it interesting how with each planet our character lands on, the small dusty pLanet is Lesbionic. Quite honestly, I think it was a bit much to make the dusty small planet the gay planet. This piece sheds a light on aspects of literature that still needs to be discovered. LGBQ Theory is still a new theory that seeks to bring awareness in not just literature, but many different aspects of life.

Posted in Electronic Literature

The Beauty in Change: Redshift and Portlalmetal

This week’s elit piece I will be diving into is Redshift and Portlalmetal. I truly enjoyed the concept and navigation of Redshift! Through the use of a working website, we explore through the eyes of narrating character, Roja, as she escapes her dying planet. Through beautiful sounds, videography, and interactive text, we share Roja’s story and adventure as she explores life on other planets.

Navigation

Due to me being extremely tired at this point in the semester, I decide to go the video route first. It was easier to have the video navigate the piece as I view and read, compared to the working site (I ended up going through the working site to fully experience the piece). From the working site, it was pretty simple to navigate by clicking the text that would appear at the bottom of each part of Roja’s narration. 

Deeper Reflection

This piece had so many elements that you can go into a lot of detail that it was really hard to narrow down. So I will try to bring up the most apparent and interesting ones to me:

Roja’s Character:

I find it really interesting in the choice of name. I looked up the meaning of Roja which can be translated to Rojo, and both terms mean the color red (which is the theme color of the piece!).  Both words mean the same, the colour red. When used to describe a masculine object, you use the ‘rojo’ form of the adjective, and ‘roja’ for any feminine object. And just like any other adjective, I believe numbers must be matched too. I thought this explanation was really fighting for the character herself due to Roja being a transgendered woman of color. The idea of one word meaning the same thing but put into a different context makes me put Roja’s character scheme in a different perspective. Through her doule we are presented multiple times with the necessary of packing her hermons (whcih virtual to transgender indviduals). Since I was so obsessed with her name and the color association of it matching her personality, I decide to do a deeper dive into understanding the mean of red: 

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Contemporary theme of climate change:

This piece cleverly put together to discuss the current issue of climate change. Roja puts her feelings of sympathy, empathy, and disappointment of what is going on with Earth (I believe she is addressing Earth). Also, I am a little curious about the time period this is taking place in. Even though this issue is contemporary, the idea of boarding space shuttles to leave for another planet makes me question what Earth are we on with Roja?

I also find it interesting who the Earth is transitioning into what Roja sees as a waste, does she reflect this on her transitioning as a person. Through be a transgender woman and deciding to make a drastic change in scenary and life, how she handing it all?

Who is Cora’s girlfriend Cora?

I am not sure if anyone was wondering the same question (or I am bad at picking up on things), but what is the significance of Roja’s girlfriend? Does she symbolize something within the piece? I just was a bit curious and wanted to get it off of my mind.

Overall Reflection

 My overall reflection of this piece was that I was not actually left too stuck (hooray!). Not that I can speak on the experience of be a transgender female, it was interesting to compare to current topic into one space. 

Posted in Electronic Literature

Letter to Lunis: My Doubts as an Elit Scholar!

This week, I will be focusing on the elit piece, Letter to Lunis. This week’s post might be one on the shorter side, I did not quite grasp the concept of this piece. Even though the navigation and language within Letter to Lunis is very clearly and simplistic, there is still some self doubt in my true understanding. So without further adieu, let’s jump into Letter to Lunis!

Overview of the readings

To be quite honest, this week’s reading has me completely stomped. From the overview descriptions of Letter to Linus, my understanding of this piece is that it uses a hypertext cube as a navigation. The poetry appears in random orders, depending on which part of the cube you are choosing to click.

Deeper Reflection

There was not too much deep reflection due to my misunderstanding of the piece, or the lack of understanding all together…. I wanted to take time to reference one of my fellow elite scholars, Amber, in her experience with this piece:

“My experience of Linus was certainly one of disorientation. The order I followed from the beginning resulted in, “Away the sun, shut off language, lock up the revolution, blow out the public, break in your feelings, and cut down resistance.” After I reached the end, I went back through a few times to see if rearranging the order would help me understand any better, but I feel I was left with more” 

I felt a little unsure about my own understanding of this piece, so I decided to read Ambers and see what she has to say about it (FYI she is very intuitive about a lot of our elit readings!). Seeing that she had the same questions and ideology about this piece, I do not feel a s bad. But I am looking forward to what Sun has to say about this piece when she presents tonight! 

Some of the significant textual elements

The main textual evidence that was apparent to me is the use of the hypercube as the digital medium of hosting the poetry. I was bit curious about what exactly is a hypercube, so I decide to look up the definition:

“In geometry, a hypercube is an n-dimensional analogue of a square (n = 2) and a cube (n = 3). It is a closed, compact, convex figure whose 1-skeleton consists of groups of opposite parallel line segments aligned in each of the space’s dimensions, perpendicular to each other and of the same length.”

From this definition brought me to wonder… I am really that lost on the concept of this piece.   

How I choose to navigate this text

I choose to navigate through this piece by simply following the instructions in the opening of the piece. Like I stated early, this piece was pretty simple to navigate through. There was no specific order that Letter to Lunis required us to follow or figure out (at least to my understanding).

Posted in Electronic Literature

Aiding Alice

Exploring Inanimate Alice

Inanimate with Alice was a lot fun to experience! From the engaging design of the interface to the actual literary aspect of the piece, Inanimate Alice is another favorite I would chalk down in my elite collection. With that said, I will be breaking down this piece to give different aspects of how I experienced it!

Overview of the readings

Inanimate Alice takes us on the adventures of 14 year old Alice. From the extended version of the elite title, Inanimate Alice (episode 4), that this is not Alice’s first go around! But for this particular episode (which is also the first time I am meeting Alice!)We follow Alice in her new life in England. Through images, audio, clickable activate text, and the conversation we have with Alice. The center point for this piece is watching Alice impress her friends and almost falling to her death! Typical antics of a 14 year old.. But let’s jump into the deeper reflection of this piece.

Deeper Reflection

The deeper reflection I have with this piece is the connection I can make with Alice. Moving to a new area and finally feeling comfortable is such a reassuring feeling, and we get that through the way we interact with Alice. I am trying not to talk too much about the media yet, as I wish to save it for the other aspects of this post. As a 14 year old, the need for consistency and friendship is an essential part of growing up. Alice talks about this as we navigate through her world and the new adventures that she is going through. This piece is kind of like that come of age, in the case of doing the most ridiculous things to impress friends. I choose to skip out on going through the “teacher’s edition, so that I can connect with Alice even more (glad I did that!)..    

Some of the significant textual elements

To be quite honest, all the textual elements were very significant for me in this piece! From the audio, clickable polaroid pics, and the interactive game element had me hooked. To go into further detail, I was a bit curious about what this gadget was that held a vast part of the information. So guess to be more specific, the textual element that I truly enjoyed was the gaming aspect. The first half of the piece gives a back story and walkthrough of Alice’s life. I am assuming there are great details in the previous episodes that also give these details. Having that information was useful and engaging, then being thrown into this kind of navigation game to get Alice out the creep factory safely definitely defined the experience with Alice.  

How I choose to navigate this text

Like I stated previously, I choose to navigate through this piece by choosing to regularly navigate through (sorry for the word jumble). I enjoyed that this piece was both a “traditional piece”, if that is a thing, and a game interface. 

Current Feelings

I just wanted to vent real quick on my current status for this current semester. Even though this has nothing to truly do with the elit piece, I thought this would be a good humanistic feeling to share with you all. This semester has definitely been one of my hardest. I wanted to share this with my fellow elit classmates/audience to shed some light on this feeling, just in case any else is feeling like this. I believe that I am doing my best and trying to produce the best work I can. So this little rant is for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed.. You are not alone!

Posted in Electronic Literature

Icarus Needs and The Hero’s Journey

I would first like to point to the appreciation of the simplest navigation that is this game. This genre of literature for this Hypercomics, where the road goes through a narration of webcomics that solely relies on the reader’s navigation. This game took me approximately 27 minutes to finish. After 10 minutes of playing around with moving Icarus, I started to understand the navigation and goal of the game. The up, down, left, and right arrows act as the controls to move Icarus. The piece is set as a narration quest to find Icar’s love Kit. The navigation is pretty simple after playing around with it. 

Outside of the interface of navigation, I would like to go into further depth of discussing the content of the piece. Interestingly enough, while I was experiencing Icarus’ tale, I could not help thinking of The Hero’s Journey. I learned about The Hero’s Journey as an undergrad student, but I was reintroduced back to it just recently by one of the college students I tutor I work with. Since Icarus is on a journey/adventure to find his love, I thought it would be cool to break this piece down within the steps of The Hero’s Journey!

Breaking It Down

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. In the beginning you set up your hero (or heroine) and his story, then you throw something at him that is a great source of conflict and takes him into a whole heap of trouble. After facing many foes and overcoming various obstacles the hero saves the day and wins the girl.

If only writing a movie was that easy…

Below you can find the 12 steps that make up the Hero’s Journey.

The Ordinary World 

We are first introduced to Icarus as his awakening from the floor of the house is on. He wakes up and realizes that he fell asleep playing the game again. From this, we know the Ordinary World for Icarus is house, and the coach (he fell asleep on).

The Call of Adventure

From playing the game, I realize that Call of adventure seemed more apprean than The Ordinary World (since we first introduced our protagonist on the floor). But nethertheless, The Call of Adventure for Icarus is when he realizes he must find his girlfriend, Kit. 

Refusal of the Call 

I would not necessarily say Icarus refused the call to the adventure (I believe he wanted to find Kit very badly!). I would say he was more so surprised where he ended up and that he had to save Kit.

Meeting the Mentor 

Does the little narration voice guiding Icarus count as a mentor? In my perspective, the narration voice asks as a guide for Icarus (in player mood, the voice kind of gives subtle directions on what to do next.). I found the voice very useful!

Crossing the First Threshold 

Icarus is navigated through a common household, outside, under water, in a blimp … I think the threshold was crossed numerous times.

Tests, Allies, Enemies 

I think this attribution of The Hero’s Journey is what made this piece so engaging. Icarus is put against many obstacles and foes, and it’s our job as the readers to help Icarus! The special literary part of this piece is the literature is found through conversation with the: narrating voice, enemies who after Icarus, items that must be achieved, and the search to find Kit. Who said video games can’t teach reading?

Approach to the Inmost Cave 

This portion of The Hero’s Journey is displayed when we are being chased towards the cliff by the angry mob (he stole the mud ball). This where he finally finds Kit.

The Ordeal 

I would say the biggest ordeal at this point in Icarus is when he is falling out of a hot air balloon.

Reward 

Icarus’ end reward was finding Kit (even though it seems as if she is saving him in the end).

The Road Back/Resurrection 

There was not too much of these two portion of the journey that was evident in Icarus.

Return with the Elixir

Icarus finally awakes from his dream and learns… to never sleep while playing the game!

Overall Experience

I enjoyed the entire experience of this piece! I would arguably say that this is my favorite one!

Posted in Electronic Literature

Motions & Connected with Pieces of Herself

The Emotions Experiencing Motions

For this week’s blog post, I am going to share my experiences of the elit piece: Motions. I will first talk about the navigation of the site:

Navigation

This elit piece was pretty easy to navigate through. I used my laptop to navigate through the piece, so I only needed your arrow keys to go back and forth through each page. The audio was a great concept in putting sound to setting. The audio was uncomfortable and kind of weird (alongside the images). The text itself was pretty easy to read and follow along, like a narrative. The way the images would appear in an order then in the next page with no order, puzzled me at first. But as I navigated through the rest of the site, I began to understand its purpose. The story is portraying the “journey” into child sex trafficing, the unknowning of where it will lead the children to.  

Emotions felt throughout the experience

Even though the multimodal were great to experience, the general message of the piece is a sad reality. Throughout the piece we are given snippets of different ways on how human trafficking circles, internatioanlly. Sadly, many people are given false hopes and dreams that by living in that lifestyle, you will be able to survive. The image below snapped for the elit piece really hit home because I truly enjoy getting my nails done. Obviously this does not apply to every person of asian descent that does nails.. But this short passage makes you take it into consideration:

Connected with Pieces of Herself

Navigation

The navigation of this site was really cool and interesting to mess around with! The drag and drop option of the pinup doll reminds me of the online game dress up I would play as a 10 year old (I can’t quite remember the name of the game)! But nonetheless, it was really fun to go through the day-to-day routine of feminism. It took me about four pass-throughs of the site to completely understand the navigation of the click and drag option (oh the fun of discovering/experiencing elit!). The navigation takes you to several day-to-day settings of the average person (but with a fminism/female perspective). 

Emotions felt throughout the experience

I was able to personally connect with this elit piece, as sharing the commonality of identifying as a female. The most interesting aspect that took to me was during the scene of the church. The music that played in the background alongside the baby fetus (that was a bit creepy). But the song that was playing is a song I would sing to my residents at the nursing home! Interestingly enough, I am just realizing this song is addressing the aspirations of a girl dreaming to be a beautiful housewife. Below is a youtube video of the song:

Overall Experience

My overall experience of this piece is that it was great to interact with this piece; audio, click and drag, multimodal. It was also interesting to experience as a female and comparing/contrasting my day-to-day life of what the interactive piece presents.

Posted in Electronic Literature

Breaking Down Bots

Hi fellow lit scholars! In today’s post, I will be targeting Kevin’s assigned text  “Bots”. This electronic literature is from Volume 3 in the Electronic Literature Collection and is primarily made up of a mini collection of pieces centered around setting of Twitter. With that, I decided to break down my blog in the format of a series of questions presented in Dr. Zamora’s last class blog post. Below you can see the break down of how I answered the questions:

What are some of the significant textual elements?  

Some significant textual elements from BOTS is the use of the social media handle twitter. Even though each mini collections has its own theme that makes it unique, 

How did you choose to navigate these texts?  

I choose to navigate through each piece in the mini collection by opening up the live twitter action made by each BOT. I did not go in any particular order, I just clicked and looked most interesting to venture into.

What visual, sound, interactive elements left an impression?  

Since there are 12 different parts of the mini collection, I am going to do a quick breakdown of the ones that were most intriguing to me!

@TinyCrossword: The visuals that left an impression on me was the crossword images. The main aspect of the crossword puzzles tweeted is that the answers are simple and easy to find. This is a great interactive tactic to connect people (I actually started following the account!)

@everyword: This one is particularly my favorite due to it be something like the “twitter encyclopedia”. The project is done between 2007 – 2014 and has a book that you can buy a alongside the tweets! http://www.instarbooks.com/books/everyword.html. The imagery within the site the host book is very playful and bright (two things I really like).

What overall effect do these texts create?  

Twitter in itself is such an engaging communication application, so seeing it being used in this manner is pretty easy to navigate. The tweets within each mini collection has their own theme of the text (bots being the main controller of the tweets).

What themes and symbolic language emerge in navigating the text? 

The themes I see in the emerging language is the use of bots in twitter feeds. As I said before, the navigation was pretty simple, due to twitter being one of the main mediums being used within my MA program.

What is literary about the text?

I am not sure exactly how to answer this (seems like this my theme for every #elit blog post), but isn’t that what electronic lit is all about? The literary aspect I see in this Elit is the language being used to distinigsh each account from one another. Again, I am not to confident in my answer.