This hypermediated hypertext suite of poems make excessive use of background images, animated GIFs, and messily redundant code to render them deliciously unreadable and inviting. Bell weaves a dense mesh of lines, background images, and code to produce surfaces that are difficult to read at times, making us wonder if he’s aiming for felt rather than the finely stitched fabric of verse. Bell’s lines are witty and full of wordplay, non-repetitive reiterations, alliteration, and an inviting awareness of his strategies and questions. Follow the links to discover many other poems, in some of which he has the design audacity of using animated GIFs as background images.
This still image from “Adrift” at its most unreadable uses the GIF as a way to bring up awareness of programming code, formatting, and the cultural context he engages in his poems.
I wish I could offer a way out of some of the design and readability challenges Bell sets before us by sending you to the source code, but even that is demanding because each line is formatted anew and all the redundant tags (even for late 90’s HTML) makes it even harder to read.
But it’s worth reading.