This poem by Jhave about the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster considers how humanity becomes extinct by destroying the environment so thoroughly that the world and we become unrecognizable. The speaker’s characteristically concise, witty, emotionally charged voice points out the attitudes, loss, and processes that bring about the end of man(un)kind. After reading the 27 short parts of the poem, hovering over beautifully desolate videos, Jhave inserts a little mutability into the poem, a slow accumulation of random words replacing words randomly, increasing by a factor of one word substitution per mutation level. The image above shows the title with a level 2 mutation, while the image below shows mutation level of 20.
This poem is divided into 6 parts, each one a 4-line stanza that asks or answers a series of questions “in a wired way,” providing the linguistic text of the poems in a way that provides a traditional counterpoint to the presentation. This poem is “wired” in several ways:
This “tiny tale of tourism between bodies” is a poetic narrative about an alien being that teleports into a human body and what ensues. This poem is structured into 123 lines and 121 background images with titles, and allows readers to play through the work on a fairly rapid schedule or use arrows to navigate from line to line, image to image. Clicking on the screen repositions the text, which may allow readers to move the text to a more readable space on the photograph, but otherwise doesn’t seem to contribute much to the content.
For this piece, Bigelow uses the most famous pangram in the English language, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” to structure a poetic narrative hypertext. Each letter contains a piece of a story about a relationship about to change, expressed by means of a poetic line that moves in meaningful ways over a brief looped video background. Not wishing to reveal more about the story, I will just say that Bigelow deftly maps the story onto the pangram several ways: chromatically, graphemically, allegorically, and cinematically.
This Webyarn frames an argument between husband and wife about having children. The wife wants to keep trying, while the husband doesn’t seem to want children at all. The piece is structured around a wedding: its imagery (cake, dancing, food), vows, institutions, and symbols. The surface of the text responds to the reader’s mouseovers, rewarding exploration by triggering multiple layers of language and musical phrases in short loops. The circularity of the wedding ring structures the poem as the argument goes round and round the topic, replaying sounds, images, words, and their movements. A small cluster of squares slowly gets colored in a non-linear sequence near the bottom of the window, suggesting the passage of time for this relationship, yet the questions continue throughout. Will this disagreement ever get resolved?
Aleph Null (2011) marks Jim Andrews’ return to open source work since he shifted to Macromedia (now Adobe) Director in 2000. His earliest works were written in DHTML between 1997-2000, a highly creative period in which he found his “voice” as a poet and programmer of electronic literature with works like “Seattle Drift” and the “Stir Fry Texts.” The limitations of DHTML at the time prompted his move to Director, which allowed him to develop highly musical and visual pieces, such as “Nio,” “Arteroids,” and “Jig Sound.”
Warning: be very careful with making assumptions about YHCHI, because just when you think you have figured them out, they switch things around on you and surprise you with a twist on their deceptively simple style.
In the iconic text animation style of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, the finished work will tell a story of a futuristic city, dreamt up by participants using the animations they develop in the workshops.