This collaborative poem is composed on a “page space” created by Valdeomillos to explore the signal-to-noise-ratio by placing interface, image, and text in a relation by which they create noise for each other. When compared with his collaboration with Lluís Calvo who provided an image and a text that provided a coherent signal, once one had sorted through the noise, we can see Jason Nelson’s goals to be quite different in its strategies and goals.
This collaborative poem randomly arranges lines of verse by Lluís Calvo over an image in a page space designed to explore its signal-to-noise ratio. There are three types of noise designed into this space: randomized line placement, a window size too small to read all the lines simultaneously, and an image at a zoom level too close to be apprehended. This requires readers to use its awkward interface to navigate the page space on a two dimensional plane, and to zoom in and out to find a workable signal to noise ration in which one can both view the image and read the text. The work is designed to frustrate the desire for a perfect setting, and so the reader must flutter about like a moth drawn to a flame. Calvo’s lines of verse engage the image thematically and are compelling in the images they evoke, all adding up to a surprisingly coherent experience and meaningful interaction.
This collaborative narrative was written by Valdeomillos on a page space developed by Jason Nelson for his poems “Dreamaphage” (the first version) and “Between Treacherous Objects.” This space creates spatial layers with an intuitive navigational interface that allows readers to pan, scan, and move back and forth through layers each of which reveals a portion of the narrative, which is structured by a conversation about memory, photography, past, present, and how much you might know someone that you love. The images, textual arrangements, and layers create clusters of spatially organized language that gesture towards poetry with its lines of verse and stanzas.
Take a look at Jason Nelson’s poems built from this engine and notice how their structure is so different from how Valdeomillos arranges his narrative in this piece, attesting to the versatility of Nelson’s page space.