Talan Memmott’s 2003 work Self Portrait(s) [as Other(s)] situates itself within an art historical context by presumably introducing the reader to self-portraits of artists from between 1756 to 1954, allowing the reader to simply click through what might conventionally pass for a mundane educational presentation.
According to its author, Agnus Valente, “Uterus therefore Cosmos” is a kind of work in progress developed during the years 2003 to 2007. In this project, several e-poems created by Valente and his twin brother, Nardo Germano, explores the expressive and conceptual potential of the World Wide Web. “Uterus therefore Cosmos” brings together in one digital environment, works by visual artists, poets and musicians from different eras. Valente proposes a dialogue between his poems authored with his brother and the work of brazilian poets and visual artists.
The André Vallias digital poem ” A Encantação pelo Riso” is inspired by Cubo-Futurist poem “Invocation by Laughter” published in 1910 by russian poet Vielimir Klebnikov and translated into portuguese by Haroldo de Campos in 1985. The original poem presents a new semantic system based on the words decomposition and phonetic experimentation resulting in a work with a strong sonorous appeal.
This kinetic collage poem is built out of text by Soderman and quotes from eight pieces written by theorists and writers whose work reflects upon the nature of writing in spaces other than the printed page. Cut into lines and blocks of text, each of these textual portions are anchored or set adrift in a “page_space” designed by Soderman to allow them to move and rearrange themselves into new textual combinations. In addition to encouraging readers to click on texts to get other quotes from the same source, Soderman places several objects into the space that trigger different events, such as a book that stops the textual movement when clicked. The behaviors triggered by each of the objects remind the readers of how configurable the space for digital writing can be by enacting some of the concepts brought forth by the quoted writers.
This creative engagement of the potential Soderman saw for digital environments to radically reconfigure the interface of a page led to his 2005 Page Space experiment.
This multimedia hypertext narrative published by Eastgate Systems integrates media as well as genres, combining video, games, music, voice recording, and poetry. While not purely an electronic poem, its deployment of language is certainly e-poetic, displaying lines of text that hover in strategic parts of the screen when triggered by readers exploring the images placed before them with a mouse or touchscreen controlled pointer.
The way Hayward cuts her writing into lines of verse, even when following the phrasal and rhetorical logic of prose is an example of how the incorporation of language into multimedia digital environments moves towards the poetic. This partly accounts for the strong correlation between concrete and digital poetry: they are informed by the use of language in graphic design, but with artistic rather than commercial goals.
The video documentation linked to above leads to further short videos, which make a compelling argument for purchasing the work and experience it firsthand.
This narrative poem is a fascinating type of hypertext because instead of having five primary nodes from which to follow linear threads it uses a layering interface for navigation. The reader, instead of clicking on links, scrapes away at images to reveal an image beneath, and can continue to scrape away until she reaches the end of that narrative thread. This allows readers to reveal more than one layer at a time, as pictured above in a screenshot of three layers in the introduction.
This scheduled poem is built around a quote from James Elkins’ 1999 book, The Domain of Images, in which he analyzes the blurred boundaries between images and writing. In this quote, he is focusing on a piece by Chu Ta (also known as Bada Shanren) in which a Chinese character is written / drawn in way that it can be simultaneously looked at as a flower and read as a word. The conclusion of Elkins’ analysis of this piece seems to have provided inspiration to Bell:
Visually, Bell is overlaying different typographical expressions of the same quote by Elkins: one in a serifed font and another smaller one in a sans serif font. Close attention to the differences between the two fonts, reveal how painterly serifs can be. The line breaks are also different, cutting prose into poetry. The scheduled presentation of this piece is used to add layers of formatting, such as italicizing the book title, or adding lines of color, or a handwritten text at the bottom of the window.
Bell is adding a few brushstrokes to the text, making it his own.
var m1 = " Conjuring: beauty, health, self-improvement. ";
var m2 = " Love and Romance. ";
var m3 = " Magick between dawn and sunset. ";
This piece is one of those rare examples of e-poems that exhibits the same textual behaviors as a print text— purely static— yet is created through such a creative engagement with the medium that it merits consideration as e-literature. Its visual design is evocative of both programming conventions (particularly the practice of numbering lines of code) and of green monochrome monitors. The numbering of its lines and stanzas, with two notable exceptions, obey a simple formal logic yet add programming texture and structure to the poem. The cluster of 10 lines beginning with “x01,” each of which is divided into four columns breaks the numbering pattern, simultaneously offering a visual structure that could be read as lines or columns. This is framed by two identically numbered 2-line stanzas (010801 & 010802) which contain different texts but are formatted on left and right hand margins of the window.
Is this some sort of a glitch? Is it meant to jolt us into attentiveness?
Perhaps there are clues in the text itself, which is admittedly difficult to parse.
This literary game which can be equally used to create prose and verse is a tribute to the Surrealist parlor game known as the “exquisite cadaver” and the paper-based Mad Libs created by Roger Price and Leonard Stern in 1953 (for more details, read Montfort’s introduction to the Literary Games issue of Poems that GO). This program originally created in Perl allows people to create texts and tag words to become “dreamfields.” When someone blindly fills in the dreamfield, it reconstructs the text with the reader’s input. Hilarity ensues.