A poetic freeway

For my project I was inspired, in fact, by the name of this course. Writing Machines—seeing as I consider myself a poet, I really wanted to incorporate my lyrical skills into this project. This aspect of my project reminded me of the idea that Landow brought up considering “poetic machines” and how they work according to analogy and association. Throughout the course, I’ve realized how much passive interaction is involved when it comes to machines and human beings—my goal in this project is to move away from that. I was also inspired by the website we had to explore for last class: “The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot”.  I wanted to incorporate the idea of interaction yet not have it be one that’s as passive as clicking on links or pictures that lead to different sites. I wanted to use Landow’s idea that technology isn’t merely that which is digitally developed in today’s society.  

            For my project I plan to use a variety of different types of mediums, some of which we’ve come to disregard as mediums (writing) in order to compose a chain of poems that are all interconnected and linked together, although they won’t all be on the internet. I want my project to take my audience’s ideas and opinions into consideration. I will compose a series of poems, all of which are a part of one fluctuating and interconnected story, kind of like Afternoon: a Story , only they will all be written up in different forms of mediums. Think of it as one of those detective stories we all used to read as children, only instead of going on to a different chapter, you’ll either have to go onto a recording I did on tape, a site on the internet, a piece of paper I wrote a poem on, or a video. I wanted to come up with a project that’s almost “hyperinteractive”, if you will. After reading each poem, you’ll have to make a decision based off of your opinion on the poem that will lead you to a different one that will be on a different medium. By the end, hopefully, everyone will have gone through different readings of the story after having gone through different routes in my poetry. My goal is to see how the different mediums and different paths shaped my audience’s idea of the story.

6 responses to “A poetic freeway

  1. Your project fits perfectly with what we have been talking about in class. With projects on the internet, you have to evaluate it through the medium, because user experience with the medium is sometimes just as important as the content itself. Since you seem to be interested in how people respond to your piece, it might be interesting to add a “comment” section to each part of your project so that different readers can see how their reaction might have been different than ones before.

  2. Cool! Way to take the “creative” option and run with it. If you’re interested in combining experimental poetry and multimedia online, you should definitely check out some net art from the 1990s. Well-known examples include Olia Lialina’s “My Boyfriend Came Back from the War” (originally published in 1996, “remixed” by various artists in the mid-’00s) and Mark Amerika’s “GRAMMATRON” (1993/97. Other work by Mark Amerika can be found here here.

  3. This sounds awesome, also i really like how it ties in the themes we’ve been working on in class by incorporating the poetry tradition into this new medium. Is it part of your intention in this work to explore how by producing your poetry in this fashion you are creating a two way street of dialogue between literary traditions and electronic traditions. It would be interesting to see how your “hyperinteractive” configuration of poetry affects your relationship to traditional use of poetry.

  4. Thanks, guys! Jori, I really liked your idea about the comment box. I will definitely incorporate that into my project–maybe in a way that’s involved with my project itself. Would asking you guys to format your comment in poetry format be too much? Rachel, I really appreciate those links. Of course I’ll take them into consideration. Also, you guys, I think I’m planning on using my poetry to talk about some of the stuff we’ve read about. What do you guys think?

  5. Excellent project, Christian, and I particularly like the idea of bringing the form and content of your work together as you suggest in your comment. What I’m curious about at this point is the technological end; will you build this in straightforward HTML, or are you imagining something more Flash-driven? What kinds of interaction do you want, and what kinds of technologies will best support them? I’ll look forward to seeing more!

  6. How creative! I can’t wait to explore your project when done. I also love poetry, though I don’t write much anymore. Your project reminds me of something that happened to me recently. I recently found most of my favorite poems (all in Spanish) available via Youtube and I was so excited. I sat there and explored all the various recommended poems and truly enjoyed finding so many, yet it was frustrating having to navigate through all of these. I think your project will make other poetry lovers really happy. Good luck!