NEW MEDIA POETRY
Ode to a Fallen Dialogue
Participating in the exhibition ‘Platforming Utopias (and Platformed Dystopias)’,
in the context of ELO 2021 Conference and Festival: Platform (Post?) Pandemic
This interactive game-poem is an ode to the struggles of human communication.
It reflects on the hardships of unfortunate dialogues, the splendor of reaching to the other side, the rise and fall of human connectedness, the agonies of stray meanings and words.
Expressed through the poetics of weather phenomena, this conceptually driven interactive work represents the mental landscape between two lovers, sometimes violent, sometimes resonating, a parallel metaphor for the contemporary digitally mediated condition.
Early cyberspace theories referred to an erotic ontology of digital experience. Michael Heim described the platonic dimensions of an augmented Eros. Roland Barthes on the other hand described language as the skin with which we struggle to touch the 'other'. In this game-poem, senses, meanings and ideas appear to be all permeated by the ‘spell’ of technology, a rhetorical as well as an erotic act of mediation through different worlds.
The reader/player is asked to become part of the dipole, to meander through poetic texts and tormented emotions, at times linear, other times bifurcating, while exploring a dialogue ‘atmosphere’ inspired by visual poetry. Endeavoring to reach the 'other side' through the use of spoken language, this piece of work is an affective journey to the tempests of a fallen dialogue.
"Sometimes we make it, sometimes not, this is the melancholy of the human nature."
after Wallace Stevens (1954)
Conceptually driven, this piece of work reinterprets the famous poem ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’ by Wallace Stevens (1954) in an iterative process of thirteen successive translations of the text through the unconventional use of Google translate system in different languages. Through this digital appropriation process, manifold flaws and imperfections of the electronic medium emerge, such as misconceptions, cultural differences, language particularities and diversities from one language to the other, which are deliberately used by the writer in the creative writing process as a tool for structuring a new poetic form, embedding all these qualities and multiplicities of textual layers, concepts and meanings that arise.
Being initially a poem expressing the different ways of seeing and perceiving the world, the metamorphosis of the text in this context adopts a new form which is permeated by the ‘spell’ of technology. ‘Thirteen Ways’ becomes a metaphor for the contemporary ways of ‘being’ in a digital world.
Published in Backslash Lit, online magazine for electronic literature.