The electronic literature I am going to discuss this week are a number of different pieces from Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries. I’m not sure how to describe these pieces other than poetry accompanied by music. However, the words pop up according to the rhythm of the music being played. Most of the time the music is some sort of jazz and can either be fast or slow. Sometimes it’s really hard to read the words because they flash by so quickly, but the media can be replayed over and over again to read any parts you may have missed. One of my favorite examples is Lotus Blossom. It starts with an anticipatory countdown that ends with the start of a jumpy jazz song. The story that accompanies the sounds is about the author meeting a lady who gives him the gift of garbage. As he is standing there holding the garbage bag for her to fill, she tells the author about how she inspired someone to write a book by giving them the same gift. The story is somewhat hard to follow just because there is so much going on, the words jumping around while the music continues. Honestly, I played through three different pieces before I had to take a break. The music and flashing gave me a headache and I definitely do not recommend checking this kind of stuff out if any readers are sensitive about fast flashing lights. I have found that a number of electronic pieces like to use different variations of light and flashing text. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s definitely hard to watch. All-white screens with harsh, bold black text tend to strain my eyes and I wonder if any digital humanists have thought about the effects of being exposed to this kind of flash media over and over again.
Even though it sounds like I’m kind of complaining, I’m really not. These pieces just take a lot of energy to read and listen to. On the other hand, they are definitely interesting. Check em out! (especially the slower ones)