Thank You and Farewell to DH306

DH306, New Media
Hamlet's "To Be" Soliloquy Remix'd

Hamlet’s “To Be” Soliloquy Remix’d

Part of the reason I maintain this blog space is for my regular coursework for Marylhurst’s English Lit & New Media program. Over the past six months, however, it has grown into something I look forward to doing–both for the sake of sharing with my cohort and also with the general public who find their way here. This last term, Digital Writing has been showcasing projects I created for my Digital Humanities class, DH306, which has been an absolute blast to be involved in. The other members of my cohort each run a similar blog where their own work lives, and together we’ve created a wonderful network of creative digital portfolios. I wanted to take a moment and direct you to their pages, and let you know if you’ve found my blog helpful or interesting, you’re only scratching the surface.

We believe education should be open-sourced, and available to all, and so the process of our cohort in this major lives online, able to be viewed by anyone who wishes to learn alongside us. This is only the beginning.

Final Project – Hamlet’s Soliloquies: Remix’d

DH306, New Media

Title PageFor my final project for DH306 I created an interactive eBook with remixed versions of Hamlet’s famous soliloquies. Each one was deformed using the experimental “cut-up” method, and includes an accompanying mind-map breakdown. The book is available for free download here, though you will need an iPad and iBooks 3.0 or higher to view it. Images are interactive, and buttons are included to view the original soliloquies at any time.

To view the book, download from the link above, then add it to your iTunes library. Add the book from your library to your iPad and enjoy.

Final Project… *Ahem* Round Two

DH306, New Media

So my original idea for my final project, I now realize, was vastly over ambitious for a two week window to complete. Add to this the two days of fever, a five day migraine (irony!), and throwing my back out, and I’ve decided to switch gears to something more concise and achievable.

One of the things I found most interesting early in the term when we were exploring the Digital Humanities was the idea of “deforming” the humanities, or remixing them. House of Leaves of Grass was a great example to me to how previously “completed” works could be appropriated into new forms, and thus continue on with new life. Not only does this create a “new” work, but it also shows the original in a new light. So, with this in mind, I’m going to work on some kind of series or gallery of works that I will deform into something new. My connecting theme will be Shakespeare’s works (haven’t quite narrowed down which ones just yet). I thought this would be appropriate since many of his most famous plays were themselves “remixed” from earlier folklore or less refined versions, not to mention his Sonnets have already been deformed into genetic material itself. I’m hoping to try to create some interesting visuals using text from the source material (think word trees, wordles, etc) while adding some of the wonderful aesthetics we explored during our House of Leaves section. I’m hoping for happy accidents, which is almost always the case when remixing.

All occurrences of the word "madness" in Hamlet.

All occurrences of the word “madness” in Hamlet.


Final Project Idea: The Empathy Machine

DH306, New Media

So for my final project for DH306 I’m planning on creating a fictitious product called an “Empathy Machine”, which allows the user to experience first hand the subjective experience of another, thus creating empathy and the ability to love that person. It was pointed out to me by Kathi Inman Berens  that literature often fulfills this role, but I’m taking this in a somewhat different direction, and trying to execute the idea a bit more literally. While I would like to create a flashy, interactive game-like environment for the project, I simply don’t have the skills or time to do so. Instead, I’ll craft some sort of prose-based experience the user can read through. I’ll most likely be employing inklewriter for this, so the user can experience choices and interact with the idea. Accompanying this “demo” of the product will be (hopefully!) schematics and research data explaining the process of creation and the reasons for the existence of such a device.

The Museum of Endangered Sounds

DH306, New Media

I’ve been brainstorming a bit about what kind of multi-media route I’d like to take for my final Digital Humanities project this term. During some late night web surfing I came across a magnificent little corner of Internet called the Museum of Endangered Sounds. The site is an audio gallery of sounds that anyone born in the early to mid eighties will find nostalgic, with sound loops that range from happy childhood memories (the sounds of a NES cartridge being blown into) to ones that used to make us crazy (the good old dial-up modem tones). The project is curated by a Brendan Chilcutt, who is a fictitious mascot created by three graduates of the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter (Marybeth Ledesma, Phil Hadad and Greg Elwood).

Infinite Canvas: House of Leaves of Grass Poem

DH306, New Media

Another exploration of the infinite canvases possible with digital technologies. This is House of Leaves of Grass, a dizzying computerized poem with over (purportedly) one trillion stanzas. It’s another wonderful gift from Mark Sample. My response to the work took came by way of screen captures and a spont-prose poem I read over some fun sound design.

On Digital Chaos

DH306, New Media

This week’s readings, Stephen Ramsay’s “The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around; or What You Do with a Million Books”, and Patricia Cohen’s “In 500 Billion Words, New Window on Culture”, the idea of a more chaotic approach to research is highlighted. The example is made that when once we might have gone to a library, looked for a specific range of books on a subject and then accessed their group, now more than ever we tend to fall into information in much more unstructured and free form ways. It’s called browsing.

House of Leaves Project Explanation

DH306, New Media

keep-calm-and-just-kiddingInspired by a social experiment a classmate tried a few months back, I decided to take the idea of creating an artifact from/about House of Leaves to the next level. Instead of presenting the reader of my blog with a frame of fiction around my piece, I went meta and used the expectations of the blog to lull the reader into a false sense of security that I would then disrupt. Here are parts One, Two, and Three.