Looking at three very different sources to learn about something is very challenging. Of the three sources that we were to look at, Leonardo On-line is the only one that I have never heard of so I spent more time on this site searching what it is about and why I would trust it as a reputable source for information. My expectation was not very high as the layout and cluttered site with very small font was an immediate turn off for me. Being a peer-review journal for art, technology and science gives it a very specific niche for digital art. The articles that I read over didn’t really define what Locative Art is but more how it is used in everyday ‘digital’ space and the potential effects it has on the people it touches.
Wikipedia has always been a double edge sword. A good rule of thumb when dealing with Wikipedia is to check out the cited material and never use it as your only source as some of the pages can read like illogicopedia. Wikipedia gave a good general overview of what Locative Art by combining it with Locative Media is with some examples to give me a good start in my search.
With WorldCat being a University Library I knew I would get a broad spectrum of returns that would have to do with art in public spaces and uses. Though I was surprised to only receive three returns but they covered from Ancient objects to Digital art.
Audra Mann | @WSUVcollegeMom
“Electronic literature, generally considered to exclude print literature that has been digitized, is by contrast “digital born,” a first-generation digital object created on a computer and (usually) meant to be read on a computer. “(Hayles) In other words, it is still print literature but it is modified to become electronic literature by computer programs. With digital technologies, electronic literature thoroughly integrated with printing literature to make new inputs to literature field nowadays. “Shy Boy” is great example for electronic literature and it is a poem that is created by computer with digital production. “Shy Boy” was very early production for Thom Swiss. Collaborating people underneath poems is his work but he’s not a programmer; he’s a language person. He tried to put a team of people to work on single pieces or group of pieces. For “Shy boy”, he used to capture the ideas, which were inside of his head, then he contacted to one designer and one editor. At this point, they worked as the team as combined all their pieces of work together to make new production. Also, “Shy Boy” had soft music that got along with the video and the way that the words were disappearing and appearing. “Electronic text remains distinct from print in that it literally cannot be accessed until it is performed by properly executed code. The immediacy of code to the text’s performance is fundamental to understanding electronic literature, especially to appreciating its specificity as a literary and technical production” (Hayles). With the print literature, we can’t have this process that make the document is more interesting like electronic literature.
Of the three electronic literature pieces that I viewed, I would have to say that Ad Verbum would be the one I choose to evaluate. First of all, Ad Verbum is a piece of interactive fiction (Par. 10) that relies on word play and other strategies in order to beat. This work is classified as interactive fiction because of it’s high reliance on it’s game element in order to progress the story. This work is not one that relies on art but rather narrative (Par. 10). This piece is a prime example of digital born work. Hayles claims that ““Unlike a print book, electronic text literally cannot be accessed without running the code. Critics and scholars of digital art and literature should therefore properly consider the source code to be part of the work, a position underscored by authors who embed in the code information or interpretive comments crucial to understanding the work.” In this case, Ad Verbum would not be able to run without the use of code and if it could be used with code, it could not be fully utilized i.e. one would not be able to experience this work fully without being digital, “a first-generation digital object created on a computer and meant to be read on a computer”. Ad Verbum itself was created on a computer and must be experienced as such. This piece of interactive fiction is a digital-born work because of it’s reliance on the digital aspect of it’s nature.
Not only is it literature but it is also digital art because of the way it is presented. You not only read the poem about a Shy Boy and how he see and feels about himself but see a visual representation of the emotional state he is trying to convey. What makes this digitally born is that the authors would not have been able to present it in this particular way without its origins starting in the digital world.
Being a bit of a geek myself I always look at the source code of web sites that interest me so I can see how they did it. One of the first things that I noticed was that the code used was very minimal. I was expecting to see a huge amount but it is ten lines of code. The active part of the poem, a .swf file that is used for vector graphics, is stored on their server and does not activate until a user clicks on the ‘enter’ link.
As stated in Hayles’ Electronic Literature: What is it? In chapter three part of the genetic material to be born digitally is to have code embedded and part of the interpretation process. We read this in paragraph six:
“Unlike a print book, electronic text literally cannot be accessed without running the code. Critics and scholars of digital art and literature should therefore properly consider the source code to be part of the work, a position underscored by authors who embed in the code information or interpretive comments crucial to understanding the work.”
Audra Mann | @WSUVcollegeMom