Archive for January, 2010

Yet Another Example of Digital Storytelling (?)

So I cannot take credit for finding this on my own, though I did have to do a bit of research to find it again. Last year, I believe Spring semester of ’09, Dr. Whalen did a Thursday poems reading of “Agrippa: Book of the Dead” by William Gibson and “Faith” by Robert Kendall. They are both very different and yet related. “Agrippa” ( I won’t bother to explain it here as Wikipedia will do a much better job for you) is a fascinating use of technology to me. If you’ve never heard of it, seriously, go read about it, and read the poem. It’s really cool. To create something that will ultimately destroy itself? Especially when what your using is supposed to last possible forever? Mind-boggling, genius, AWESOME. Even the actual printing of the poem was with ink that would fade after every exposure to light, ultimately disappearing. I’m not sure if anyone reading this blog was there that day, but it was a tense moment when Dr. Whalen opened the file (he had actually acquired a copy of it) because if it didn’t open properly or something went wrong, we would not be able to read the poem. Granted it has been transcribed and put up on the web, but not as cool as seeing the scrolling text go by, knowing that you can never get it back.

The second poem, “Faith” (which you can see here) is different, but related. It uses technology to play with the words on the screen, and perhaps alter the readers ultimate interpretation of the poem. As someone who reads/writes poetry,  this is an interesting new direction, and I wonder if there will be more pieces like this in the future. I believe if you look up animated poetry or kinetic poetry you can find a few more examples like this.

I was inspired to look these back up because I am planning on incorporating poetry into my “storytelling,” and as I am still grappling with what that will ultimately mean in this class, as I am also grappling with basically everything else (I thought I had a handle on the internet and computers until TBJG got involved) I want to explore options. Perhaps this might give some other members of our class some ideas too.

Published in:Uncategorized |on January 28th, 2010 |3 Comments »

A Polaroid for Every Day.

I thought I would post this as it seems very closely related to Digital Storytelling, though it may not have started out with that intent.

A few months ago I read an article online that linked to this website:

It consists of a polaroid photo of (almost) every day in an unknown person’s life from 1979 to the photographer’s death in 1997.

It’s strange to be able to go through all these pictures of 18 years of someone’s life. Not to mention to watch a person go through a battle with cancer:

A marriage:

Know where they were the day you were born:

And witness their death:

This stranger’s life has been put up on the internet for anyone to look at, to experience. Ten years ago I would most likely have never been able to see something like this, but now, I merely made a few clicks and found this site purely by accident. It’s a mind boggling thing to know that if we really wanted, we too could have our life stories here, for anyone to read, with thousands of strangers feeling almost as intimate with our family and friends as we do. What a simultaneously jarring, thrilling and disturbing thought.

More information about this project can be found in the blog listed below, as well as in the Wikipedia article on the photographer.

Published in:Uncategorized |on January 26th, 2010 |6 Comments »

Thoughts on Thursday's Reading and Discussion

Like many of my generation, I’ve grown up using computer’s and the internet. Using a computer is practically second nature, and the extensive and ever expanding capabilities of the personal computer is something I’ve taken for granted mostly. Reading the Goldberg and Kay article, though it was published before I was born, has made me think a little more deeply about those prospects. Though it was somewhat difficult for me to wrap my head around what Kay and Dr. Gardner-Campbell were saying about technology and computers being “tools for thinking about tools,” I think I did manage to take a few things away from that. First is that technology is very frustrating, in that it has limitless capabilities, as long as people are cognizant of that fact and work towards achieving these capabilities. However, many people aren’t aware of this. It reminds me of when I saw a TED video of someone who had turned a Wii remote into tool that transforms a TV or ordinary white board into something similar to a Smart Board. I mean, how many people ever thought they could use their Wii remote to do that? It kind of blew my mind. I think that’s a similar concept to what Dr. Gardner-Campbell was trying to get at.

I also loved the part in the Kay/Goldberg article that talked about the children designing their own programs. What an ingenious idea. Children are really the best people to think creatively;  they aren’t hampered by preconceived limits or ideas of what is possible. I wish I had been involved in that study!

Published in:Uncategorized |on January 19th, 2010 |2 Comments »