A long and strange wander/wonder (ings)

The final assignment is relatively easy.  Answer the following questions:

What insights (both practical and theoretical) have you gained into the poem/poems that you have studied? What have you learned (both practically and theoretically) about hypermedia?

Lets play with these both. As I find it so very hard to separate the two these days. The two being poetry and hypermedia, and days being time, or the artificial measurement of the earth spinning. They say the earth is slowing down, and days millions of years ago were half of what they are today. So perhaps early humans lived to be hundreds of years old, simply because everything was so much faster. But I digress. Yes, yes I do.

Back to the original point. When I think of poetry I think of interface and movement and sound. Words are always attached to navigation and color and image. So both questions (and in fact it appears all the questions posed here) are great friends, separated by long distances and speaking different languages. But again a digression.

First…I find I don’t read as much print poetry as years past. I am perplexed by this. Is it because I have become a self-obsessed ego maniac only interested in my own odd creatures (a real possibility). Or is it because poetry, I am proposing, has or will or at least should make the very nature and important transition to the hypermedia format. But if we say poetry will soon be e-poetry, then where is the basis? How do we decide what is an e-poem, a digital poem, a moving and evolving poem, a game poem and what simply is a digital creation we like. Is everything poetry? This is not a question I can answer with any authority. But I do find that when I create new artworks, many suggest they have seen nothing like them, and that they elicit the same responses and emotions and confusions that most good poems elicit. What that means is I consciously think of my artworks as digital poems. I think of creating poetry through these varied texts.

I think what needs to happen, and one of the things I have learned from Epoetica, is we need to develop bridges. We need to find ways/methods/forms which entice and encourage people/artists/writers/poets to translate their ideas and poems into simple digital forms. We as artists/e-poets are creating these islands, these strange and wondrous creations, which people can visit, but cannot emulate, cannot find ways to create their own islands. Each backyard is a small island, so how can we encourage more backyard e-poems, to make an e-poem as clichéd and accessible as print poem has become?

Perhaps these are all questions which should be answered by Epoetica 2. But more on that later.

 What have you learned (both practically and theoretically) about your own work (creative and critical)?

As far as my work, I had a very interesting discussion recently regarding my PhD confirmation (a 30 page document to prove I can be a PhD candidate). The external supervisor/judge suggested that my PhD was a theory free zone, that I was all practice. At first I agreed in that my PhD is mostly creative work, with an exegetical section describing that work. But while I was working on the PhD confirmation document I was also considering Davin’s epoetica. And it struck me. Why must the theory be somehow separate and removed from the artwork/poetry? And why must e-poets attempt to “ground” their work in a theoretical framework? To me the very nature of creating a digital poem has the theory built into the process and creation. Additionally the notion that a poem must be dissected and analysed also becomes muddled when considering e-poems. Therefore I think one result of Epoetica has been for me to rethink how I write about my work, and to try to find method of writing theoretically that emulates how the work functions. And at the same time, leaving , what is a very new and haphazardly growing field, without rules, without any strict idea of what is and isn’t a digital poem. Eventually we will need to explore and establish this. But for now, I would suggest we simply encourage poetics in the digital realm. Offering more examples than directions.

Oh crap that completely goes against my previous comment about creating e-poetry forms to act as bridges between the print and digital realm. Maybe it is this conflict, this conflict between that which is established and that which is fleeting, between the words and the multi-media. Maybe that is where the digital poem lives.   

What have you learned (both practically and theoretically) about your colleagues and their work?

In short….I want to find ways to encourage others to make more e-poems. There are far too many digital theorists and not enough digital poets.

What about epoetica worked well?  What didn’t?  How would you improve this process?

As Lori suggested, I am overjoyed that Davin has taken up e-poetry as one of his many and diverse interests. Mostly because he is the most intelligent and honest and creative person I know. What didn’t work is cross communication. I don’t feel like I know who the other people are, and don’

t feel like I communicated with them. Perhaps next time we should explore other techniques like forums and messengers and other formats. Also we need more games, more playtime. Maybe even a dispersed writing concept where we load our writing into all the various public places/spcaes on the net where user entered content is allowed.

More on this soon.