“Deal With It” Meme by Matt Furie and You

Deal-With-It-Skateboarding-Cat-Gif“Deal with it” is a meme based on a popular phrase or expression that uses image macros and/or animated GIFs as a snarky response when someone else notes disapproval, most frequently used online forums or social networks. This meme is characterized by an image of an iconic person, celebrity, or event, accompanied by the descending of sunglasses upon the subject’s face and revealing a caption which says “Deal with it.”

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“10:01” by Lance Olsen and Tim Guthrie

Screen capture from"10:01" by Lance Olsen and Tim Guthrie. Black background with a picture frame that has the image of a theather with the audience getting to their seats and others sitting down. The audience are silhouttes in complete black colors.
Open “10:01” by Lance Olsen and Tim Guthrie

10:01 is a hypertext novel set in a movie theater during the ten minutes running up to the screening of the film. The text was published in 2005 in The Iowa Review Web. It consists of the image of a darkened cinema where black silhouettes sit in various rows. This image serves as one of the possible ways to navigate the text. By clicking on a figure, we read from one to five texts, each of them advancing the narrative. The text can also be navigated by using the time bar, but the reader does not feel constrained to read it chronologically. Each of the characters has its own story, which is told by an omniscient narrator that has access to their innermost feelings, hopes, fears and desires.

Even though critics like Alice Bell, Astrid Ensslin and Hans Rustad describe it as a “Web-based version of Olsen’s print Novel” (Analyzing Digital Fiction, Routledge 2014), the authors state in the credits that: “A print version of 10:01 that complements rather than reiterates this hypermedial version is available from Chiasmus Press.”

The novel is built using a combination of HTML and Flash, which allows video and sound when required by the story. The sounds represent a particularly significant contribution to this work, by setting both tone and pace. The text also presents hyperlinks (although some of them are broken) which alternatively illuminate or complicate it. The brilliancy of this work resides in the shifting tone, from harsh and critical to satirical and funny. If you would like to know how a real shrunken head ends up in a cinema in the Mall of the Americas, you should read it. You might also discover that “America… is a land of excellent pies.”

"'America' she said into the microphone, 'is a land of excellent pies."
“‘America’ she said into the microphone, ‘is a land of excellent pies.”

Featured in The Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1.

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“Pieces of Herself” by Juliet Davis

Juliet Davis pieces of herself
Open “Pieces of Herself” by Juliet Davis

Davis portrays her view on theories of how women are seen in society by using pictures and interactive digital media. “Pieces of Herself” uses a drag and drop interface by using a dress-up doll which gives readers opportunities to customize their exploration of the poem. The character is portrayed as a kind of dress-up doll that appears on the left side of the window, while readers visit the woman’s house and discover different items to place on her. Every time something is placed on the dress-up doll, it triggers an audio clip and a short, looping animation that remains on the doll. The fact that we cannot remove any of these animations is a comment on the irrevocable layering of experiences on a young woman as she is shaped by the world that surrounds her.

As you explore the poem, notice the speaker’s tone when describing the scenery. What importance does the phrase bring to the poem’s context? Colors and images emerge as the mouse clicks on the interface, and each one has a special meaning to the doll’s life. Consider the small visual and aural parts of the work and search for the meaning of every sound individually and as it combines to produce a complete artistic experience.

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“Frequently Asked Questions about ‘Hypertext'” by Richard Holeton

Frequently Asked Questions about "Hypertext" by by Richard Holeton
Open Frequently Asked Questions about “Hypertext” by by Richard Holeton

One should not allow the tone of “Frequently Asked Questions about ‘Hypertext'” mislead us into thinking that it is just a parody. The opening poem “Hypertext,” composed of seemingly random words arranged in three tercets, acquires meaning through the explanatory notes that are hidden in the different hyperlinks. And each of those hyperlinks might offer new insights, that become wilder and wilder as the reader picks up new meanings and explanations in the context provided by the hypertexts. The words, naturally, are not random. They are a series of permutations and anagrams of the word “hypertext.”

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“Útero portanto Cosmos” (Uterus therefore Cosmos) by Agnus Valente and Nardo Germano

Screen capture from "Útero portanto Cosmos" (Uterus therefore Cosmos) by Agnus Valente and Nardo Germano. Black background with three grey dots in the middle and two lines of grey text, one at the bottom, the other at the top. Text:"Utero" "Cosmos"
Open “Útero portanto Cosmos” (Uterus therefore Cosmos) by Agnus Valente and Nardo Germano

According to its author, Agnus Valente, “Uterus therefore Cosmos” is a kind of work in progress developed during the years 2003 to 2007. In this project, several e-poems created by Valente and his twin brother, Nardo Germano, explores the expressive and conceptual potential of the World Wide Web. “Uterus therefore Cosmos” brings together in one digital environment, works by visual artists, poets and musicians from different eras. Valente proposes a dialogue between his poems authored with his brother and the work of brazilian poets and visual artists.

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“When You Reach Kyoto” by Brian Kim Stefans and Geniwate

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Open: “When You Reach Kyoto” by Brian Kim Stefans and Geniwate

This collaborative work is built using Geniwate’s (Australian writer Jenny Weight’s nom d’ordinateur) “concatenation engine” and Stephans’ images and text. This “page space” is a computational upgrade to the cut-up, because in addition to randomly joining lines of verse, it cuts them further and places them in different positions of the page, creating multiple lines and readings of the same text. The gorgeous oversaturated images of urban and natural landscapes serve as a backdrop for an explosion of letters in different font sizes and lines of free verse, all of which serve as links to the next piece of the concatenation. The sound clips are nowhere nearly as pleasant as Brian Eno’s “Burning Airlines Give You So Much More,” which has a line that inspired the title of this poem, and perhaps some of its postcard-like visual design and conceptual language choices, such as the frequent use of “you,” “she,” and references to writing.

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“Of Day, Of Night” by Megan Hayward

“More Real than Now” by Jody Zellen

Screen capture of "More Real than Now" by Jody Zellen. Legs of people walking are shown in black, while letters (specifically "what is now...stasis...") are in white, and the street / background is gray.
Open “More Real than Now” by Jody Zellen

This video poem is built from a dual juxtaposition of language and image and an image with itself. A steady stream of language scrolls horizontally on the screen in a manner suggestive of a news ticker providing a prose poem that uses grammar and the window size to offer a sense of the line. This creates a disconnection between the line we read now and the one we read a few seconds or a minute from now: it is the same line, but we are witnessing a different portion of it. The way the work handles the images is similar. The window displays a portion of the image, and then moves (or does the image move?) so the reader can see different parts of the photograph. Interestingly enough, a semi-transparent snapshot of the original view moves along with the window, emphasizing the disconnection between the initial and current perception of the piece.

Now read the poem, keeping in mind how it meditates upon the past and present of urban spaces, and our perceptions and changing relations with both.

“Tomorrow’s News Today” by Jody Zellen

Screen capture from "Tomorrow's News Today" by Jody Zellen. Collage of images arranged vertically, one next to the other in a black frame that has four lines of white and red text beneath the the image collage. Text: The lines are too small to be read.
Open “Tomorrow’s News Today” by Jody Zellen

This responsive multimedia poem is built from several objects that work together to critique how news is reported and received in print, images, and television. She uses JavaScript to produce a scrolling poem composed of 40 newspaper headlines, each with a link that opens a tiny pop up window with an image that one needs to make interpretive leaps to relate to the headline. The Flash object presents a slices of grainy television images sliced into vertical strips while two text-to-speech voices read news sound bites— television’s equivalent to a headline. Depending on where the reader places the pointer, loudness is assigned to a male voice on the left speakers or a female voice reading on the right. The voices read the same looping text, seemingly in the same order, but starting in different points, and are synchronized to almost take turns, though there are overlaps. Both the scrolling lines of text and the spoken words reveal a prosody of headlines and sound bites: the rhythms of the news.

Conceptually, this piece echoes Ezra Pound’s famous quote “Literature is news that STAYS news” and William Carlos Williams response:

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
		yet men die miserably every day
				for lack
of what is found there.

 

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“Inanimate Alice Episode #1: China” by Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph

Screen capture from "Inanimate Alice Episode #1: China" by Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph. Polaroids displaying Chinese businesses, locals, roads, and landmarks over a black background. Text: "We're in China, far up north."
Open “Inanimate Alice Episode #1: China” by Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph

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