This constraint based fiction writing project focused on Twitter’s 140 character limit as well as a 24-hour period for performing them in social media, inviting and incorporating participation from others. Her artists’ statement provides
It took the discipline of Twitter and the tyranny of the 140 character rule to force me to cut stories to the bone. I have attempted to do so without utilizing much in the way of abbreviations, so common to Twitter but that make some tweets difficult to read and resembling a foreign tongue to those unfamiliar with it. Where possible I experimented with omitting punctuation, like quotation marks and non-essential commas. I suspect that social media is, indeed, influencing English usage greatly in this regard––I see evidence of it everyday in my students’ writing. With the space I am allowed, I have tried to achieve what Brautigan did so elegantly in his work over 30 years ago: build conflict, create character presence, offer catharsis and surprise––and I hope capture for those of us living today a sense of what it is like to live in the 21st Century.
This narrative hypertext work about the final season of an unfruitful marriage is divided into two parts, six sections, and 30 lexia to deliver the equivalent of a short story into a structure associated with poetry. The numbering of the lexias, as well as the primary interface offered to read them (depicted in the image above) which presents them sequentially numbered on a single scrolling column draws attention to each group of sentences, creating emphasis where needed. The language itself is pure prose poetry, with alliterations underscoring important moments in the poem, such as the title, taken from the emotionally and verbally resonant last sentence in the poem.
On the occasion of the Electronic Literature Organization2012 conference— a biennial event that brings together some of the best scholars and artists in the field— curator Dene Grigar and co-curator (and conference chair) Sandy Baldwin put together a Media Arts Show worthy of the attention of the e-lit community and the rest of the world.