This report will be introduction to my work with understanding of Electronic literature of photography. The inspiration I got from the project impacted my photo works a lot. I also got idea from my last essay Cyborg and found many interesting points from this project.
While our team members got the project, we decided to create a website for introducing the literary high street. The questions follow with our ideas. How could we bring a virtual tour for people who are sitting at home? After a short discussion, the panorama photo is a basic idea to present the scenes of high street. It can clearly introduce the real environment of high street and the sites.
When I found the electronic literature on the brief, I was very interested in the concept which is discussed by N. Katherine Hayles in her online article “Electronic Literature: What Is It.” I notice that the concept is similar with the Cyborg in some degree.
By the definition:
“work with an important literary aspect that takes advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer.”(Hayles.N.K: 2008)
Our web site also should be a kind of electronic literature. Moreover, The website can introduce the historic sites and relevant articles which based on the print by contrast” digital born”. The description of electronic literature makes me remember the definition of Cyborg that is the essay I wrote at last semester. The Cyborg and the Electronic literature are quite similar situation. Both of them are emerged by following the digital technology and tested the boundaries of traditional definition. The different is Cyborg challenged the definition of human being. Electronic literature “challenges us to re-think our assumptions of what literature can do and be.”(The website of The Electronic Literature Organization: 2007)
As the work went deep, more problems came out. People who are surrounded by modern building might be wondering about the historic sites that are mentioned in books. Are there any ways to performance the historic scene and modern environment at the same time? I used to be a photographer before. When I was thinking the detail of the project, an idea generated from the relevant area jumped into my mind. The history is like a map with several versions. If I broke their boundaries of period to combine them into one scene, there might be a dramatic contrast. The contrast must present readers a different experience of literature. I tried to combine the old photo with the modern scene to present the literature.
The work as below:
This photo is merged with a 19th century image. The interesting thing is both sides have same elements. The woman in black on the left side contrasts with the woman who played mobile on the right side. Woman in different period present their clothing in one scene. The two different cars are very dramatically. One is a carriage might be a modern symbol in that period, other one is a car. It’s quite interested contrast. The image can performance the environment in 19th century to our present users and contrasts the change of period.
N. Katherine Hayles (2007) also mentioned that in the article:” Not surprisingly, then, some genres have come to be known by the software used to create and perform them.” According to her article, it’s not only the website which can be one of the electronic literature, but also the images which combined with old and current part are also a kind of electronic literatures.
I took several photos and made other photos like below:
Cyborg blurs the boundaries between human and machine. Electronic literature makes us rethinking what literature is. They all significantly changed our thinking. So, What is the next? Moreover, I also find a very interested question. If the creature that is half human and half machine is the Cyborg, what should we call the photo that is half modern and half historical?
Note: Photo by Bing Liu
Hayles, N. K. (2008). “Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary”. University of Notre Dame. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
The Electronic Literature Organization, eliterature.org/pad/elp.html