Week 2 – Electronic Writing – Mike, Megan, Rob, Rhys, Ali & Becky

Media Specific Analysis

What is it?

  • “MSA attends both to the specificity of the form…and to citations and limitations of one medium in another” (Hayles 69)
  • “materiality should be understood as existing in complex dynamic interplay with content” (Hayles 71)

Why is it useful or important?

  • “digital media have given us an opportunity we have not had for the last several hundred years: the chance to see print with new eyes and, with that chance, the possibility of understanding how deeply literary theory and criticism have been imbued with assumptions specific to print” (Hayles 87)
The Experience of Reading Digital Texts

Shelley Jackson My Body, A Wunderkammer:

My body is a wunderkammer

  • How important is the map? Is it like a front page? Or a table of contents? Should we press the back button to anchor our reading in the map?

My body is a wunderkammer hyperlinks

  • How does the colour of the hyperlinks impact upon how we progress through the narrative?

Michael Joyce Twelve Blue:

12 blue

  • How does the ease of navigation impact upon our enjoyment of the text?
Other Digital Texts or ‘Hyper-Texts’

Donna Leishman RedRidinghood:

Red Riding Hood

Interactive Music Videos:

Arcade Fire – ‘We Used to Wait’Arcade Fire video

  • Interactive video built in HTML5, requiring Chrome
  • Use of Google Maps – entering your address creates a “personalised” video

Shelly Jackson, Skin:


  • Project begun by Jackson in 2003
  • Called for 2095 volunteers to have one word of a story tattooed on their body
  • Only these volunteers know the whole narrative
  • “From this time on, participants will be known as “words”. They are not understood as carriers or agents of the words they bear, but as their embodiments. As a result, injuries to  the printed text, such as dermabrasion, laser surgery, tattoo cover work or the loss of body parts, will not be considered to alter the work. Only the death of words effaces them from the text. As words die the story will change; when the last word dies the story will also have died. The author will make every effort to attend the funerals of her words” (Jackson, http://ineradicablestain.com/skin-guidelines.html)



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