Summer eReading: This Is

Link to the "This is"Our Summer eReading series continues with a creative work, this time by e-lit author Alan Bigelow, whose works can be found at webyarns.  Bigelow’s piece “This is” includes one of the many divergent adaptations of Jeremy Hight’s ‘missing’ short story “Ethan has nowhere to go.” You can read more about that project in Potomac Review and see more permutations in Unlikely Stories, which includes versions by  Aaron Avila, Scott Davis, Keith Higginbotham, Alexandra Naughton, Jason Nelson, Vera Lucia Pinto, Johansen Quijano, Anastasia Salter, Matthew Sherling, and Brian Vann.
The transformation of Hight’s work from one artist to the next in the electronic literature community demonstrates the collaborative interplay of artists as they re-imagine each other’s works and draw inspiration from each other’s innovations.  Meanwhile, Bigelow says he’s developing another webyarn for later this summer (called “Life of Fly”), which, fortunately for us, means even more Summer eReading!
Medium: Internet-based HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript work for laptop, desktop, or portable devices.

Project Description:

“This Is” explores the intersection of interactive media and storytelling by its use of a classic print-based interface (which is interactive and triggers each new “page”) and also its multimedia elements–representative of historical periods in the development of story-telling–and their juxtaposition against the contemporary narrative played out in the foreground.

“This Is” is an “anti-story” in the sense that although there appears to be a completion of the “plot” in a conventional sense, there are no clear representations of the elements of fiction as one would normally see them in a traditional, print-based work. From the beginning, once we navigate past the visual template of a print-based story (which has been archetypally represented by its basic word components), we see the “characters” of this story are in rebellion against their author. Our intervention determines to what degree we see the conflict of the “characters,” and how that conflict is resolved, or not; these interventions provoke the “characters” into movement and further personal expression via their individual text torsos. In the end, their fate is triggered by our interactions: we create the ending, and by doing so, we become the author.