What Is an Interface and Why Does a Digital Poet Care?

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Nelson, Jason
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2016
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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/
Abstract

The navigation, interaction with and exploration of digital content requires some form of interface. It is, in the simplest terms, the element connecting the human to the digital, an extension of the hand, eye, and ear. However, within digital poetry and writing, the interface is more than just a vehicle for content delivery. Instead, the interface is a critical literary component, as important to the creation and reading experience of a digital poem as the texts of words, images, sounds, animation, and code. Depending on the interface developed and how it is utilized, the digital poem changes shape, reconfigures meaning and becomes an interactive and responsive poetic/fictional creature. Since my first digital poem over a decade ago, interface has often functioned as the starting point, the generator of inspiration and driver of the creative process. This essay explores the role of interface in a number of my digital poems and fictions, explaining the origin and literary nature of particular interfaces. Additionally, it reflects on the methodologies for creating and mining code and software, as well as on the techniques needed to give birth to highly interactive and non-linear interfaces, such as game engines, infinite mo­saic generators, and other organic digitally created applications.

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Journal of Theory and Criticism
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23
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Copyright (c) 2016 Jason Nelson. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a licence identical to this one.
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Electronic Media Art
Cultural Studies
Language Studies
Literary Studies
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