• Remixed JavaScript Poem

    Kathi Inman Berens
    Kathi Inman Berens
    Item Type:
    Course Material or learning objects
    DPiH, DPiH Interface, DPih Course Material or learning objects, Open, Tool, Advanced, Student work, Remix, Digital pedagogy, Play
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    Curatorial note from Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Nick Montfort wrote the generated poem “Taroko Gorge” on the plane home from Taiwan as a machinic version of British Romantic landscape poems. Instead of the author-genius crafting memorable verse, Python code instructs the computer to print stanzas randomly selected from words in six variable strings. The generated poem prints one line at a time for as long as the program is running. Once a line is pushed up and off the screen by new lines, it’s gone forever. Montfort ported “Taroko Gorge” to JavaScript so that it would run in a browser, and Scott Rettberg was the first to remix it. My poem “Tournedo Gorge” was my first experience with modifying JavaScript. My poem is anthologized, along with several other “Taroko” remixes, in the Electronic Literature Collection, volume 3. “Taroko Gorge” is a venerable classroom exercise, a high-impact way to teach the culture of code copying and remix and to impart the values of open-access early Web. “Taroko” accommodates all levels of learners. I’ve taught it to students who’ve never before looked at source code and to professional programmers, within the same class. Student remixes have run the gamut, from a sophisticated, panoptic theme with jarring soundtrack and auto-redacting words by Anders Gonzo Gaard, to a mashup of the dueling fictions of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald overlaid on a watercolor-painted image of Zelda by Silje Fossdal, to “Talking Orange” by Brooke Austin: Trump’s words from the three presidential debates recombined into tercets that resemble, in their jumbled but imperative declarations, Trump’s ordinary sequential speech.
    This deposit is part of Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities. Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities is a peer-reviewed, open-access publication edited by Rebecca Frost Davis, Matthew K. Gold, Katherine D. Harris, and Jentery Sayers, and published by the Modern Language Association. https://digitalpedagogy.hcommons.org/.
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    3 years ago
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