Strange Oceans: Exploring the Interaction Animation and Typography of Digital Poetry

Loh, Cassandra Ann Yuet-Li
Mortensen Steagall, Marcos
Tavares, Tatiana
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Master of Design
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Auckland University of Technology

This practice-led research project investigates the digital medium as a platform for poetry. It examines the design of the digital poem Strange Oceans, which depicts how users socially interact on the Web. Specifically, it explores the application of mouse events, animation, and typography in terms of their poetic effects on the textual content. The research sits within the realms of electronic literature and digital poetry and acknowledges how the digital medium mediates poetry’s textuality and reading experiences. It considers the production of digital poetry that has a lower barrier of entry in terms of their development and reading experience compared to previously proposed generations of electronic literature. Methodologically, the research adopted reflective modes of action research. Through practice, the research produced several exploratory and developmental prototypes for the digital poem through a phased structure of methods. Mouse events, animation, and typography were prominently used as metaphors that supported the poem’s messages, which encouraged empathy for the poet and provided subtextual details to the poem’s narrative. This project contributes to knowledge regarding accessible digital poetry, providing insight into how one could consider the three digital tools individually and in combination to support a poem’s expression.

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