Reconstructing Mayakovsky

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Description (in English): 

Inspired by the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky who killed himself in 1930 at the age of thirty-six, this hybrid media novel imagines a dystopia where uncertainty and discord have been eliminated through technology. The text employs storylines derived from lowbrow genre fiction: historical fiction, science fiction, the detective novel, and film. These kitsch narratives are then destabilized by combining idiosyncratic, lyrical poetic language with machine-driven forms of communication: hyperlinks, "cut-and-paste" appropriations, repetitions, and translations (OnewOrd language is English translated into French and back again using the Babelfish program.) In having to re-synthesize a coherent narrative, the reader is obliged to recognize herself as an accomplice in the creation of stories whether these be novels, histories, news accounts, or ideologies. The text is accessed through various mechanisms: a navigable soundscape of pod casts, an archive with real-time Google image search function, a manifesto, an animation and power point video, proposals for theatrical performances, and mechanism b which presents the novel in ten randomly chosen words with their frequencies. Following in the tradition of Russian Futurism, the site adopts a "do-it-yourself," "art-in-the-streets" aesthetic that privileges ready-made code, found media objects, and thought and language games over high-tech wizardry.

(Source: Author's description from Electronic Literature Collection, Volume Two)

Technical notes: 

Requires a live internet connection to function properly.

Contributors note: 

Graphic Design Animation/Manifesto: Pelin Kirca

Music for animation: Itir Saran

Web design: Cloudred Studio, NYC

Research Collection that references this work:

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Scott Rettberg