Porting E-Poetry: The Case of Leonardo Flores, PhD University of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez
Digital Preservation Methods for Electronic Literature• Bit-by-bit preservation of source materials.• Documentation – through image, audio, and video capture of a performance of the work.• Emulation – emulating the original computational environment in another OS.• Porting - translating software from one programming language to another with the goal of producing the same effect in different hardware and software configurations.
bpNichol First Screening • Created on an Apple IIe between 1983-1984 in Apple Basic. • Underwhich edition (1984): 100 copies published in 5.25” floppy disks. • Apple II series discontinued by 1993.
First Screening on Hypercard • J. B. Hohm started working on a Hypercard version of First Screening in 1992. • It was published in 1993 by Red Deer College Press in 3.5” disks. • Hypercard was discontinued in 2004. • Classic Environment not functional beyond Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger), released in 2005.
Emulated version Pros Cons• Most faithful version • Requires installation of• Same source code as emulator on user’s original computer• Emulator simulates Apple • Nichol assumes user IIe operating system knowledge of Apple Basic• User enters visual and • Contemporary users may conceptual space of have difficulty using Apple IIe computers and emulated version. Apple Basic. • Emulators have to be ported • Variability with emulation
Emulated Version of First Screening• Interactions are part of design: – Typing in commands – Constraints and affordances on interactivity – Interacting with and exploring the code – Code poem at the end (coda?)• Code has “voice” and is part of textual performance.• Interaction with hardware is lost in emulation.
Issues with Quicktime Video Documentation• Different digital object: easy to confuse with the real thing because it has the same linguistic text and animation.• Different typography (graphical text).• Different interactivity: – Video controls: play, pause, fast forward, rewind. – Random access: skip around video – Scalable full screen• Incomplete: – Off screen romance – Code poem
First Screening (Hypercard port) Pros Cons• Authorized by Ellie • Hypercard stack Nichol (bpNichol’s changes interface. widow) • Offers customization• Preserves linguistic and options to users: animated text – Animation speed• Extended the life of the – Font work by a decade. • Hypercard is obsolete & emulation is difficult.
REMarks about Screen & Code• Differences between code and screen are significant in bpNichol’s work: – Title “First Screening” evokes computer and film – Early (est?) kinetic digital poem – “Offscreen Romance” plays off of onscreen chemistry and off-screen romance between Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – Code poem is not a kinetic text – Code poem engages REM programming code
Challenges of Translating E-Literature• The work of electronic literature isn’t just what is seen on screen.• Translation should take into account: – Linguistic text: sequence of words – Graphical text: typography, formatting – Interface: interactivity, navigation – Textual behavior: movement, timing, etc. – Code: porting, emulation
Recommendations• Be sensitive to: – Interface, functionality – Graphical text: typography, formatting – Original source and programming codes• Emulate & recreate environment, or• Translate to new environment or interfaces for contemporary audiences.• For preservation purposes: – Produce multiple versions – Make original materials available – Document every decision
¡Gracias! Leonardo Flores, PhD Associate Professor of EnglishUniversity of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez firstname.lastname@example.org I ♥ E-Poetry http://leonardoflores.net