Taking inspiration from Zak Smith's illustrations for each page of Gravity's Rainbow, and bearing in mind the distinctively networked textuality of House of Leaves, this mediation invites you to contribute images, video, audio, text -- pretty much anything that can be shared on the web -- to add to a public platform for collating these items: amillionbluepages.net . Working with students at several other institutions (and anyone else who feels like contributing), our goal is to create at least one item for every page of House of Leaves, hopefully several items per page.
An "item" for the purposes of this project is anything that you can create and share via Tumblr, Instagram, Vine or Twitter. While these platforms' affordances may be suggestive of the kinds of things you can create (images, for example), note that a photo of a 3D-printed sculpture is, to Instagram, still an image. In other words, you should feel free to create just about anything that you feel responds to, clarifies, interprets, remixes, illustrates, juxtaposes -- whatever verb you like -- the content of a specific page.
What to make
All told, you should create 25 of these items: one page per chapter (there are 23 chapters in The Navidson Record), plus one from the front matter and another from the back matter (appendices, index). I'm being deliberately vague about what sorts of things you might create, but among the things you produce you must include:
- At least one image
- At least one video or animated GIF
- At least one text
- At least one audio
- At least two item that you create in collaboration with someone else (a remix counts)
These last two items might be a coordinated project or it might be a remix of someone else's that has already been uploaded. If you do create a remix, add the tag
#remix wherever you upload it.
Uploading your content
When you have made a thing, share it via any of the aforementioned networks and include with it two tags:
Where "123" refers to the page number you're making an item for. You may include other tags as needed.
#afterbooks, for example, would help us follow material generated by those of us in this seminar.
Save copies of each item you create.
Write a brief statement (no more than 1 page) reflecting on your project and noting any themes you developed or any insights into the novel that your work led to. Discuss the key decisions you made: which platforms, which modes, what relationships to the source material or to other items posted in AMBP. Discuss how the process of creating these items changed your relationship to this text and what the process reveals about you as a reader.
Create a .ZIP folder that includes all of your items and your reflection statement and upload that here where I will grade it.
Excellent work is that which is engaged, transformative, challenging, creative, influential and that can articulate thoughtful discoveries about one's own processes and texts. This will earn an A on this assignment.
Poor work is that which is that which is incomplete, perfunctory, obvious or trite. This will earn a D or lower.
Your work is likely to fall on the spectrum between these two extremes.
Reflection Instructions (Revised 3/10/14)
The inconvenience of snow days and Spring Break have now given us some time to reflect on the project. While it's meant I had to change the schedule a bit, it also means that the reflection or rationale statements I'm asking from you might be a little bit more productive or valuable. To prepare yours, please use this Google Document as a template to write a brief account of each of your 25 items. For each chapter:
- Tell me what page you chose.
- Provide a link where I can find the item you created (a URL)
- Provide a rationale for your choice (a sentence or two is fine)
In that rationale, you might explain why you chose that page, what your work communicates about that page, what your work reveals about the book or about you as a reader of that book.
When complete, upload that document here. If you've already submited files for this assignment, just hit the "new submission" button.
A NOTE ON APPROPRIATED CONTENT:
I feel like I'm harping on this point, but I feel I still need to point out that there is a difference between making something and uploading it versus finding something on google and linking to it. The latter is appropriation, and while that can be done creatively, if it is done without acknowledgement of your source it is an honor code violation. If you appropriate something without permission, it might be illegal as well. The fact that Tumblr in particular makes it easy to do this does not excuse your legal or ethical obligation. Your rationale statement is your last chance to account for your use of non-original items, and if you fail to do so properly, I will not give you credit for that item.
And when I say, "account for," I mean that in regard to two considerations: 1) US copyright law, and 2) the expectation of this assignment, which pretty clearly direct you to create something. Again, appropriation can definitely be creative, but for that to be effective and legal, you have a responsibility to be clear about what you're doing.