the arrival of the beeBox was presented at the E-Poetry 2003 International
Digital Poetry Festival, which took place April 23-26 in Morgantown, West
Virginia. below are a few images from this event, click each one for a
larger view and a description.
i felt it was necessary to plan the poem in three dimensions. the 3D modelling software i am using, 3DStudio Max, is somewhat overwhelming to the novice. Microsoft Word just wouldn't cut it, however, i had to write in space. obsessed with simplicity, and knowing that curved surfaces often take up too many resources in 3D renderings, i settled on a cube as the basic structure of the poem. besides, the title of the poem is the arrival of the beeBOX, not ...the beeBALL. after i had a draft i was happy with (yes, i wrote the original verses on regular paper, not in space) i copied the 27 verses onto slips of paper and pinned them to the rickety structure pictured below. i arranged and re-arranged the verses, eventually cutting out the three at the interior for practical reasons - it was just too annoying to stick my fingers among those toothpicks to pin and un-pin the verses in the center. i thought that it would be difficult to select and view those verses in the virtual model as well. as could be expected,working with the physical model affected the semantic and syntactic structure of the poem, it also affected how i imagined an ideal reading of the poem would flow. basically, i privelege the surface of the box - verses on top are more coherent, verses near the bottom, where it was difficult to reach, are more chaotic and seemingly disconnected from each other.
|a visual history,
from first attempts up through the penultimate version...
two other 3D poems that i have created:
contract - another 3DSMax/Director "collaboration", most recently presented at the Mini-Digital Poetry Fest @ Bowery Poetry Club in New York, NY November 23 2002.
<ek-stasis> - this was the first 3D poem i made, designed using VRML
the poem is going to be able to roast marshmallows.
but seriously.... i plan to do at least two more versions. one with ambient sound, and another that would display multiple verses when the reader clicked on certain verses: expanding one verse would trigger a string of multiple expansions, showing what verses i believe are related to one another. also, i would love to see this piece as a giant touchscreen. touching verses to trigger expansion and contraction, re-integrating the body into virtual 3D space.... aaah, lovely.
i'm also eager to explore different ways of presenting the poem: a top-down projection illuminating the floor of a gallery; or a projection down onto a large square of plexiglass suspended several feet from the floor.
most interesting of all, i think it would be interesting to enable readers to post their own text into the three-dimensional cubic form. each new poet would get a "plane" of text, accessible when one zooms in on one of the three main planes. fractal complexity - many layers, many surfaces of text.