Amy Klemm ENGL 871 Dr. Sherwood
Critical Analysis Presentation
Electronic Literature,Chapter 4 "Revealing and Trasnforming"- Hayles, Katherine N.
Overview/Questions/Analysis:
"This chapter elucidates the further a framework in which digital literature can be understood as creative recursive feedback loops among embodied practice, tacit knowledge, and explicit articulation" (Hayles, 131).
-Having the connection between mind and body, between the techincal vocabulary of a piece and understanding how these works engage us as readers is important. This chapter strives to show digital literature works that explain what it means to be a human in an era overwhelmed with computers and technology everywhere we turn.
-Things to think about: how do we mostly communicate these days? How often do we have face-to-face conversations vs. those through electronic mediums?
"I propose that (some of) the purposes of literature are to reveal what we know but don't know that we know, and to transform what we know into what we don't yet know" (Hayles,132).
-The example of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu illustrates through his work with the northern African people Kabyle, that found that the people of this region structured their lives around the placement of their "haibtus," to borrow his word, and that it is passed down through generations without words. In fact, to write it down changes it meaning.
-Important point: To know something in the body is not the same things as to know it in our conscious minds. Some examples of this are the differences between seeing someone type and learing how to type ourselves (I tend to type dsylexically), or knowing how to do something, and explaining it to someone else (how to swim, bike, ski).
-What this could mean for us: As future teachers, are there any things that we are concerned about how to teach even though we know them ourselves?
-Key term: "technological nonconscious" Literature through a digital medium is more intense because it has "greater cogniive abilities and interactive potential" (135).

Hayles has two propsitions: "verbal narratives are simultaneously conveyed and disrupted by code and the second argues that distributed cognition implies distributed agency" (136).
-This first proposition is reminiscent of "12 levels of the internet" piece that we read where one challenge was to stop all the pop-ups. Another piece that we read for last week, "Lexia to Perplexia" showed the intermingling of words and code. This is representative of things we ecounter in our every-day lives like ATM's that won't work, dropped calls, websites that are down, text messages that won't send, even literature for this class that won't work on our specific computer systems.
-The second proposition works on the notion that things are physically formulated for users that affect the way in which we interact with them on a techinal level. The example she uses is of her mouse, where her hand rests comfortably and she knows that with a click of the button she can open and read text, creating a habit that leads agency out of her hand and into the machine she is operating.
Examples of what she is referring to:
-William Poundstone's Project for Tachistoscope. Fig on pg. 141 -The tachistoscope was originally a slide projector that flashed images to fast to every be recognized on a conscious level, but were more like subliminal messages. Words flash in a black script with an underlying white images at a fast pace. The effect is to make the reader struggle to follow the text while also struggling to understand all the signifiers that accompany the text. This text, like the ones we read for this week cannot be controlled by the user to slow the text or stop at a certain point. What do we make of this type of digital literature? Is it frustrating in any repsects, does it make us pay closer attention, or do we simply let it play while we half watch?
-Millie Miss's Sundays in the Park. Fig on pg. 143 -Read through the lens of Garrett Stewart Reading Voices: Literature and the Phonotext where he poses the questions what makes literary language literary and also not only how and why we read but where? By clicking through the piece, text that makes no sense become words. "wee puns" becomes "weapons" etc. By having these words also read by two female voices, Hayles argues that "channels are opened between embodied processing and conscious thought in ways that enmesh human perception with machine cognition, language with code, continuous analouge speech with digital processing" (145). Is the auditory inclusion something that adds to a piece of digital literature? What about a voice reading the words versus a "soundtrack" of sounds that mimic the text?
-John Cayley's Translation. Fig on pg 148 -Cayley works with what he calls "transliteral morphing." His literature explores the analogy between binary code and alphabetic languages and uses algorithm to change text. Inspired by Walter Benjamin and Marcel Proust. He uses print work and makes it a time-based digital reproduction by changing letters and by showing the phonemic and graphemic relationships.

-Hayles conclusion in this chapter is that computation does not only belong to computer software and programers, but it is now a partnership between artists who create pieces, the programmers, and those of us who read the pieces as users that explore things that we might not even consciously know that we know. Do we agree or disagree with her point? Can we see this partnership already existing?