Creation through Destruction

He carves at the “real worldbased in cottages and real social interactions. He carves at the action and what’s left is a flow of words, a dreamlike sequence of what was. He takes away the concrete and fills them with abstraction, through space and visual. Even the images themselves feel “other worldly” and somewhat passive in their use (like the other book is the real action), despite the fact that they are beautiful concrete images. They are amidst the billowing.

It’s like unleashing a new world, digging up the bones of the dinosaur, what used to be, not past tense but present tense (we see it as it is when it was). It is like uncovering the bones and putting them together, but the bones lead you somewhere, like a trail to a place you don’t quite remember, like a distant childhood memory foggy—yet you know—like a dream. I can’t stop writing. I think the author plucked out the words, the bones, he wanted and made them into something like an artist; whether he’s ethical in this, I don’t know, but at least he left the original in tact, like photocopying the words and making fake cut-outs. He’s not destroying the original but maybe adding a new layer on top. Like fresh dirt, but maybe some people think his book is the real fossil. Superficial discovery and disregarding the true fossil beneath. We have plastic bones but they are beautiful.

His cutting out adds new images. There is a certain creation when it comes to word play. The logical linear of prose—a narrative—is wiped away not cut and there is a certain unveiling of fresh language and images as if even the author himself wouldn’t have been able to come up with that succession of words.

The cut-up method is to take a linear narrative or a piece of prose, slicing out words and phrases that you want to use and creating something new out of them…It is thought of as a creation, as opposed to destruction.

world based in                                                        interactions                                                                                    a flow

of                                                                                                                                                                                 abstraction  through space

and visual.                        images                      feel “other worldly” and

real                 ,                                                     beautiful                     images                          amidst the billowing.

new world, digging up                                                                           to

see                                                        like uncovering the bones                                                    ,         the bones lead you somewhere,

to a place you don’t quite remember,                                                                           foggy                                like a dream.

writing                                                      out the words                                                      made                into


new layer                   Like fresh dirt

.                   discovery                       regarding the true                               .                  Plastic

but               beautiful.

new images                                                                    come to                  play. The logical                      prose

is wiped away                and                                  unveil                    fresh language and

succession of words.


of                       thought                creation,                               destruction.

While the paragraphs above were written about Tree of Codes specifically, through the cut-out method, I was able to expound–and expand–meaning from the prose, reaching many ideas about digital storytelling itself. While I had big points I wanted to touch on in my explanation of the class (the ideas of searching and uncovering this new world and new images, the layering effect), I went through the process of cutting organically, letting the words speak to me and teach me through the act of creation (something that Jonathan Safran Foer speaks to in his afterward). My cut-out spoke to this “new world” that is digital storytelling, another dimension of our own world layered atop of it. It is “a world based in interactions,” as I found; we are not passive bystanders with digital storytelling, merely scanning the a flat page, unaffected by its language. Instead, we are bombarded with sensory perceptions–sound, visual (sometimes moving/blinking/colored) text, background images or video. Sometimes we even have to “play a game,” or be a participant in the story. I likened the process to “uncovering bones”–many times the bones/snippets of information and knowledge are scattered and in disarray. It is not our job, really, to put together the pieces into what once was (a dinosaur), but to let them lead us somewhere else, this other dimension. Furthermore, while digital storytelling (computerized/digitized games or stories) can make people feel as though it is some abstract message or story (even plastic or superficially created), in fact it is merely another layer. It does not seek to destroy what else we have, but instead intends to add to it fresh images and modes of storytelling. Creation through the destruction of preconceived notions and adherence to the “norm”–creation through pushing boundaries, into the realm of the unknown.

~ by khughes80 on April 7, 2013.

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