Hyperrhiz 09

Tunnel Vision

David Gruber
City University of Hong Kong

David M. Rieder
North Carolina State University

Citation: Gruber, David and David M. Rieder. “Tunnel Vision.” Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, no. 09, 2012. doi:10.20415/hyp/009.g04

Abstract: Tunnel Vision is a "cybertextual" interpretation of Mark Strand's poem, "The Tunnel." The project, which uses open-source motion-detection software in conjunction with a standard webcam, uses the position and size/force of a user's movements to effect the way in which the poem is presented. When the user moves, h/er movements make visible sections of the poem, and as s/he moves, different parts of the poem are presented. When s/he stops moving, the poem disappears.

The combination of a motion-tracking system and original programming, which creatively extends the data from the motion-tracker to the presentation of the poem, is the basis for our allegorical reading of Strand's psychological poem, a poem about the "other inside of us." Whereas Strand's poem is about a psychological fight with an other/stranger, ours is about the ambivalent dynamic that many of us feel with technology-as-other. When a user has to move around, bob their head, and/or wave their hand to see/read the poem, our hope is that they will realize they are acting a bit like the protagonist in Strand's poem, who desperately tries to scare the other/stranger away. (You can't scare your technological other away.. it's always already part of you).

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READ ESSAY: Tunnel Vision: A Cybertextual Interpretation of Mark Strand's The Tunnel