Our Cupidity Coda - Mez Breeze
Mainstream Virtual Reality has yet to embrace poetry in any robust fashion. Our Cupidity Coda is a Virtual Reality Literature experience that seeks to address this imbalance through the injection of poiesis into the spatial. This VR Literature work is an allegorical poem deliberately designed to emulate conventions established in early cinematographic days (the silent soundtrack, white on black intertitle-like text, parallels to Kinetoscope viewing) so as to echo a similar sense of creative pioneering/exploration. The work is designed with a particular density of language, and employs Mezangelle, a type of English language and code melange: "mezangelle is primarily based on hybrid words. Like the portmanteau words invented by Lewis Carroll or used in James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake, it dissects and recombines language and stacks multiple layers of meanings into single phrases. Beyond that, it is an Internet-cultural poetic language deriving much of its tension from incorporating formal code and informal speech at once. Its base construction qualifies it as hypertext on a morphological and grammatical level. It is not syntactically fixed and is in continuous artistic development. mezangelle mixes English, ASCII art, fragments from programming language source code, markup languages, regular expressions and wildcard patterns, protocol code, IRC shorthands, emoticons, phonetic spelling and slang. It is a polysemic multi-layered language that remixes the basic structure of English and computer code through the manipulation of syllables and morphemes. Like the related Codework of Jodi, Netochka Nezvanova, Ted Warnell, Alan Sondheim and lo_y, it bears some resemblance to hacker cultural 1337 / leet speak and Perl poetry. Through its semantic and syntactical layering, mezangelle achieves an aesthetic effect of altering words and letters from discrete, digital units into fluid, quasi-analog information. This fluidity and flow corresponds to its artistic use in email postings." - Mezangelle Wikipedia Entry
The subtle use of Mezangelle in Our Cupidity Coda echos the themes of dislocation and communication breakdowns evident in the work, as does the audience agency involved – if experiencing the work on the desktop, the audience must twist and turn to read all aspects of the text, and in a VR space, this kinetic-based interaction is even more pronounced. As such, Our Cupidity Coda is designed to be experienced multiple times in order to unstitch its poetic denseness. It’s a slow burn work for those that click with it.