Media Inquiry 2: YHCHI

In Electronic Literature, Hayles writes that the work of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries “moves toward the spatialization of temporality” (p. 126) and that the “embodied response, machine pacing, and transnational semiotics…all contribute to construct the relation between text, body, and machine” (p. 127).

What exactly does Hayles mean, and why does it matter? Hayles is describing Nippon, but her analysis could just as easily be applied to Young-Hae Chang’s digital poem Bust Down the Doors!, the subject of this media inquiry. With this assignment, we’ll attempt a tentative response to Hayles’ theory.

(1) First, read and reread Hayles’ section on the body and the machine (specifically pp. 120-130, but you’ll also want to skim her section on “embodiment,” pp. 102-120). Study Hayles’ essay until you have at least a general sense of her argument about the coevolution of bodies and machines.

(2) Now, read/watch YHCHI’s Bust Down the Doors!. Be sure to watch the whole piece; while it may appear to be a continuous loop, each iteration of the initial “template” is different. There are seven variations of the original version, which you’ll see if you watch the piece long enough.

(3) Pick any two of the iterations and use those two as the foundation for your analysis.

(4) Analyze how the music and movement and pacing of text in Bust Down the Doors! work together (or in tension) to establish a new — and perhaps unsettling — relationship between the text, the computer, and your own body, according to the terms Hayles talks about. Be sure to consider what role the shifting pronouns in each variation play in creating and destabilizing this relationship. Use specific examples from the two iterations you picked to support your argument.

Your analysis should be concise and to-the-point. There is no need to begin your inquiry with a lofty introduction. Dive right into your analysis of this dynamic between text, body, and machine in Bust Down the Doors!. The inquiry should be about 500 words long and is due in class on Thursday, October 23.