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iBunk takes on iWorld at WRT: Writer Response Theory




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iBunk.gifThe online hypermedia humor mag Bunk Magazine (http://www.bunkmag.com) has published a new issue, iBunk, taking up an iTunes/iFilm/iNfinitum theme. To this end, the magazine has a spiffy new iLook and a host of iContent that suggests that its iEditor is done with his dissertation.

In this issue the content, you will find:

  • Celebrity Playlists (Sauron, Harry Potter, Thomas Jefferson, the Donald and more)
  • A novel: beginning of serialized novel Sex, Revenge, and Insanity by TV’s Scott Odom
  • Live White Guilt, a blog from abroad by Dustin Stevenson
  • iStory: Encrypted Lovers by Mark C. Marino
  • Copyfight Humor: “Your Songs in Stock” by Remy
  • Short Films: “22 Short Films about Grammar” created using Lionhead Studios video game “The Movies”
  • Bunk-O-Forms, picture mashing website (http://grouchhouse.com)

Of special interest wrt Electronic Literature:
The iStory can be downloaded and installed on iPods using iPodSoft’s iStory beta software. Christy originally blogged about iStories a while back. (More iStories can be found on the Mad Studios website. Both “Encryped Lovers” and “Your Songs in Stalk” satirize the digital copyright quagmire.

“22 Short Films about Grammar” uses the Lionhead Studios software, “The Movies,” to create educational videos for teaching composition with computers, picking up the baton that School House Rock left behind when it dropped out of educational TV to produce Hentai.

More than just appending the prefix “i” to every word, this issue uses the iTunes Store interface as its model, playing on the apple applet-cum-portal idea, the music player/surveillance equipment/ecommerce home page.  Such interfaces blur the distinction between off and on the web as they also collapse information and entertainment content (from users and commericial producers) with produce sales and distribution.  This is an amalgam that is endemic to the web, perhaps most notably on a site such as Amazon with its plogs.

By making your music player the portal, iTunes changes our relationship to the online content that it delivers.  The same interface you use to search your own libraries becomes the means to purchase more music or to receive advertising about more music.   Contrast this mix with Microsoft Word, for example, an application which does not try to sell you more papers (at least not yet).  What interests me here is the move away from thinking about the executable as something that will operate on my system apart from the network to something that is part of the commerical community of perpetual information exchange.  

That’s not to say that programs do not typically access online content.  (My crashing programs keep offering to send reports back to Microsoft.)  However, the iTunes interface repackages music, internet content, and even my own files within its own slick grey window in a way that even my browser window does not seem to do.  It embeds a lower-case “i” in the content of my life.  This seems, and I don’t mean this as a slam, very Mac. 

Bunk has been producing its own brand of offbeat hyper-humor since 1998. Begun by Alan Laser and myself as a pyramid scheme, the magazine continues to use Flash to needle the President and others.

In the coming days, I will blog about some of the specific pieces in this issue as they apply to WRT matters.

Some notable past features include:

Submissions are always welcome. Priority given to Bunk-flavored satire and hypermedia works.




4 Responses to “iBunk takes on iWorld”

  1. 1 Christy Dena

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    Just finished watching ‘22 Short Films About Grammar’ and Remmy’s ‘Your Songs in Stalk’. Loved them! Hilarious. I loved the grammar movies (though some had sound probs). Very, very funny and clever.

    I also loved Remmy’s stalk piece. It relates to a situation I’m dealing with at the moment. I’m signed up to an online interactive drama (in Australia) called PSTrixi. Part of the work is SMS, which I signed up for. They cost 55c (AUD), so about US$1 to receive!!! Well, I’ve got a pretty good idea about the work now and don’t want to keep receiving the SMS messages. So, I followed the instructions and sent the STOP message via SMS. I received SMS notificiation that the service has now been stopped. Then I receive another SMS from the work (game). So I call up the help number, that refers me to a section on the website…which doesn’t exist! So I go back and leave a message with the phone service. Next day I receive another SMS from the game. The SMS is so cheerful, but just like Remmy’s messages, it is uninvited correspondance. And now, after watching your grammar films Mark, I foolish event talking to you. Look at how many errors there are in this comment!

    Anyway, congrats on the issue. I wish I had had enough time to contribute too!

  2. 2 Mark Marino

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    Christy,

    Thanks for all the support. I look forward to your future posts on PSTrixi. I love your SMS story! It is certainly a 21st-century absurdity.

    Keep in mind that character in the Grammar Films is not truly me. I have no grounds for being a grammar nazi, as my own posts reveal. I needed a protagonist, even a beleaguered one.

    I’ll keep working on the sound. There are a few odd bugs that result from the Movies output processes. It may also be my processor.

    Bunk is always looking for more electronic humor, so please keep us in mind!

  1. 1 The Output-Oriented Game (OOG) — The Movies at WRT: Writer Response Theory
  2. 2 IM Netspeak L33t Fiction at WRT: Writer Response Theory

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