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ELO 2015: The End(s) of Electronic Literature

The Secret Language of Desire

Megan Heyward (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia) and Michael Finucan (SAE Sydney, Australia)

End(s) of Electronic Literature Festival Exhibition
Wednesday, August 5 • 17:30 - 19:00 (University of Bergen Arts Library)

The Secret Language of Desire is a forthcoming interactive narrative and electronic literature work, due for completion in early 2015. This work is a “born digital” electronic literature app that integrates short textual, micro-narratives with original images, animation, sound and interactive elements which have been designed specifically for the haptic and multimodal capacities of digital tablets, such as the iPad. These include animated and sound sequences triggered by touch, and specific digital “scratch-off” effects in which selected images can be scratched or rubbed off by the user to reveal additional contents.

The micro-narratives comprising The Secret Language of Desire have been written in a condensed, compact format, with each of the stories conceived as a succinct narrative, operating both as stand-alone episodes and as components of a larger intersecting narrative arc. The length of each story varies so that some are ultra-short, even just a few paragraphs of text, while others run longer. This micro-narrative, compact approach seems highly relevant to the digital space; where readers increasingly experience and engage with shorter textual sequences and a more condensed, almost episodic reading experience. Each micro-narrative includes multimodal elements designed to support and extend the hybrid reading experience.

The project also works with the intimate, personal reading experience that is a feature of contemporary mobile, personal digital devices such as iPad’s and other tablets. The Secret Language of Desire is an adult work with mature, erotic themes and textual content, an intimate fictional project written and designed for an intimate personal device. The project has been supported by the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.

All writing, photography, image production, animation, layout, programming and design by Megan Heyward. All sound design by Michael Finucan.


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