Digital Fiction: “Clearance” – Andy Campbell

Andy Campbell’s website Dreaming Methods showcases some of his fictional narratives that integrate digital media like film, images, animation, and audio. This combination results in challenging but engaging reading experiences that explore the subconscious mind and the deterioration of memory. The preview of his project “Clearance” is atmospherically compelling, creating a haunting setting for the “story.” The text floats, dissipates, and entangles itself with animated graphics. It wasn’t written in a linear fashion with a beginning, middle, and end. The author incorporates spontaneous word fragments, bits of animation, photographs, diary entries, interviews, etc. that represent the protagonist’s jumbled thoughts. Campbell detailed about his website at a seminar at the Institute of Creative Technologies on January 31, 2008. He noted that each work was not typed into a word processor but rather was written directly into the software program. Campbell also states that he felt like he was “shoving writing into a food mixer.”

This style of literature is definitely far from the usual. The reader immerses himself or herself into the visual story, but what is actually taken from it remains abstract. The “proper” way to read the work is open to interpretation. The merging of literature and digital media can be useful, but in this case, it seems to have more of an aesthetically appealing effect rather than educationally beneficial.

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