Bailey Fernandez on Generating Myth (2017-2018 Five College Digital Humanities Undergrad Fellow)

By Bailey Fernandez

My project was a hypertext digital thesis built in Twine and scored within MAX/MSP. Over the course of the project, I developed a critical/theoretical text addressing how mythic structures can be interpreted in a “generative” way across various platforms. Synthesizing the works of Levi-Strauss, Frazer, Barthes, and Derrida—I created an interlocking web of small essays on the works of William Blake, Snorri Sturluson, and Nick Land. Twine, as a form, presents significant opportunities to the writer and humanities scholar. It allows for the development of nonlinear theses, which one can craft to be read in various orders. My thesis, which emphasized the thought that myth is generated from sensory experience, supported this form. The individual segments (pictured below) can be entered from any order the viewer wishes.  In this form, the viewer is the generator of the text.

Max/MSP, by extension, allows for the creation of music pieces that generate over time. In response to the interlocking theses in Twine, I also created a sonic accompaniment that generates and changes over time. It consisted of two sine tones which start at equilibrium and then gradually “generate” apart from one another. Finally, the organization of the piece emphasized both the similarities and the contradictions between its respective subjects. Since the four papers can be read in any order, and sections of one can become sections of another, they emphasize and highlight each others’ regularities.

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