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Electric Lungs by Newton Garner

It is okay to consider this a game. It is okay to consider it more. It is okay to consider it less.

When I first came up with “Electric Lungs,” I had given it the subtitle “a Breathing Poem,” but I removed it because I felt that giving it that would dampen what I hope “Electric Lungs” will one day become for me. I don’t want to tell anyone what this project is or what it should be to them, so the more I reveal, the more I feel that I am going against its spirit.

I considered it a poem, but at no point have I ever felt like I was an author. I now think of myself as a curator of the spaces within it. The movement through the areas, the choices the viewer makes are all reminiscent of elements one would find within any standard choose¬ your ¬own adventure game, but I actively disrupt that.

The reason I do is because I am trying to create a dialog between myself and the viewer, the text and the space on the screen, and the choices made with how they are anchored in the space of the viewer’s mind.

I wanted to create something that would mirror how the mind works. When you hear a word, any word, your mind automatically processes it and a drop down menu of associative thoughts pops¬up. Your reaction accesses one of these, and further menus come up. That’s gross simplification, but that’s how I wrote this project and why my authorship felt void.

Though I am responsible for where the viewer may go, what they may consider a viable option, the writing became automatic for me and thus shifted the narrative accordingly. When I was unable to continue in one area, I’d flesh out another. That’s the “Lungs” of the process ¬¬ a constant expansion and contraction of thoughts.

“Electric Lungs” stems from the transition between ideas and is manifested in the shifting of the pages. It invites you in, but waits for your response.