Individual Work
Beckett's Bounce

"Beckett's Bounce" is a Web-based digital fiction that uses Flash animation software to rapidly produce a series of short phrases placed via sideshow frames to form a short fictional story concerning a poet's encounter with a cab-driving version of late author Samuel Beckett. Projected in sync with musical backing, and relying on a stark and minimal production which utilizes a Monaco font and a black and white design. The pacing of the display and alterations in the color scheme play a significant role in its reception. "Beckett's Bounce" is created by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (YHCHI), an artist collective comprised of Marc Voge and Young-Hae Chang who are based in Seoul, South Korea.

The utilization of Beckett as a subject of focus for the fictional story has a great deal of validity for the YHCHI approach to web literature. Beckett himself was fond of the complexity of a constantly flowing narrative in his creative works which would work at a breakneck, monotonous pace in order to place a demand of the audience's attentiveness, most overt in his later works of fiction such as Company. A great deal of this is perhaps influenced by his fascination with 20th century artists who honed their craft in trades that applied visual-narrative such as silent movie pioneer Buster Keaton and cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller. As such, the structural and technical additives performed by YHCHI, with its incorporation of animated slides that have a fixed rate of duration of view for the span of the story, would arguably seem as a format choice that would intrigue Beckett himself, in regards to its technical aspects for being a piece of literature for readers to engage and attempt to navigate.

Of some considerable note, “Beckett's Bounce” does not actually embody the true 'stylistic' preferences of Beckett himself as tribute to him. Much of Beckett's later fictional works can be characterized by the reliance upon recitation by anonymous narrators, varying from the 1st, 2nd or 3rd person perspectives and marked by a strict adherence to the recounting data which may or may not directly concern them. “Beckett's Bounce” text relies instead upon a first-person narrative of a much more traditional and less omniscient perspective. However the digital-text's reliance upon the visual pacing performed by the animation allows for connectivity to the Beckett-style of narrative pacing. Furthermore, while content is not comparable to Beckett's own, the visual with its sparse appearance does maintain some connectivity to the ultra-minimalist approaches within Beckett's late-period literary and theatrical works. The result is that the utilization of animated text doubles the thematic role of this fantasy Beckett as the narrative structure of the text, through both the visual presentation and the animation's rate of progression is able to visually perform as a homage to his literary style.

Just as the narrative of "Beckett's Bounce" becomes informed by the speed of the images showcased, so does the musical soundtrack; a jazz track with an irregular tempo and florid instrumental lines to which the dialog frequently synchronizes the appearance and progression of new words in the text alongside. The results are varied; narrative pacing within the sequence seems controlled and tethered to another rhythmic element which allows the audience to register the pace of the narrative and keep themselves alert to progression in the visual arena through sonic cues, and the added sensory presence of the auditory in a non-literary format allows for a constant stimulus which may result in a perpetually unstable reading experience that can disorient and challenge the reader or in fact provide an extra-ordinary sensory experience when compared to a non-digital literary work.