The New River is certainly a river off of the mainstream. It’s a collage of digital media, journalism, and writing.
Alan Bigelow creates a unique experience in “Last Words,” which incorporates images, videos, text, and sound to create a collection in which “Ordinary People Speak at the Moment of Death In or Around the New York City Area.” Among them was a woman who bet nobody could outdrink her. She drank 36 shots of tequila in 20 minutes and died from alcohol poisoning, as did her opponent. Allan Bodenko’s last words were broadcast on internet radio, reaching two million plays in three days. He recorded it as a parting gift to his eldest son while chain-smoking in his hospital bed:
he came for me
like a great winter
the cold on my feet
in my hands and chest
where’s the gifts i asked
where’s my toy train
his breath sighed in my face
“Opacity,” produced by a number of individuals, is in four parts and is interactive. In the description it says: “We live in an age of obsession with transparency especially in politics and business. But in our personal relationships, what is the point of being transparent to oneself and to others? The following interactive narrative commends a kind of opacity which is meant as an in-between.” In reading, you must interact with the images, making them more opaque, less transparent, or alternately, less cloudy.
Matt Mullins’s “I Will Make an Exquisite Corpse” challenges you to do the same. Using his images, his videos, his text, and his audio, you create a collage of art and sound. When you get to the page, there are three 3-D sections spinning, allowing you to drop images, videos, or text on to them. You can also determine which audio is turned on. It’s a truly fascinating and unique project, the combinations limitless.
Also in this issue is Loss Pequeño Glazier’s “Four Guillemets” (“Image and text ‘string’ variants resonate like conversational silences with ‘the victory of the echo over the voice.’”) and Matt Mullins’s “Highway Coda” (“A prose poem both lyric and narrative loops its four sections into refrains.”). If you are interested in digital media at all, do check out this magazine; I’ve not see anything like it.