The Gif That Keeps on Giffing…


Welcome back to my humble little dark corner of the web ^.^ Hope everyone had a nice enough week~

My week was the usual:


Anyway, that brings us nicely to the topic at hand:  GIFs~

hard don’t @ me i’ll fight you

This week, we got to continue our exploration of new forms of digital content creation by discussing the gif. Now, if you’re like most Internet users these days, you are fairly familiar with the gif. Personally, I interact with the gif on a regular basis, encountering it across my social media feeds and using it to respond to other content in digital spaces. For me, and many others, these days, the gif is a standard of communication online.

In our class Studio Visit this week with Brian Lamb (@brlamb) we got to discuss more about communication of information in online spaces as well as a little about other concerns of being a digital citizen. Mainly, we focused on what the gif means to us and how we use it to communicate online. Brian described gifs as a “more expressive emoji” which I think is a fairly accurate interpretation though I do believe that gifs carry more context due to *mostly* coming from source content that is embedded in our culture somehow. In this way, a gif can have an inherent meaning to it before it is co-opted and remixed. I find the layering of meaning inherent in much of new media to be of great interest. Layered meaning is nothing new but I think there’s something different going on with gifs and memes. They are being remixed and co-opted at such a rate that their meanings are often vast and varied depending upon what corner of the web you find yourself in. When there is so much meaning, is there really any meaning? All if these things, because of rather than in spite of their layered meanings, seem to become this new kind of digital blank canvas upon which any expression can be placed. I think it’s fascinating.

That said, this ubiquity of reaction gifs and the like does concern me. I’m mainly concerned because the majority of gifs are recycled rather than made. Most of us don’t make gifs every time we want to use one. Rather, we select a gif or a meme from a repository of collected media. This limits our expressions to the options provided by a certain platform. It’s a peculiar curation of not just our emotional expressions but of digital culture. It’s this illusion of authenticity in expression. Often, like Brian, many of us describe gifs as allowing us to be more expressive online. But, is that really true when we consider the reality of so much digital content being “corralled” and commodified in order for easier consumption?

I find myself torn when I consider questions like this. Ideally, I do believe that new media and online spaces afford us more opportunities to connect, to express ourselves, to construct ourselves, to participate in life. But, I also understand that the commercialization of new media and online spaces interrupts these processes and turns them into for-profit enterprises under the guise of innovation and convenience. I’m victim to this myself (I started this post with a gif from Giphy even though I’m very capable of making my own). I guess I’m left to believe that possibility is something the Internet can provide but is not an inherent quality. Again, I think it comes down to usage. If one doesn’t use the Internet to explore themselves then they will never think of the Internet as a place where that is possible.

All this said, I want to reiterate that I do believe new media can be a conduit for very profound and powerful messages. It can also be a way to share a meme or a gif about nothing much at all. The Internet, in some ways, is like the traditional faerie realms of old: mercurial, ambivalent, and capricious at best. Everything you say can be both taken at face value and also imbued with a multiplicity of meaning. It’s never a dull day in digital spaces, to say the least.

The Arganee Cafe

Speaking of “no dull days in digital spaces”, this week we were introduced to the Arganee cafe. In order to describe our experience of exploring this new space, we were asked to create gifs (full circle, eh?) ^.^ I had some fun with mine. I giffed some scenes from Scott Pilgrim.


Think I captured the essence of something….

Feel free to check out My Make for this activity ^.^

(I also highly recommend checking out @masooch‘s Make too~ I died.)

In addition to exploring the Arganee cafe, we were also asked to imagine a digital alchemist persona again. Originally, I was going to “recycle” my twisted, little faerie but I don’t really want to disturb her (she can be scary >.<). Rather, I decided to create a new digital alchemist. Though she clearly still has a #aesthetic, I imagine her as less of a foreboding presence and more of a sentinel-avenger type. I’m always going on about how I’m dtf (down to fight) so I figured I’d channel that fighting spirit into a character all its own. Be sure to check her out on Twitter (she may be a bit shy standoffish at first but don’t worry, she cares). You can learn more about her character, as well, by checking out My Make for my rage-filled avengeress~

She totally has a theme song btw

don’t shame me billie eilish is #goals


Bonus Post

This week, in my post for the field guide, I shared a podcast episode exploring the gif medium and some of the concerns surrounding gifs I mentioned above. I highly recommend checking it out and giving the podcast a listen~

Daily Digital Alchemies

I actually have two bonus posts this week if you count the post I did for DDA304 where I explored what is lost but, also, what can be gained in translation~

My second DDA is one I submitted! I’m happy to see it being used and to see the different responses others have to it. For my response, I decided, actually, to alter a gif I made for my thesis project (and didn’t end up using):


I made the image kaleidoscopic and then added a rippling water effect to it to give it a reflection. I think it looks like the sky over one pesky little faerie’s Arganee home. What do you think?


~Till next time~

Bots & Whatnot~

Funk GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Beep-Beep-Boo-Bot: Revisiting Bots

So, at this point in my exploration of the digital humanities, I’m not unfamiliar with bots. In fact, I’ve written about them at length before. More, I’ve written about the ethics or lack thereof of bots here.

This isn’t to say that I’ve, by any means, said all there is to say about bots, just that I have thought about them and their functions in detail before. And, more, as far as interacting with and creating bots, this isn’t my first rodeo.

Anyway, that disclosed, let’s get to this week’s activities!

First, after discussing what a bot is for those who are unfamiliar with them, we explored some different bots on Twitter. I decided to check out some of the bots mentioned in this article by Lainna Fader. Since I already do follow a lot of bots (mostly sappy poetry ones #itswhoiamasapersonsorrynotsorry), I wanted to check out some ones that come highly recommended~

Two of my favorites were the @420worldclock bot and the @wikisext bot. Totally nsfw but pretty Great~ @420worldclock seems to co-opt the the adage I’m writing this at 4:20pm AHHHHH btw~ “It’s always happy hour somewhere” to “It’s 4:20 somewhere” and tweet out about that.

Meanwhile, @wikisext is pretty self-explanatory, no???

Personally, I think this bot gives Great advice >.< Totally recommend checking out for yourself~ (if it’s your cup of tea)

After interacting with and exploring a few bots, next, we put our newly-found bot prowess to the test to see if we could differentiate between bot poetry and, you know, traditional poetry. Not as easy as it sounds???

Check it:

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For the most part, I was able to identify Poe, Dickinson, Neruda, some Keats, and some Blake but, in my opinion, including e.e. cummings was just unfair >.> I mean, have you read his work??? Come on!

There were also some really Great works that totally should be famous poems. Like, look at this:

2018-04-15 (6)

Genius. Absolutely Great.

…Anyway, moving on~

I found it interesting to see just how similar some bot-generated poetry could be to works written by people. For some of the works, it was easily to spot the thing that made the poetry come alive. That human hand. But, for a surprising number, it was rather difficult to identify them as bot-generated. I’m not sure what that implicates for the future of the medium and of technology but it’s certainly interesting.

Revisiting Making Bots

After exploring the medium and discussing some of the functions and applications of bots, both positive and nefarious, we got to the crux of the matter: making our bots.

Now, as I mentioned, I’ve already made a bot. This pesky, circle-talking faerie… (she talks a little very-scary but don’t worry too much~ she’s harmless ^.^)

So, I didn’t really experience much difficulty in the process of creating one. It took me some time to come up with a format for the things I wanted the bot to say, though. I got a topic I wasn’t overly enthused with discussing thank Alan. So, that took some time to develop. I came up with some Great hashtags, though, in my opinion… #zuckers, #zuckit, #zuckoff…. I mean, come on–those are Great ^.^

I didn’t really get much interaction with my bot-generated content, though. One person outside of the #netnarr scope did like a tweet, which was marginally exciting:

Aside from that interaction, the most I got on my tweets was a comment here:

and a retweet here:

along with a few likes here and there as well~

I’d say some of my replies to some tweets got more interaction. For example, this thread:

It generated some interaction amongst multiple users in the #netnarr sphere, at least. Other than that, I mostly felt like I was having one-sided conversations with other users~ (which, isn’t really all that different from most conversations I’ve had with other Twitter accounts tbh~ in my experience, most aren’t super responsive to comments??).

Don’t think I really influenced anyone all that much with my tweets but maybe some targeted hashtags could change that?? I’m not interested in keeping this bot running past this week, though. I like my personal account to be more organic~

I mean, look at the difference in my bot-reading that only a few days made:

2018-04-10 (1)

Added a few of my accounts for comparison~


My bot-rating jumped from 29% before using bot-generated content to 41% after incorporating only a few days worth of bot-generated content. It’s kind of odd that it’s the same percentage though as my other account, @hellsskell24, which has never had any bot content on it. And, to be honest, I kind of expected my actual bot account, @noxsiog, to have a higher bot-rating. I mean, it is a bot.

Anyway, I thought this was an interesting experience. I wish we could have generated more discussion within the #netnarr thread, at least, but I still like this approach to teaching bots. It’s interactive and creative~



Twit 1 & Twit 2

Killing It: Some spooky/creepy/disturbing little stories I wrote inspired by bot prompts/nonsense #shamelessselfpromotion


Some bots I highly recommend following:



*I mean, this is Great.



~Till Next Time~

You Kant Make Me Argue Ethics…

Do you have to make it entirely clear when an account is a bot?

Is it misleading, or, more, deceptive to keep that information not secret, per say, but not readily available either? Like, what are the moral obligations of bot-creators? Are there any? Is there a kind of digital, moral imperative? Or, more simply, rules of conduct in online spaces that are true all of the time? (Or else how can they be moral imperatives?)

These concerns and questions arose not while I was in the process of setting up a bot but, after I had created the bot and realized that I didn’t necessarily want to allocate a space on my account to revealing the “trick.” Honestly, I felt and still feel doing so steals some of the magic. (Kind of like over-tagging in fanfic. Stating an account is a bot–announcing it’s run on a systematic queue as opposed to a flesh and blood person amounts to the same a as adding so many tags to a fic that it becomes undeniable that it isn’t canon. And, I think some of the joy of fanfic is that it toes the line of reality in the same kind of way that bots can. Anyway, that was a long deviation. Back to the matter at hand!)

Is non-disclosure in this context wrong?

To complicate matters, I came across this thread of discussion between one pesky faerie and a circle-talking prophet. In it, a question about whether or not one can be at fault for another’s faith is posed. Simply, how responsible is one for another’s willingness to be deceived? If all the info/evidence, aside from an outright admission/confession, is freely available for one to interpret and draw logical–you’d hope–conclusions from, is my fault they decide one plausibility is more credible than another? Trumps another?

For example, if you walk into a grocery store, see all the bar-codes on products, the numbers following little $ symbols on shelves, then notice the registers at the front of the establishment with scanners–scanning as you watch the items of other guests to the establishment and ringing up, again, numbers beside $ symbols which prompt the guests to exchange currency in some form–and you still attempt to/decide to grab an apple pie and mosey on out of that store without swinging by the registers like everyone else, the resulting consequences are kind of on you. I know many grocery stores and other retail establishments will have signs that say things like, Pay Here, but I don’t think they have ones that explicitly say: You must purchase goods from this store via monetary means (i.e cash or card) before you can leave or else you will be arrested Sure, there also signs that probably say, “Shoplifters will be prosecuted” but, again, those kinds of signs are asking you to infer something–that you must buy before you can take–and are not explicitly stating the “rules” of the transaction. Just the consequences that will proceed it if it is not carried out properly.

A good counter-argument to the one just posed would, of course, be that the “etiquette” or “conduct” is imposed by greater sociocultural norms, which are implicit and so don’t always need enforcement through direct statement. By merit of being a social space, a grocery store has rules of practice anyone in the culture in which this grocery store exists will know or, at least, be familiar enough with to understand. So, I guess, my question is whether or not the internet culture of right now is at a place that allows members of it to properly recognize and interpret the signs that would signal whether or not a bot is a bot without an explicit warning/disclaimer?

….To be honest, my gut feeling is no. Non. Nada. 아니오.  Nílim. Really, no.

If the widespread acceptance of “fake news” is any indication of the internet society’s ability to interpret info–gauge its credibility–and make informed decisions, then I don’t believe any symbols/signals in online spaces ubiquitous and made intuit enough yet for bots to go unannounced.  That said, I still don’t want it be necessary that I reveal my bot in so many words. Personally, I just don’t feel like that is one of my responsibilities. But, does that make me part of a greater problem–the proliferation of falsehoods masquerading freely as not in digital spaces? Even if it seems like such a minor offense?

I believe this issue is a significant one when it comes to discussing netprov as a whole. In the Studio Visit with Mark Marino and Rob Wittig, both netprov creators touched upon this concern and said they came to the conclusion that “deception” is all well and good until someone gets “hurt”–their feelings or otherwise. Like, it’s “good fun”. A magic trick. Especially when there is a big reveal at the end. Of course, that presupposes an amicable end where everyone will feel inclined to come together for discussion…. but, whatev.

Anyway, I guess that’s where I my thoughts on this whole thing keep returning–to the idea that, so long as my deception, my magic trick, is not causing anyone undue* harm or offense, why is it wrong? Because lying is inherently wrong? All the time? There’s never an acceptable or appropriate reason to keep something hidden? You must be a delight when it comes to surprise parties, huh?

I’ll admit, though, I’m not sure where this leaves the issue of “fake news.” And, it’s my understanding that there are now courses being offered to study just that–the issue of it and, also, how it is even created. So, there are no simple solutions or short answers or, really, answers. All I can say, I think, is that the internet culture/society needs to integrate more of a desire for truth and for critical consumption of info into its practices. Finding something that agrees with one’s views of the world is “great” but, like, what are that something’s sources? And, do those sources have agendas of their own? What do they gain by attaining your belief? And, more, internet culture needs to shift away from aggression as a universal response–violently reacting to anyone or any group which dares to share a view that isn’t compatible with another’s. In many cases, I agree that anger is a justifiable feeling towards an idea being forwarded but it shouldn’t be the driving force behind your reaction. Anger seldom provokes meaningful discussion these days so much as it does a nasty argument. Then again, I’m speaking from a particular context of my own–which I can never fully exist outside of–so, maybe, these suggestions are “fine and good” but not useful in alleviating another’s struggles or solving their particular problems.

So, because I don’t want this post to turn into a venting/ranting one and I don’t feel like delving into ethics because, again, no. Nope. Nah–



This is where Shadow Girl will take her leave and sign out. She’s got pesky faeries and persnickety prophets to eavesdrop on, after all. Much too much on her plate… ^.^


*according to how I define the word and how you do too~


Shadow Girl Reflects VII: Or Does She?

This week, shadow has been severed–cleaved in two. Something and Other. Which is which?

From near to far reaches it seems one has become many, has, at least, realized there is more than meets the eye. Another side. Someplace beyond but surround as well.

Contact has been made–by the Other’s denizens. Letters in invisible ink, thrums from an invisible (?) world, and nonsense ramblings have appeared from the miasma. Are they greetings? Warnings? Will time reveal which or run out first?

In order to discover some answers of my own, I have been following some pesky fey–aos sí the great secret society of old. One pesky faerie in particular‘s writing on the wall seems to be, for all its darkness and double-speak, rather illuminating. Exactly of what will require further study. Delving deeper into the shadows.

Perhaps there are no answers, though. No rhymes or reasons–not yet. Perhaps even these creatures who have hazarded crossing the screen separating Other from Something know not yet whyPerhaps that’s not important.

Maybe it’s not what these creatures may what to teach us that matters. Not most. What we learn from them, what we see reflected back, may be a slant rhyme but the closest thing to one we’re going to get.

My faerie, for now, is making full use of that sewn-shut mouth of hers. Guess the telling will come after the taunting ends…


So, looking forward, I hope to be able to set up a bot sometime this long weekend. Just had no time to get to it this week–was tied up in both metals & drawing ventures ^.^ I follow the flow of my creativity and those areas are where it wanted to go this week~

Still, I’m planning to do some tinkering of my own, whether the current wants to go that way or not. Look forward to that!

Hopefully, too, another story will make its way up onto the ol’ blog by tomorrow(?). Maybe. A pesky faerie seems to have commandeered their own chunk of my creativity….

Anyway, that’s how I’m faring so far. Head above water but bobbing below every so oft. Hopefully I’ll come across my second wind…or some floaties. Either or. Whichever comes first ^.^

Shadow Girl signing off till next time~

Daily Digital Alchemies

Bone Girl

When my blood was younger, I imagined I could soar. Like the condors that circled overhead. Sights set high, I’d roam through the marketplace. Fly barefoot down the city’s skeletal paths, unburdened and unbound, wind tangling knots in my hair–knots Mama would carefully unwind once night nose-dived and then, re-wind in the leather thong she kept wrapped snug ’round one bony wrist. Only, double.

Twice the blessings, baby bird. She explained when I squawked confusion. Nature never weaves mistakes. In hair or flesh. Nature provides only the truthA gift you’ll learn to embrace when you can.

Mama was a natural at spinning stories. Did it for a living. Ours. She was a fortune-teller. An augur. Soothsayer. Soothslayer, hissed some shadows as we passed. Mama only tightened her hold on my wiry wrist. Clenched her teeth in a sharp smile.

See, some divination dabblers read tea leaves. Or, palms.

Mama read bone.

Mostly bird. Sometimes not. Always ground with a pestle and mortar till only bite-size fragments remained.

Once, shadowy whispers echoing in my ears, I asked where it came from. The not bird. Unruffled, Mama set her pestle aside and leaned down. Beady eyes to mine. Smile close enough to cut. She cupped my face in her rickety grip, ran her knobby-knuckled fingers over the knife points of my cheek bones.

Nature provides, baby bird.

She released me and returned to her work. I brushed my fingertips over the edges Mama soothed. Seemed to size up. Thought about birds. About bird bones and their brittleness. Thought, as Mama added pressure to the pestle, about how the only difference between bird bones and not is the sound they make when crushed. Bird bones snap.

Mama crunched and crunched and crunched.

It was a courtesy, Mama explained later, to provide for our clients as Nature does. Drain the blood. Soak flesh from bone. Gather the pieces for assembling a new whole. She never quite told me where the courtesy was, though, in tying ligaments ’round the bony wrist clients couldn’t see. Where only could see, once I grew more into my own bones. Perhaps outgrew them as deeper and deeper aches seem to suggest these days.

Blood older, eyes changed, I saw our home full of many unexplained courtesies. Undocumented provisions. Truths that flew high above my head like the condors I used to run through the skeletal streets chasing. Foolish.

Vultures always lead to the same place.

My place is before a pestle and mortar. Bone in the bowl. Leather wrapped tight ’round one wrist with knotted blessings, ligaments tighter ’round the other with less-knotted truth. Mama never specified which side of her she was referring to….

At the table behind me, a client waiting. They shouldn’t be kept…waiting. Long. It’s rude. Discourteous.

“Just a moment.” I call over my shoulder, hand gripping the pestle.

“Take your time, child.” A withered voice. Brittle like bird bone and raspy like a requiem. “Hate for your Mama to curse my impatience from beyond.”

“Mama would never curse.” Tighten my grip. Add pressure. Stone meeting bone. “Only bless.” Crunch.

“May she rest in peace.” PiecesWith my free hand, I snatch a fly-away fragment. Smooth my fingertips along its jagged edges.

Nature provides, baby bird.

How right Mama was. Nature gave. Her me. Me her. And now, I lift the bowl of carefully ground bone before me, finger the fragile fragment still in my hand, I can return the favor.



~Mama provides~

Speaking of….


Tweet tweet

***Check out the Killing It tag if you like more delightfully disturbing stories like this one ^.^***

Hanging Art

Happenstance is an odd quality of life. Perhaps, its spice. Who finds who, and where. When. What you find and in what circumstances. Which strings of text align before your eyes. In books. In letters. On posters. On screens, now. Sometimes, the coherence is lacking. Other times, it’s surprisingly clear. Succinct. Poignant. Story.

Interacting with bots online has proven quite imaginative. Nonsensical, at times, too. But, ultimately it’s been revealing to see how literary, creative, and, even, inspiring these random text generators can be. More, it’s been fascinating to see happenstance in action. See which posts align with each other on my own, personal feed. I believe a kind of observable or discernible taste develops. You can scroll through someone’s feed and, through the bots one follows, piece together an idea of what they like–what amuses them, intrigues them, inspires them. It’s like walking through the art gallery in another’s mind.

Would you care to take a stroll through mine?

Uncertain journeys call for gods. Their guidance. Their protection. Their witness. Belief in them, of course, optional. Unnecessary in most cases. “Not believing in the devil will not save you from him,” and all that. Still, a god I found for this journey. Better safe than sorry.


With a simple greeting, a god was procured. @all_the_gods wastes little time. Knows the value of timely work. Perhaps you should procure a god of your own? If you’re going to continue following me along my travels down the rabbot hole. Shy? There are plenty of preconceived gods for the masses to choose from. I selected a patron saint of my own to accompany me as well:


My choices were sound, qualms over the rejection of screaming notwithstanding. A spell for humming without purpose seemed to leave more purpose for text. For algorithms to seek. To make up the difference.

I found poetry. Found stories. Received invitations into dreamy, other-side (of the Looking Glass) worlds. ~***Found stars, too. New constellations. For navigation.***~

Dada nonsense (free-associative) poetry is its own delight but I like glimpses through another pair of eyes a little more. Poet-bots abound. Offering a little of both, for all tastes. @poem_exe writes beautifully. (And regularly.) Short sentiments to chew on. Savor.

More thoughtful words to contemplate.


In slivers, I find myself. Between beats, a pulse. Partial res o nan ce.

Whole d  i  s  s  o   n    a   n     c       e.

There seems little science to what engages an individual. Broad ideas exist, I’m sure. But, we are in the details. (With the devil–that’s why we need our gods.)

Though this bot required less interaction than the former, I still found it interesting. Entertaining. Whatever its algorithm, it’s effective. At least 9400 other people agree. Throughout the past few days, I retweeted many poems. Wrote some. Wandered with them in my thoughts.


More captivating than pure poetry were the inadvertent/impromptu stories that began to decorate my feed. Every story had a surprise ending. In this one (above), the desires of ancestors were renounced in the name of self-realization, moon bearing witness to the vow. At least, that’s my story. What’s yours?

Maybe it’s just me, creating purpose where there is none. A story needs a reader to exist. Interpret. But, I like being a reader. Like the simple joy of these unexpected narratives. In school, everything is linear.Weighted ’round the neck by the collar of tradition. Word choice is highly selective. Content codified and shelved, on neat little shelves in neat little rows. I’m not knocking books–I love them as much as the next English major–but, sometimes, they can be lacking in excitement. Not necessarily the individual narratives (there are some stand-out sucky ones though, I’m sure you’ve got a list) but the system in which they exist. It tires itself out.


This is interesting story. Unexpected. Rich with possibility. Rich with the inexplicable. I ponder. Stroll through one corridor of my frontal cortex and come back ’round, to mull some more. There is so much room to walk around these words, observe them from every angle and then some imanginative ones. Make an exercise out of make-believe.

What is literary is relative, these days. Much less quantifiable. It’s exciting. Exhilerating.  Kind of scary. Kind of freeing.

Fully magickal.


Really breathtaking.

It’s something special to watch storytelling become as expansive as it always had the possibility to be. To watch new technology help the art realize the dimensions of its potential.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the gallery of my mind palace. The pieces exhibited are constantly being reorganized, changed, so, do be sure to drop in again. Feel free to drop an invitation to visit your own gallery, too. I’m always looking to add to my collection.

***My Recommendations***








(tweets gems like this)


Tweet me your recs.

Safe travels.