ChangeEverything by Serge Bouchardon

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ChangeEverything by Serge Bouchardon is a very simple example of digital poetry.  It is a piece of generative poetry that takes a single word in a predetermined phrase at a time and replaces it with a synonymous word or phrase (the reader chooses from a selection of synonyms).

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ChangeEverything reminds me of both Telescopic text and Lipogram, and while it is neither of them, there are certainly similarities between the two.  In terms of Telescopic text, both concern the selection of a word and its expansion.  While Telescopic text expands on the word in terms of volume and quantity (entire paragraphs can stem from a single word), ChangeEverything’s transformative words only change to a similar word or phrase. In terms of Lipogram, both concern changing a single word to another single word with similar meaning.  The main difference with Lipogram is that the transformation is through the elimination of a singular letter.

One of the phrases I played with was “All the world is a stage and men and women nearly players.”  Through several changes, it eventually read “All the existence is a catwalk and men and daughters of Even merely actor.”  The changes through synonymous words and phrases prove transformation through contexts, connotations, tone, etc.  It shows the power that while words may be synonymous, the ideal of representation conveys different meanings based off of our perception of words.

ChangeEverything exemplifies how one word can change the entire meaning of a sentence.  Despite the piece’s simplistic interactivity, the idea that minute details can have drastic effects is powerful.  It is mirrored in Bouchardon’s non-complexity.  I find it ironic that such transformation can be made through a singular word.

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