Closer Than Rust is a web-based interactive multimedia novel about three queer women who find themselves stuck in a small Southern town.
Each character expresses herself through different artistic media.
Vespa posts to a social media platform. When internet connection is lost, the Tweet-like posts become like a private journal entry.
For Aliza, journal writing helps keep her sane:
For Jamie, words are less important than objects and texture. Jamie works on a dump truck. Each day is full of new curiosities to add to her collection.
Vespa moves to this small town as part of a reality TV-like competition: She has 30 days to find a building and compete for funding to start an internet-focused artist cafe. As she searches, encounters with locals – and with her inner self – drive her to want to stay or go.
Meanwhile, Aliza returns home after a bitter break-up and terrible what-should-be-but-isn’t-final semester at college. Though she is only one credit away from graduation, her study away summer trip fell through and now her dreams of escaping her small hometown seem near impossible. She falls for Jamie, but when a miracle happens and each character is granted one wish, Aliza wishes to leave.
And this conflicts with Jamie’s wish to be with Aliza.
And so, you see why the story must become interactive at this point!
There are so many choices, both within and beyond the characters’ control, and they inspire each character to search and hope and try. No matter what, they find personal growth. But will Vespa stay in Georgia or return to New York? Will Jamie stay with Aliza, end up alone, or fall for someone else? And Aliza… will she realize her dreams to study abroad, or change her mind and realize her hometown isn’t so bad? And either way, will she ever find ‘home’ within herself?
It’s up to you, dear reader.
You make the choices that determine their fate.
Electronic Literature Organization (reading/performance event)
Modern Language Association Conference
University of the Arts. Philadelphia, PA. 2017
New Media Gallery (exhibition and reading/performance event)
University Film and Video Association Conference
American University. Washington, DC. 2015
Digital Queers Conference
The New School. New York, NY. 2015
&Now Festival of New Writing: Tomorrowland Forever!
University of California, San Diego. San Diego, CA. 2011
- 2011: This work began as a screenplay and was first presented at the University Film and Video Association Conference at Emerson College in Boston, MA.
- 2012: Closer Than Rust (the screenplay) is awarded one of three competition winners by the Atlanta International Film Festival.
- 2012: Shortly after the ATLIFF Festival, a successful Kickstarter campaign and faculty summer funding from Georgia State University allowed the project to be transformed into a multimedia digital novel.
- 2012: The project was filmed in the summer of 2012.
- 2012-2015: The story was written, the photographs selected and the videos edited. Platform tests started (Apple iBooks Author, Processing, Scalar, Twine) and the project finally found a home as a web-based multimedia novel (html).
- 2015: The project was completed and performed at the Digital Queers Conference and the University Film and Video Association New Media Gallery.
- 2017: Most recently, in response to the tone of the country following the 2016 presidential election, the work was revived and performed at the 2017 ELO MLA e-lit reading/performance event.
Read Closer Than Rust here.
See more creative work