About the Project
This site was overall designed for a synthesis of creative works I designed for the webpages and actual factual content. The site stemmed from a question asked many times in class: What is cyberspace? At first, I took a stance that wished to explain this question through a generic dialogue, that each time one read the dialogue after another, though it may be the same, it would have more depth to it. I scrapped this through many revisions of the webpage. What became interesting to me was Barthes notion of the reader explained at the end of "The Death of the Author." He states that "the reader is without history [. . .], he is simply that someone who holds together in a single field all the traces by which the written text is constituted" and that "a texts unity lies no in its origin but in its destination." It is this destination that was trying to achieve from this webpage.
The webpage upon the final revision took on a form somewhat similar John Cage's poem "Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)," which was conducted with chance operations in the layout, choice, and style of the words and letters, though my page is much less concerned with a strict aspect of chance. Along the same lines, the reader is face with a problem of an almost quasi-graphic notation, that is of reconstructing, as a performer, the content, as Barthes states, while not necessarily having the necessary tools at the jump off point.
The "title," so to speak, of the website is: "At some point one could certainly say that the Britons." One could say that much of the time in the current age of our country. Tongue-in-cheek, I didn't include the ellipsis, because I felt there was a greater anonymity in it the way it is presented. It no longer is an endless string of references to an imperialist age that controlled many European countries, but rather a statement that one tries not to answer. And through the evolution, the questions that are statements pervade, creating a rather dystopic text that at all times is hard to decipher when a phrase is a statement or a question.
Hello, being the first point of "dialogue" on the site links to programmatic codes for computers to display "Hello World" in a number of environments. Every "Hello World" in the code is then linked to blank pages with a phonetic pronunciation or the spelling of the word hello in many different languages, which are all linked to the C.I.A. World Factbook for that particular country. Being the launching point, though this was implemented last, I feel it provides a sense of how "cyberspace" is functioning; a degree of anonymity and another of a world sense, in the sense that just as the phone revolutionized language, so too the internet does on a far greater level. Soon, I would assume, translational capabilities will be included with basic software, and though many countries fall under the radar of the World Wide Web, a unique language is forming, one that combines much of the "universal" languages, that is, music and math and expression, with the common spoken language, that is in effect converging as much else. Not to say that language is universalizing, but communication has to be.
The link from "poetry" is only a compilation of pictures of poets that have influenced me in thinking more broadly about how we relate experience. Ironically, I liked the idea of their pictures up there with no reference to their names or works. In a larger sense I felt, as their words have been so influential and most definitely canonized, that a page of simple portraits would convey something about their existence, something I think is a problem in today's world of "literary," "popular," and unacknowledged tastes. In this vein, the poets who may themselves seem daunting to others are un-included from their own words; the necessity of their recapitulation, and instead one may view the picture as weird people or attractive people or ugly people or distinguished people, without a certain "history" nipping at the heels of the interpreter, unless they know the photographs. This is a terminal link, though I envisioned biographical links, because at this point, a few pages in, the pictures, I think, mean something themselves, though I am biased. Either way, the end of a short story in images, if it is, can convey the content in an abstract way usually unavailable to everyday language, but at the same time utterly a part of everyday language; the storage of faces in memory, etc.
There are points throughout the website such as the link to a manual for a vacuum cleaner that serve as a one person memex that happened as I went over parts of the pages. Ideally, I would write my own vacuum cleaner instruction manual and then link again within it, though I didn't want to copy an entire site and just paste. However, as the site was revised these were split, reinserted, and deleted, creating a sense of intertextuality without the sense of intertextuality.
I also wanted to involve Calvino's idea of the parsed text with meaning, which again ties into Barthes. With a semi-coherent page to begin with, the words are rearranged and at times take on a list-type function. Other times it appears to be a poem, or prose, but they are all reconstituted into a fluid dynamic of ideas. In an ideal world, I would include music, and all the text would be spinning, ala Marcel Duchamp's "Anemic Cinema."
However, all of these concrete pages were scrapped for a "folded-in" version of the webpage. As does Djinn, though not as "clearly," the webpage was then worked from the last link, adding the entire page, then reordering each one before it was exported to the previous. In a sense, I felt this might be an extreme version of the rhizome, as almost the entire site is available at the beginning in a fashion where as one surfs through the pages an notices similarities, or is able to put together text, earlier moments take new shape. It was also tied to an idea of "earning," as when one repeats something, it should always contain more meaning then the first time, or what is being said?