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Mystic Writing Pad    
mystic writing Within my recent work, considered primarily digital, I have tried to put such rhetorical operations in play.

The vibrating letter form with which I can make imprints or traces which seem to evaporate (fade from red to black) over time reveals this game for me.

Aporia: Doubt in Forms, is constructed as a set of interplays between the characteristics of the digital and analog domains. So, for example, writing, typing, clicking, choosing, expanding and contracting are thematized to draw attention to their physicality within the digital domain, which is often discussed as devoid of physicality.

aporia Aporia is also about memory. Thinking about Proust, who writes about memory as divided into voluntary and involuntary versions, I wrote Aporia to thematize this division. The history of memory in the West, which I discuss later, involves a relationship of meaning to material. Writing on a surface, forming or modeling objects, has constituted the dominant metaphors for memory within the philosophical tradition. In Aporia I was interested in articulating how memory's meaning might be undergoing some alteration as a consequence of digital forms of writing, storage, visualization, and interaction.


  Bowling Alley The Bowling Alley Website, which I designed and built with Beth Stryker and Christa Erickson to interface with Shu Lea Cheang's Bowling Alley installation at the Walker Art Center, also takes on themes I began exploring in Aporia. Writing, typing, clicking, became augmented with another sort of physicality: temporal delay. When I wrote Aporia, I used Netscape for the first time. I realized that in the way this software lays out text and images, as they download to form a page, communicates a sense of time. This communication is also quite physical. Images and text cascade "down" the page suggesting how they might "cascade" as they download. Also, gaps on the page are left open in anticipation of the image that will fill them. And all of these effects take place over time, while one waits, perhaps impatiently. The Bowling Alley Website was my attempt to design specifically with this issue of delay in mind. Letters trickle in, suggesting how we wait for a bowling ball to roll down its lane on its destructive way. The text of Bowling Alley is also destroyed in some physical way.

Both Aporia and Bowling Alley were designed as multi-participant environments. Many people can interact with the works simultaneously, leaving traces. However, unlike chats, in my works there is no pretense that participants or users are interacting with each other. Rather, I try to make it clear that they are leaving behind inscriptions, graffiti. Any inter-participant interaction is defined as a function of writing and reading through the device, as an investment in the mechanism, rather than in a myth of interpersonal contact.

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