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When Java programming language came along, I slowly began exploring how the issues I had been thinking about with Aporia and Bowling Alley could be translated and/or transformed within a potentially more reactive medium that a programming language such as Java offered. So exploring the re-action of the medium, its apparent change in response to some simple action by a participant became a source of work.

Eliot's Desire (Eliot's) Desire -- my first attempt -- was based on T.S. Eliot's poem Burnt Norton. Here, moving the mouse/cursor over the image on the screen is the physical action that both controls and is controlled by the re-action of the text of the poem. I imagined that I could make a machine through which one could learn to read again, in a different way, if one desired to actually read the poem. Of course, such learning would rely on some already established conventions of our interaction with text as well as with computers moving the mouse, for example. This was in accordance with my desire to splice my machine into the machines with which we are already habituated. I had a sense as well that this splicing was also somewhat like the way in which the Java applet was spliced or embedded into the HTML fabric.


The reactivity of this work, as well of other works I have made with Java, poses the question of how we experience time with greater urgency than the earlier works do.

In Prosthesis To A Well, I investigated this temporality, but by returning to some of the formal issues that interested me in Aporia. Aporia's third part ("Text/Sublime") was designed as allegorical of the notion of infinity, of infinite experience. One could play indefinitely with it, stretching it. Similarly, in Prosthesis, I aimed towards an infinitude. Of course, I wanted to be ironic about this gesture toward infinity. Participants can interact with Prosthesis by exploring, or rubbing, again and again, its circular form. As one moves the cursor, counter clock-wise, around and around the target-like form, one appears to move deeper and deeper, closer to some space beyond the surface of the browser. This motion takes time, which is experienced as a desire to explore. But also as time that is wasted going around in circles. A time never to be recovered, a non-Copernican time.

Prosthesis also allows for participation through writing. But like (Eliot's) Desire, Prosthesis is a machine which asks that one relearn some acquired skill. The movement of the cursor as one types, touching the keyboard, is not automatic as it is in typewriters and computers simulating the latter. Instead, in Prosthesis one can type with one hand and move the cursor/mouse with the other. It is left to the participant's desire to find out if that writing is permanent or not.

In a sense, all these works are experiments in interface re-design. They tend to play between the visual and the haptic, sometimes confusing the two through such effects as animation and ephemeralness. I try to show these not just as distanced, ironic effects, but as characteristics of the digital medium which suggest how it captures our imagination in a historical moment when we think of ourselves in transition, as well as out-of-touch with material reality. In thematizing this issue through a temporal and physical interplay of visual and haptic relations, I try to show that these effects of virtuality have consequences in the experience of reality. Through re-designing the interfaces we have with computers, we can also reshape the relationships we assume not only between digital and analog representation, but between representation in general and experience itself.

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