The Database, the Interface, and the Hypertext: A Reading of Strickland's V

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

The uniqueness of a new-media work is the mobility of its elements, present as binary code in computer, yet capable of being mobilized into action through user interaction or through programming. Many new media works make full use of multiple functionalities of current software applications, bringing to light in unique ways the effect a well-designed interface can have on the meaning-making process. How do we read these digital texts that mutate with the touch of a key? What is the role of the medium in the meaning-making process? Though I explore these questions, I also attempt to go beyond them to see if new media works can serve as a lens to reflect on the postmodern condition. Strickland's V: Losing L'una/WaveSon.nets/Vniverse (2003), with a dual existence in print and the electronic medium, is especially useful for this exploration. It is self-reflexive as it comments on both reading and writing practices. It also lies at the intersection of multiple discourses of science, technology, philosophy, literature and art. V is thus ideal for exploring not only how media specificity contributes to the reading experience, but also what the paradigm shift from modernity to postmodernity implies about reading, writing and living.

(Source: Author's introducion at ebr)

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Scott Rettberg