"Terminal Hopscotch": Navigating Networked Space in Talan Memmott's Lexia to Perplexia

Critical Writing
Language: 
Year: 
2011
Page Numbers: 
492-521
Journal volume and issue: 
52.3
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All Rights reserved
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Offering very little in the way of overt instructions or guidance, the text deprives the reader of a carefully delineated environment arranged according to familiar spatial and textual conventions, and the ability to navigate it—an exploratory process—is instead conditioned by the user's level of literacy in a variety of fields, literary, visual, theoretical, and technological. Yet any reader, if she surrenders to the work's spatial structures, has the ability to adapt to this reading environment and participate in the performance of dispersion.

Lexia to Perplexia is inaccessible without cultural competency on the computer, without the ability to skip across surfaces of image and text, and without a basic knowledge of popular authoring and imaging applications, such as HTML and Photoshop. Yet the work is meaningless without the ability to read it carefully and closely, within the context of literary and visual history, with careful attention and depth of focus.

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Eric Dean Rasmussen