Ut Pictura Hyperpoesis: Spatial Form, Visuality, and the Digital Word

Abstract (in English): 

This essay discusses the visual characteristics of hypertext (space, contour, depth) by situating it, as an artistic form, in the literary traditions that it extends and modifies. While, from a literary perspective, hypertextuality is nothing new, what is revolutionary is the way that computerized hypertext emulates the spatial and visual qualities that literary texts have historically struggled to effect. To illustrate the concept of spatial form I have chosen to analyze the mola web, a hypertext which is unique, though not abnormal, in the extremity of its link structure. One needs only think of the ubiquitous metaphor of the labyrinth in hypertext criticism or of the recent attention given to spatial user interfaces to see how dependent is the idea of hypertext on a spatial form.

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Scott Rettberg