Writing Space 3
What does the screen allow the writer that the printed page does not? This text-art installation is an experiment with the writing space afforded by the screen. This composition consists of 52 quotes, each relating to the themes of writing, grids, writing spaces, white space and text on the screen. The quotes are arrayed in a 3-dimensional grid pattern. Rather than just the eyes moving across the printed page, "reading" this text means maneuvering through the space of text, simulating the experience of the movement of the body through space.
Randomness and serendipity are the key narrative themes of "Writing Space II." The text fragments-and the white space between them-appear in the order of the reader/viewer's choosing. Thus, the meaning of the text is constantly shifting as new juxtapositions form. Writing Space III is an example of my work with "mashup logic:" the mixing and juxtaposition of found objects recombined in novel ways. This installation/text will be different each time it is viewed/read, with each new reading path the viewer takes.
"Writing Space II" is a three-dimensional homage to the commonplace book of the early modern period: it is a collection of attributions and aphorisms, an act of writing as textual curation. Kenneth Goldsmith has recently written that this new condition of writing is more representative of our digital moment, and especially its superabundance of information: "With an unprecedented amount of available text, our problem is not needing to write more of it; instead, we must learn to negotiate the vast quantity that exists." Goldsmith favors the writer as sampler, as re-mix artist, and champions "the act of writing as moving language from one place to another, proclaiming that context is the new content." Each text fragment is recontextualized as the reader determines her own path through the space.
Beyond the "argument" contained in the configuration of text fragments, this text-art installation is also intended as a statement about the role of the visualization data in the digital humanities, and is meant to be a hybrid form somewhere between art and text. It is both an installation to be looked at and a text to be read.