Hegirascope

11 09 2007

Browsing around in the hegirascope, I was wondering two things: what is this text trying to say, and why is it using such a rudimentary design? My second question was a little easier to answer, since the introduction to the text mentions that it was first released in 1995. This was back before all the fancy web design that everyone is so accustomed to when looking at a modern website. Back when the internet was just text and links, basically. So with that out of the way, I got to think a little about what the purpose was, and what themes and messages I could decipher. This is an extremely vast work. I spent quite a bit of time browsing through it, and each visit stumbled on multiple pages I hadn’t yet seen. I have a feeling I could just leave the hegirascope open in a browser all the time, and whenever I happen to jump over to it I will fall on something I’ve never seen before. That kind of makes it a micro-version of the internet as a whole, which maybe was an intentional concept of the creator.

The format for all the pages is the same, a small screen-sized text box with 4 links at each corner of the square. I came across a few exceptions with a blank screen that required text to be highlighted. The page formatting seemed to be the most consistent feature of the whole hypertext. The first thing I noticed was the background colors – they seemed to unify certain threads in the story. Pink screens had something to do with a couple in Brooklyn; green screens were related to Curtis Lemay; purple screens were tied in with people experiencing various kinds of “visions” or awakenings; white screens were attached to stories about dreams; and brown and gray screens told the story of a reanimated Marshall McLuhan. So, after singling out a few seemingly consistent story lines, I tried to figure out what they all had in common. The most obvious connection I could come up with was the theme of communication that kept coming up – the couple communicating through witty dialog in Park Slope, the Dad and Son communicating about bombs, Anabelle and Ronnette communicating about Fatman, Marshall McLuhan the communications theorist rising from the grave, etc. All of these excerpts had a heavy emphasis on communication, in particular, the changes it faces in modern times.

Brian Howell

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One response

12 09 2007
dtaciuch

Brian–

do you think the work would be improved with a more modern design? What would you change?

–dr t

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