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Goto: The Scraps & Skins of Cyberspace

Wendy Tronrud

A medium full of media. A screen, an interface, a glimpse, a gesture. Elbow meets table meets keyboard meets touch. An act. A performance. Maps everywhere remade made somewhere else. Theories of place become place. A gap. A silence. Where terminology does not know itself. Gosub Dataspace Scsi Logic Board What code describes the spaces where you sit? A mask. An interface. Red wires and then there are blue. A body represented. From where does it come? Something similar, though vaguely. I had a technological argument. Thinking somewhere between quotations marks and city streets. The word hit me when I was looking for place. A crack. Tripped up in programs. The side of the building rewritten. Old woman telling her story because she no longer recognizes her street. A snapshot.

Landscape of vocabulary. What language are you speaking? The monument thought it saw a public nearby. Are you from around here? There became a future plan. Something flashing. Disciplines crashing. Reboot. Flickering up and around spaces. What is visualized is no longer visible. Is memory possible in striated space? A girl. A boy.

Time passing in thick and thin wires clicking. A texture. Violent standing. A body or maybe a physical self. Scanning bruises onto clean white space. She read me. An inscription. I read it black and blue with heavy interaction. The images just jumping from one country to another with a number of people watching from below. My goodness. Are you there? Telepresence absorbing the bites and scratches from the other side.

There was something I wanted to say, but I couldn't bring my computer along with me. To describe to you what it is means I must first translate where it is. But here, you can read it with your body. Braille, but not really. Dotted lines marking the limit. An event. Free with internet access. Oh, did you miss it? Really, you have no idea what is going on in the world, do you?

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The idea for this forum sprung from my interest in the state of dislocation.

There are many ways to postulate the future, the potential, the ruin of the Internet. In fact, there are just as many ways to speak about the Internet, using multiple disciplinary, political, artistic positions. The discourses surrounding and framing the Internet are perhaps as interesting as the Internet itself. The writing of the Internet. The multitude of languages and narratives constructed around the Internet. What exactly is it?

Virtual, mechanic, urban, city, space, data, text, image.

The inhabitation of numerous locales/positions at once. I want to reference, to exhibit visual images, to gesticulate because the size of the possibility will not fit into a demonstrative argument. I also want to sit mute, immobile and click and drag to illustrate what it is that I want to say. I can not name what it is I am speaking about without naming, branching, linking to a number of other medias and virtual places at once.

The dislocation that I am interested in has been around. To read, to write, to create all are grounded in dislocation.

"To read is not to withdraw from the body so much as to occupy it differently."

"Reading is one such social and political inscription, a writing of the body which reveals its culturally and historically contingent character. Bodies, or more preceisely, our different sense of inhabiting a physical self are as variable as the texts that they read."

Theorization about dislocation is integral to that about place. In her book, The Lure of the Local, Lucy Lippard writes that "every landscape is a hermetic narrative. Finding a fitting place for oneself in the world is finding a place for oneself in a story" (33). But first we must be capable of locating the world and the story within which we want to be placed. With cyberspace, all medias and disciplines are implicated as are the means with which a story is fabricated and represented. As the forum responses illustrate, to be dealing with cyberspace and writing means nothing and everything at once. From moving image to sound to book to architecture, the hypertextís function as well as that of cyberspace, is theorized from many angles at once. Is what one sees in cyberspace an extension of what already exists? In cyberspace, a constantly referenced space, where one thing becomes like another, what may be the outcome of an extraordinary likeness that is based upon an extraordinary difference?

It is a virtual city writing itself written read travelled through turned off turned on. It is urban and you do not need to go anywhere to see it. Is it public space?

"The urban is a machine that connects and disconnects, articulates and disarticualtes, frames and releases. It offers the impression that it can be channeled and controlled, that it can be ordered and structured. The city is always an attempt at realizing this order, which, however, is nothing but a temporary manifestation of the urban."

It is within a public space discourse. A territory. An unmarked question.

"The city would now try to imagine itself a human place. It would try to establish well-ordered paths within its body, would try, in spite of everything, to be legible. We are still living in that search for a legible urbanization, in the space of rupture hypertrophied by the Industrial Revolution."

Are you confused? I am confused. Citing theories about sites, referencing the urban, the literary, the technological, the virtual, the body in order to clarify my speech. Dislocated somewhere in the peripheries or maybe one of the centers of some discourse. Suddenly, nothing is locatable in a developing territory where language is flux, incomplete, spoken by someone else.

Text raining with your presence. The sound of raindrops. Memory coding. Could you leave the room? The house inside you. Reading with you. Try to find your place in the world. Locate first your world. Start with naming it. A description. A landscape. All within another. Digging deep inside the outside was located. Who can tell, they look the same. Changing histories and manic documentation. Loosing histories, left territory. Memory and then your feet there on the street before you but you donít see them, do you? The street I mean.

Try to be clear. A link. A chain. Wrapped tightly around my thigh. "lol."

When all is possible, there is nothing to say. Making my way through the underbrush along the high way. It is interesting to feel lost when you can afford to. Not being able to actively name, takes the fun away from experimentation.

For me personally, escape in artificiality. An artifice. Or was that you. Simple scenario of walking down the street. Stapled corners. I swear they were looking at me. Alphabetically challenged. Where to read becomes to listen. A fit.

Time lost in disassociative presence. Translatable weather. Where am I walking.

A cinema. A loop. Repeat, repeat. A cocktail. Infusion of place. Vulnerability of disarticulation. A cache.

 

 

BIO: Wendy Tronrud graduated from Barnard College in 1998. She now lives in NYC. This is her second contribution to How2.

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