Lexia to PerplexiaPosted by tmemmott in Media Work, on October 10, 2015
Lexia to Perplexia was developed 1998-1999 and debuted on the web in early 2000. The work is a deconstructive/grammatological examination of the Internet apparatus as “delivery machine,” exploring the processes and phenomena of attachment and networked being; and, as Katherine Hayles has stated, (provide) “a set of interrelated speculations about the future (and past) of human-intelligent machine interactions, along with extensive re-inscriptions of human subjectivity and the human body” (Writing Machines 49). The text of the work falls somewhere between theory and fiction, between the rigorous and the frivolous. Within the work, neologisms such as “metastrophe” and “intertimacy” work as sparks that are meant to inspire further thought and exploration. The work also makes reference to classical literature including and Greek and Egyptian mythology, as well as postmodern theory.
The Lexia to Perplexia interface is designed as a diagrammatic metaphor, emphasizing the local (user) and remote (server) poles of network attachment while exploring the “intertimate” hidden spaces of the process. At times its interactive features override the source text, leading to a fragmentary reading experience. In essence, the text does what it says: in that, certain theoretical attributes are not displayed as text but are incorporated into the functionality of the work and hidden within the source code.
In 2000 the work was awarded the trAce/Alt-X New Media Writing Award, and received an honorable mention from the 2000 Electronic Literature Organization Awards.