SCRIPTED - Exhibition 2004

My work utilizes temporal spaces that the user can move via text location. This semiotics piece creates physical paths seen on screen. Each path offers a vehicle for user movement and the associated movement is repeated once clicked. The user anticipates an action that will take them to a particular location, however, in fact, the user circles the screen and returns to the beginning each time. The form is similar to old computer games, where the user was only given words to create spaces, and binary choices-yes or no.

The use of words to create the space has been informed by semiotics, where it is understood that binaries create a relational language. The interface hinges on the relation between what is expected and what actually happens. When the user clicks on the directional words, and goes in an “unexpected” direction, the semiotics is inverted. Author Roland Barthes defined meta-language or myth as a secondary meaning derived from the signification of an object. Since we are working in/with a binary system the misdirection can then be coded with a new layer of meaning, creating a meta-language, or myth.

Each user will understand the misdirection of their click in different ways relating to their personal experiences, and the frustration from this misdirection will illustrate the user’s lack of control. Many people struggle with the lack of control they have in their lives, but what this work is trying to show is how perhaps people need to alter their perspective of the same situation, in turn making it different, and controllable. The facade of control given by the ability to click will not overshadow the lack of control in direction; this will lead to the realization that if the user alters their perception and understands the meta-language, they will be able to control their movement.

Given the temporal functionality of the interface as it redirects users, expectations are subverted, and new layers of understanding begin to mask the traditional language used to navigate through this work. Time and space are important philosophies in the framework, which ultimately shows the fluidity and transparency of infrastructures activated by space frames.