I like this exchange. It figures in a blog post I wrote yesterday about how The Wilderness Downtown functions rhetorically. You may wish to check it out: http://tiny.cc/l9o7blr3vc]]>
Agreed — I completely enjoyed the Wilderness piece. It was interesting how viewing it through the lens of interactive e-literature started me thinking about what else it could be. Not that this didn’t exist at all prior to reading your post - the first time i saw it a few weeks ago I expected/hoped that the doodle I drew would manifest in the climactic moment of the film… I suppose the e-lit lens shone on this more brightly.]]>
I agree, though if the measure is the concept, not the interactivity, I find the piece to be a nice mash-up of html5 effects, maps, and music under a creepy combo of nostalgia and surveillance crows. True, other e-lit is more interactive–or… offers more significant interaction. This is more of the you be the star of the story — or Dora episode — genre.
(My bit of mischief was to type in Folsom County Jail as my addy. Anybody try any other play?)
But again, what may seem window dressing to the song or film are meant to be dazzling demonstrations of browser superiority, forget that it opens a cascade of little windows just to make it work.
But I will never hold up a piece as the be-all end-all of interactivity. Rather than rag on this limited version, what could you imagine to be better? Let’s dream better art.]]>
Thanks for posting this Mark!
I’m curious about the distinction between Wilderness and any other film. As you point out, the boids are particularly compelling. I’d say this is because they are consistently responsive. They react to unpredictable actions of the viewer/participant’s mouse offering myriad junctions in the visual tableau of the opening page, thereby displaying the flexibility of the piece, and [I’m supposing] the code. But, once we leave this page behind by entering our address, by passing into the work, it ends up steaming ahead a lot like a normal film.
The work really has one major joint at which it shifts based on a participatory action and that is the entering of the address. This act affects the core of the piece by determining setting. A neat trick to be sure, but outside of this, the other interactive elements (the boids and the doodling) function more like window dressing. They are confined to their moment in the narrative, lacking efficacy to modify the work outside of the page on which they appear. The windows popping up occur outside of viewer influence and so are a lot like any other film with multiple windows popping up [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM-0Pwgr7-E ]
I recognize I’m not getting at the deeper issues of methods of analysis, it’s just that reading this post left me wishing for a more deeply mutable digital object. Maybe something I can spray paint or toss out a window to see what happens when it hits the ground.]]>