“Marble Springs” NOT by Deena Larsen (part 4 of 4)

Screen capture of "Marble Springs" NOT by Deena Larsen (part 4 of 4). The Marble Springs website is once again displayed with the photograph of the old mining town at the top. Text: "Credits / What we know / Thanks / Thanks, you guys! Well folks, it's been a long hard haul, but we made it. Hurrah! / Contributors to Marble Springs 2.0 / (list of names too small to read)"
Open “Marble Springs” NOT by Deena Larsen (part 4 of 4)

This hypertext poem is open by design, with a long history of inviting participation from others. When it was first published in 1993 in HyperCard format by Eastgate systems (referred to in earlier entries as Marble Springs 1.0) it offered readers the ability to contribute their own writing to the work via annotations, as described in the publisher’s site.

Marble Springs joins reading and writing as it invites each reader to rewrite and extend the work. Open or “constructive hypertexts” have long been considered one of the great promises of hypertext fiction and of the colonization of cyberspace, yet actually creating an open hypertext, one in which others can write and will wish to write, poses both technical and artistic challenges which Larsen has met head-on.

Read more

Close Reading “Marble Springs 3.0” by Deena Larsen (part 3 of 4)

Close Reading “Marble Springs 3.0” by Deena Larsen (part 3 of 4)

This hypertext epic about the lives of the inhabitants of Marble Springs, a fictional gold rush town in Colorado is an ambitious project 25 years in the making. For the past two entries, I have focused on issues of publication, obsolescence, documentation, and representation of her creative vision. This entry will examine a character’s page / lexia / node— Mandy Turner’s—analyzing its design, poetic language, and link structures.

Read more

“Marble Springs 3.0” by Deena Larsen (part 2 of 4)

Screen capture of "Marble Springs 3.0" by Deena Larsen (part 2 of 4). A black and white photograph of an abandoned mining town. Text: "Marble Springs 3.0 Home / Marble Springs is a complex study of characters using the odd bit of information picked up here and there. Come explore the lives of women in a small Colorado mining town from the mid 1800s when white men first swooped to the gold fields to the mid 1900s when wars took the final breath from the town."
Open “Marble Springs 3.0” by Deena Larsen (part 2 of 4)

This new version of Marble Springs, originally published in Hypercard in 1993 by Eastgate Systems (see yesterday’s entry for details), uses a contemporary authoring system that still can’t quite achieve Larsen’s vision for the work. Here’s Deena’s commentary in the “About Marble Springs” page, which also offers a detailed version history for the work:

Now the internet has come somewhat closer — but nowhere near — what I originally had in mind. And Leighton Christiansen wrote his thesis on digital archiving techniques using Marble Springs as his digital archiving guinea pig. So now, using his exhaustive lists of links and texts and images, I am porting Marble Springs to a wiki.

Read more

“Marble Springs 1.0 [Web Demo]” by Deena Larsen (part 1 of 4)

“Going through the Signs” by Jody Zellen and Deena Larsen

Screen capture of “Going through the Signs” by Jody Zellen and Deena Larsen. A first person POV of a bridge entrance, with a second window showing another bridge, this one curved to the right. Text: "(First bridge) / Step through / (Second bridge) / play it safe / without signs / do you follow flows?"
Open “Going through the Signs” by Jody Zellen and Deena Larsen

This collaborative hypertext poem uses a “page space” designed by Zellen to create a sequence of pop-up windows that last 20 seconds before closing along with links that lead to new pop-up windows, simultaneously closing the previous one, and leading to a final page with three thin vertical frames. This produces a powerful sense of progression in which the reader must press on or have to start over while not providing any way to get back to an earlier page. Larsen uses this structure to build a trail of consciousness which includes the thoughts of a character seeking a path and sense of purpose in a world that seems to have the former, but not the latter.

Read more about this work at ELMCIP.

“Cut to the Flesh” by Deena Larsen and Jody Zellen

Screen capture from “Cut to the Flesh” by Deena Larsen and Jody Zellen. Words overlaid by question marks on lightly textured background. Text: "The world disintegrates rapidly./Can one trust a reminiscence"
Open “Cut to the Flesh” by Deena Larsen and Jody Zellen

This multimedia poem was written by Jody Zellen, using a “page space” developed by Deena Larsen for this collaboration. Each of the question marks responds to a mouseover by triggering a line of verse moving diagonally across the poem’s surface along with a sound. The title’s reference to the flesh and the use of heartbeat, sonogram, and voice recordings saying things like “breathe” all reinforce a surgical conceptual framework, and metaphorically framing the diagonal language movement as cuts, slashing across the screen. The occasional variations in the sounds and word movement place the poem in conversation with some of the urban concerns which are so central to Zellen’s poetics, while the literalization of a metaphor through interface design is part of Larsen’s.

Read more

“The Pines at Walden Pond” by Deena Larsen

Open “The Pines at Walden Pond” by Deena Larsen

“Firefly” by Deena Larsen

Screen capture from “Firefly” by Deena Larsen. Photograph of a brick wall at nighttime, overlaid with bright green text. Text: "Slowly I slip into/the weight of my knees/there as if he were home/I do not know how/obscuring the horizon/"
Open “Firefly” by Deena Larsen

“Carving in Possibilities” by Deena Larsen, with sounds from Matt Hansen