In civilized life, as in primitive regions, a piece of string or rope is a carpenter's chest of tools, a saddler's shop, a ladder, straps, buckles, and half a hundred other things besides, which are not dreamt of in the philosophy of common folk.

Rope Trick

Sometimes my web art work seems old-fashioned to me now, increasingly low-tech in a high-tech world. Thinking it time for me to learn some new tricks, I began to examine the history of technology. One of the most revolutionary technological developments ever, was the tying of the first knot, followed, a short few thousand years later, by the invention of rope. As human needs and contrivances grew more complex, so too did the technology of knots and rope. As the technology became intrinsic, more superstitions arose around it. Will this happen with the web technologies we have today? Who knows.

A piece of rope is now basic equipment for many magic tricks. My internet "Rope Trick" is a simple one. It must be done in the open without the use of engineers, technicians, satellite feeds, or television cameras. Belief in the trick depends on the 'exaggeration effect': the greater the time between seeing something and telling a story about it, the more a person tends to exaggerate the impressiveness of the event. I use the element of time: after a while the images change on the screen with or without user input. They move slowly and unpredictably. The composition is constantly modified as every interaction alters the timeline. There is no navigational interface. All of the images are in black and white. The texts are obscure and enigmatic. One must be patient with this web piece and forget about the technology behind it. It doesn't do very much. It is a little bit old fashioned, but magical I think. If you let it, it just might "rope you in".

VIEW "Rope Trick"

J. R. Carpenter || Luckysoap.comJ. R. Carpenter || bio || electronic literature || publications || talks || blog