[NetBehaviour] Turbulence.org Commission: “text_ocean” by Zannah Marsh

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Sep 14 20:11:22 CEST 2015

This is quite beautiful; of course it does bring up the question of 
impenetrability (the beauty of the work doesn't unravel), and in relation 
to -

"The user reads the text by hooking and releasing words and, in the 
process, disconnects them from their original lines. Thus Moby Dick is 
slowly, randomly rewritten by the user, word by word, as she reads."

- a couple of things; if you situate whaling and inevitability (as it 
was seen up until maybe 1900 or so?) as part of what Moby Dick is about, 
the deconstruction of that through a violent dialectic, then the piece 
might be read as a violent dialectic against Moby Dick, a kind of 
silencing (for those who wouldn't read the book in the first place, for 
those who never heard of the book, for those who heard it's "impenetrable" 
etc.) -

The book is about flesh, of the whale, of the human body, of dissection; 
the piece seems more about the dissection of words which have already fled 
the body?

I really like the piece; I just wish a discourse had been recreated around 
these issues, which in a way are always part of the issues surrounding the 
digital in the first place.

The loveliness of it reminds me of Ian Hamilton Finlay!

- Alan

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