Stuart Moulthrop ··· July 2020
About the Work
This project began at ELOrlando in 2020 when Frode Hegland, developer of the Liquid platform for "self-aware" documents, invited me to write a thousand words for a book on The Future of Text. Scanning the contributor list, which contains many names I know and many more I admire, it became clear that anything I could say by ordinary means would at best swell the chorus, which my Welsh grandmother would approve, but not this time, Nana.
How can a document be self-aware? Mr. Hegland has his own ideas, as do the other learned contributors. I am still trying to work it out, approaching the problem characteristically backwards or by negation. Which is to say, I grasp more clearly how a document can embody the opposite of awareness. All it takes is a little knowledge of web scripting and a fundamentally disordered relationship to language. Et voila.
You can consume this folly either in a single dose or an all-you-can-stand stream. The static version is the default. Select the scrolling version if you dare.
Disclaimers: though the names of real people appear in this aleatory text, anything said about them proceeds from non-awareness, or machine fiction, assuming that's a distinction you observe. Warnings for repetition, animation, idiocy.