Image tiling in Illustrator was the key to production in the making of this giant scroll of Jack holding his scroll. A happy accident: The pixelization in the halftone pattern sort of looks like a copyright symbol (appropriate seen as how the image this is based upon is appropriated from a photograph taken long ago by Gerry Nicosia) and/or a smiley face (an image that sometimes appeared on LSD stickers, I forget how I know this but it’s not by direct experience…anyhow, Jack would have probably liked that reference even though the publication of On The Road was a little ahead of the Timothy Leary era).
On The Web is a second place winner in the Individual Innovation category of the Best of the Web competition at the AEJMC conference this weekend in Chicago. Since I won’t be able to be there, I made this video presentation of the project for conference attendees. If you’re still learning how to use absolute and relative positioning with CSS3, I left a description of my use of those properties to keep the tape marks in place on the landing page. On The Web was created for the Browser Poems series in 2011 with the help of a commission from Terminal.
About this project:
While reading the novel, xtine crossed out every appearance of the word, “road” in her copy of the book and replaced it with the word, “web” to investigate whether modern life and web surfing are reflected in the original road-trip manuscript. (In many cases, the work still speaks to wanderers hitchhiking on the open road or browsing the information superhighway). The visual and interactive design of the project is based on the original manuscript design style: the scroll. Each page was scanned and placed into the virtual scroll utilizing HTML5 and CSS3, enabling the user/reader to scroll through the text in a web browser. Readers can also skim the work for the word “web” to test its integration into Kerouac’s 1957 context by clicking on the last occurrence of the word on any page where it is found, or by tabbing through the scroll.
This year I am a recipient of a TERMINAL net art commission that I used to create a series of poem interpretations for the browser.
Three classic works of literature from the 20th Century (“O Captain, My Captain”, “On the Road”, and “Waiting for You at the Mystery Spot”) are remade for the browser using the language of the web (HTML5 and CSS) as the primary agent of transformation. In the translated poems, I am not interested in writing the foundational text for the poetic experience. Instead, I wanted to design a web user’s visual experience of the works. The works adhere to the confining graphic formatting rules of current web standards, and include text, hypertext, images, videos, and audio.