John Cayley’s work often employs a technique he calls “transliteral morphing.” This is a letter-by-letter morphing that transitions from one text to another, much as graphical morphing moves points in space so as to transition from one image to another. riverIsland is composed of two loops of poems, one horizontal and one vertical, and the reader can use on-screen arrows or QuicktimeVR movies in order to trigger movement along these loops. When the reader indicates that a move should be made from one poem to another, the appropriate transliteral morph is performed by the computer. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.
Lexia to Perplexia brings together the modes of fiction, criticism, and parable within an elegantly-designed “nervous interface” that pushes web conventions of the mouseover and click to their limits. It has been described as “a theory/fiction look at human attachment to the network.” See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.
Photopia is described in Baf’s Guide as “Sweet and sad, and complex enough that you may need to go through it twice in order to fully understand how all the fragments fit together.” It is one of the most widely admired pieces by genre-bending interactive fiction author Cadre. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.
Itinerant is a site-specific sound installation in Boston, Massachusetts. It invites people to take a walk through Boston Common and surrounding neighborhoods to experience an interactive sound work delivered via handheld computer and driven by GPS satellite information. During a walk which may last for more than two hours, visitors hear a personal narrative of family and displacement, interspersed with passages from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein — the classic tale of a technoscientific monster and the family love he witnesses voyeuristically, but cannot share.
Blue Company is an email novel that was performed in 2001 and 2002, with the current news affecting how messages were sent. A “new economy” worker who is sent back in time to the early renaissance tells the story of his corporate team, Blue Company, and their curious work as he writes e-mails on an illicit laptop to his inamorata. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece and its author.
In its print edition, “The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot” won Boston Reviewâ€™s Second Annual Poetry Contest; the online edition won About.com’s Best of the Net Poetry Award. The ballad relates the tensions between and impulses of the carbon-based and the silicon-based. The hypertext edition is illustrated and allows the reader access to any part of the poem at any point. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece and its author.
“‘I Know a Man,’ One Letter at a Time” is a tribute to Robert Creeley (1926-2005). It places his poem in an austere, yet funny, “letterist” framework. This non-interactive piece takes Young-Hae Chang’s “phrase at a time” and “word at a time” approach to animated poems to its logical conclusion.
“Reagan Library” was published on the 1999 Gravitational Intrigue CD and is also available online. The piece presents four shifting worlds of text and 3D images, treating the theme of memory and allowing the reader to resolve the scattered and randomized statements into something stable. “Reagan Library” uses HTML and Quicktime VR. See the Directory entry for more information about this piece.