Project 1
Hypertext Artwork: A Personal history of your first-time experiences with digital technology

Using only text, create a hypetext artwork that presents a chronology/history of your personal, first-time, landmark experiences with digital technology. This personal history of computing experiences must start with your entry point into the world of computing and then include subsequent first-time experiences with computers up to the present. In addition to a chronology of your personal history of computing you will contextualize your experiences by including references to the larger chronology/history of computers that was happening at the time of your first-time experiences.

For example, if I were to assemble my hypertext chronology of first-time experiences with digital technology I would note my entry point into the world of computing beginning in the fall semester of 1978 at the University of Kansas. At that time all students were issued punch cards which were then given to a computer operator who used these punch cards to enroll students at the University. Subsequent first-time encounters included, among others, word processing and writing poetry in 1984 (the same year as the title of George Orwell's pessimistic novel, “1984”) on a Commodore personal computer using WordPerfect software; I used one of the first paint programs (8 bit) for making simple images; I played Atari Video games which were stored on audio cassettes at that time. My most recent addition to first-time experiences would be the use of a cell phone to access the WWW.

Before you start: Some formal, technical and aesthetic elements to consider

--Formal elements: text layout, color, font, use of negative and positive space. What do these elements trigger, what do they convey?
--Interactive elements: navigation, viewer/reader/user exception, how do you reveal information? What effects do your decisions have on your audience?
--Movement/pacing/rhythm - part and parcel of navigation. How do you create a sense of timing through navigation and the manner in which you reveal information?
--Continuity: transitions between links through movement, pacing, and rhythm.
--Navigational metaphor: Is there one? Do you need one? How do you interpret the page, as a space with a "real world" analog like a room, a body, a city, a piece of paper, a maze, a portal to another dimension? How would you communicate such analogies with text: Visually? Spatially?
--Language on the web: how can you use language as a graphic element? What liberties do website authors take with the rules of grammar and layout?
--The content of the lectures, readings used as idea generators. How can you relate the information in the lectures and readings to your project?
--Content providers: You are the content provider of this site. What's at the core of your content? What ideas motivate your work? What's the driving force? Do your formal elements communicate content?

Steps to take in creating your Hypertext Artwork:

--This hypertext document is strictly text-based so the aesthetics and design of the layout of your text will be of central importance.
--Design a linking structure that traces your landmark experiences with digital technology. This site map should exist outside the computers on paper. Some first-time examples might be: the first time you used word processing software (name it) the first time you used a cell phone, the first time you used a chat room, etc.
--A minimum of five main pages representing five landmark experiences is required with a maximum of ten html pages.
--Each page of the hypertext must have a landmark experience and must include a short paragraph describing this experience,
--This paragraph can contain links to other pages that support the paragraph describing the first-time event. You might, for instance, on the main page describe your first use of email; within this paragraph you could then make active links to other pages which contain related secondary information about this experience such as the kind of modem you used, its data transfer rate, the brand name, the kind of computer you used, the content of the email, what was happening politically at the time, what other computer-related inventions were unveiled at the time and so on.
--As accurately as possible note the dates and what particular hardware and software was available at the time.
--You must create the navigational option of going foreword and backwards through the hypertext, i.e., include a "back" link
--The main requirement for project is text. Students will focus on properties of text within html including color, size, alignment, and placement within the page. Use of text can be poetic, narrative or non-fiction prose.
!Good Luck! !Onward!