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Chapter Three Knowhere? (continued)

Throughout my working process I made reference to questions raised by artists Gromala and Sharir in their process, for example, “In an interactive space, what motivates us to participate? Are some participants relegated to being passive audience members and others performers?” (1994, online) These questions identify that not everyone wishes to be the active reader Barthes identifies (1977, p.146), instead wanting to watch the marks made by others. In ‘Knowhere?’ I made it possible for both types of audience member to exist, those who desired to participate and those who sought to watch.

Christopher Jothi, an undergraduate media student who participated in performance suggested that,

“Although the work was visually striking and encouraged discourse on the viability of hypertext in a digital installation, I found the non-linearity less engaging than if the films had been presented in a linear form. I find non-linearity raises the question ‘so what?’”


In response, the non-linear form was utilised due to its relation to hypertext and its ability to open up the text in a variety of ways not previously envisaged by the creator. Non-linearity may seem less engaging if the participant came with the expectancy of seeing a linear narrative. For those who came without preconceptions a narrative would have emerged from the fragments of a ‘story’. Another consideration is the possibility non-linearity offers on difference of perception. The non-linear form of ‘Knowhere?” presented the audience with an opportunity to either engage with it, making specific decisions about its content because these ideas were not presupposed by the author, or the option to disengage from their intellect and instead experience the work on a sensory or visceral level. Bolt discusses this idea in relation to the writings of theoretician Gilles Deleuze (2003),

“Deleuze argues that it is at the point closest to catastrophe that we abandon ourselves to conceptual "logic" and rhythm kicks in. Whilst we are thinking too much, responding with our intellect, we do not attend to the rhythms that constitute the creative process”. (Deleuze in Bolt 2004)

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