On playing with paper

Susan Gibb writes

And, we played with paper. In the New Media class I was happy for days fiddling with the handed-out Mobius strip. In this class, we folded a plain piece of paper in such a way that corner flaps were created and various writing surfaces were then made available. The professor had us write a story, a sentence at a time in separate areas, then hand it to a classmate and read the story. Obviously, the narrative structure is affected by what is opened and read first. The sequence, and thus the story, is completely in the control of the reader.

I don’t know if the reader has complete control, but control may be an issue. We could also come at the paper experiment, which turns the writing surface (2 sides) into a muti-surfaced space. In a hypertext the reader must let go of control in a sense or seek another kind.

3 thoughts on “On playing with paper

  1. susan

    Perhaps being a control freak causes me to maintain that a reader always has control (you’ll remember my ongoing battle for thatas writer and reader) in that even with traditional reading methods, one can slam a book shut and thus end the story at any point. I think that seeking another kind is a pc way of saying he is allowed to find his own way around, yet still controlling the choice of path.

  2. Steve Post author

    Shutting the book isn’t a means of controlling the story though. That’s a manipulation of the machine that allows you to experience the story or not.

    I like to come at this by thinking about the phenomenon of reading and literary machines. Different machines, different experience. Control may simply be one criteria to consider.

  3. susan

    I suppose you’re right. I considered that when a choice is given–and that’s the meat of hypertext I would think–that control is automatically attached. The machinations or technique is decidedly different. I NEED Storyspace!

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