An ingenious demonstration of volitional mobility , scan-and-search , and the principles that govern web surfing can be found in Stuart Moulthrop's Hegirascope. The site brings all of these forms of web control into one site. These principles are highlighted by Moulthrop in various ways. Moulthrop describes some of these methods: "most of these pages carry instructions that cause the browser to refresh the active window with a new page after 30 seconds. [volitional mobility] You can circumvent this by following a hypertext link, though in most cases this will simply start a new half-minute timer on a fresh page.[scan-and-search]" The user is disoriented as s/he "navingates" through this site. The user believesor is lead to believe that they are in control as they navigate this site but are soon corrected, as they find themselves jumping pages without doing so by conscious action or choice. The user then tries to regain control by frantically hitting the back key to get exactly where s/he "wants to be". Scan-and-search is demonstrated by Moulthrop's site every time the user finds himself/herself engaged in a particular page; only to jump to another for fear of staying in one place for too long (one minute and thirty seconds). On Moulthrop's site one experiences it as if you are experiencing another user's web interaction. In this instance you are more aware that you are in fact more of a viewer than a user, however in reality this is indeed the case on all occasions. Taken together, the web can be experienced in so many ways that are not truly reflective of reality. In fact, the web is similar to other mediums before it, and the viewer plays the same role. The user is engaged in a facade sine the user is just as controlled as the "viewer" once was when reading the daily local newspaper.[ Moulthrop's site ]

Course Website cyborg Body & Self Literature

Last modified 31 December 2006