Adding images to text requires an analytical approach. Inserting random images blindly into a document adds little extra meaning to the text. The picture of your dog plastered across the title page of your Microsoft Word essay on "The Manchild in R.L. Stein's Goosebumps" wastes CPU cycles. Nevertheless, an image does not necessarily have to have a one to one correlation with text. A picture of your dog alongside the haiku about your dog exemplifies needless redundancy. Finding the perfect balance of support and contrast between text and image requires answering a question or two. Namely, "What the hell am I trying to say?" Once that puzzle is solved, let the artistic process explore your inner psyche and emotions. Intuition, feeling, or whatever you call it, follows the selection of the conceptual goal of your text and image.

My initial problem with this assignment began with picking a text. While I feel my writing collection contains descent enough samples, the pieces do not merit visual synthesis. Perhaps this means my writing is so vivid and thus beyond the capabilities of the image? If only it were so! The majority of my texts are too concrete and consist of long, drawn out, boring sentences. When reading something with visuals (or on a website for that matter), words interest me less than the pictures. Other than a handful of blogs and online magazine publications, most things I read associated with visuals are no more than a paragraph in length. This prompted me to write a short, to the point piece that did not focus on being read (per se) but being seen. Excluding some specific art movements, text next to visuals acts almost as subtitling. Words do not have to be read to enjoy the piece, but boy do they provide context!

Following the selection of my text and relevant images, the technical process of assembling the piece posed a somewhat difficult task. I knew I wanted to use HTML and CSS since I needed to link to external website without using Flash or Java. Lining up text and images perfectly never occurs within the world of ever changing web standards in browsers, however, setting the absolute pixel locations of my elements in CSS makes things look relatively the same across the net. I also experimented with invisible image and anchor tags. I was thus able to incorporate visible content onto the piece, but then add a hidden interactive layer. This disorienting feature is truly an advantage of web work- in prior days one had to contextualize a signifier heavily to change its pointed to signified. With the use of code, clicking on will not always take you to

Overall, I am satisfied with how images and text mingle in the piece. The youTube frontpage aesthetic, the "poor" positioning of the meaningless words, and the exploratory links help (or hinder) the viewer to respond to the title of the piece. It is not beautiful or slick or perhaps even enlightening. I like that. As long as my girlfriend's mom might form a quizzical look on her face if she saw my piece, I think it has achieved its intended goal.

Cyberspace Web Overview Creative Nonfiction related courses

Last modified 6 February 2008