> what is the meaning behind it?

after teaching technology art courses and making art with digital technology for 3 years this project has evolved as a meaningful object that meets many of my goals of what technology should do. technology is so exciting in art education today; it is constantly changing and growing. new ideas are always welcome, the stereotypes and restrictions associated with traditional art media don't exist with technology. to me, technology should be a tool, an enhancement, a method for taking a new look at what we already know about ourselves. also family is a very interesting topic to me. the unending questions that we have that are both specific to our own families and universal to every human who wonders about how they got where they are in life. by using technology to construct a historical family portrait i am attempting to blend the past with the future; examining what came before and in my own voice reinterpreting the content for myself and others.

the nature of storytelling is about free association, triggering memories, spontaneity, brief moments of beauty, of insight, of understanding what needs to be said or heard at a given time. storytelling lends itself to being in a format that is unrestrictive, that allows for growth, for change, that is flexible and all encompassing. a format that allows, encourages listeners and teller to enter into freely at any given time, to have a dialogue.

in making this project in the form of a webpage, i have chosen, from conception, a structure that is non-linear. my vision has been to construct an object, designed for the web, that makes sense to the viewer if they step in at any given point. the challenge has been to construct a body of work that is not dependent on a sequential reading, that can stand on its own and offer insight. i have had to organize the written elements in such a way as to make clear what the questions are that i am attempting to address but not be redundant. also in the written elements of the family history i have had to present stories in such a way that tell about the people in my family but are not uninteresting to those outside the family or redundant to those within the family.

in the making of this project i am attempting to synthesize science and art. computers and creative processes. to find a way to use computers in my creation of art that will not be restrictive to my creativity but will help open my mind to new ideas, new approaches. it is not my duty to be the scientist. i am not a slave to the computer. i am the artist and i make the computer listen to me. the beauty of the web IS that it is not linear. there are no rules to viewing this page. it is my goal to make this project equally accessible from any point. ultimately i have no control over the path that the user chooses but that is the spirit of the internet - that it is not linear. the internet lends itself to spot reading, jumping from point to point, click here, now click here, now search here, now skim this, now you're done.

i have kept this in mind when designing material for this project. my users will not sit and view it in its entirety from "beginning" to "end". nor will they conduct a keyword search for specific information. they will enter, i hope, with a open mind, expecting only to find a story that will interest them or picture they have never seen before. to create their own path through my work as their interests take them. my purpose is clear to me. i have chosen this format over any other so that i have the freedom to create, and my viewers have the freedom to engage.

because the web is new and different from a book, it is a question of format that concerns us all. from teaching technology art courses and making this project i have learned that the web, and computers in general are exciting. they are experimental. by their nature they invite experimentation. they are forever changing, and (should) hold no strict stereotypical expectations as perhaps other media do. ceramics for example may not have the never before tried possibilities in form and content that computers do, merely because it is not new. because they are new and undefined, computers offer endless creative possibilities. the nature of the computer IS experimental. attempting to use a computer as a glorified typewriter is not taking full advantage of what the artist can make the computer do. we cannot become slaves to the computer. if we are not asking of it its true experimental nature we will become its slave. artists must decide what it is they want to make and then push the computer to meet their vision. (and it WILL meet it).

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