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networksvia fax, computer and telephone . Severalpeople alsoparticipated via standard mail. Alarge part of the project that I didn’t foresee in the beginningwere the conversationsin my own neighborhood. For people who had no experience, or interest, in using the electronic networks, but still had a wealth of lie experience to share, I became a scribe. I would pass on the storiesfrom the electronic networks, and they would tell me their own. It became a sharing of @ t s , flowing across the arbitraryboundaries of virtual and physicalcommunities. The secondstageof the projectis still in formation.At this writing, I foresee the storiesin digitizedhuman voice, so theywill literallybegin to whisper. The sameinterconnectionsof the stoneswill still hold in a hyper-liked database, allowingvisitors to follow their own thread of associations. For this, I am lookingat the possibilityof CD-ROMdis tribution. I was interested in several things at the outset of HaU o f Whispers.First, I wanted to create a virtual community using an ancient fundamental of community -making:shared stories.Second, I was creating a council model for understanding ourworld. Basically, the councilmodel holds that it is in the sharing that greater wisdom evolves. Finally,in a turbulent world, it is easy to lose sight of the smallbeauties and moments of grace that occur constantly around us. I wanted Hall o f Whispersto give voice to that side of ourselvesthat recognizes that this is as much a time of renewal as it is a time of decay. Has the project succeeded?I can’t sayfor sure; it’sstillvery early in the life of the piece. But I talked to one of the participants the other day, and I asked her what effect the project has on her. Here’swhat she told me: “First, I think I shouldwrite something.I should respond. But I don’t. Not right away. Instead, I read the storiesand I start thinking about thingsI haven’t thought about in twenty years. I take my time because I’m lookingfor something.I don’t know what, but I know it when I find it. I don’t want to send backjust any old story.It’s too special.” MAHASUKHAHALO Richard Gess, CatalogingDept., WoodruffLibrary, EmoryUniversity, Atlanta, GA 30322-2870,U.S.A. Email: To write about Quibbling [l] seems almost contraryto its conceptualwarp. It’s hardly about anything itself,being more like the gossip,family discussions, letters,passing fanciesand daydreams that we tell ourselvesevery day in order to make sense of things. These are not exactlylike myths or fairy tales or literary fiction. They are instead the quotidian stream. In this sense, then, Quibbling is a work that tries not to be literary. It’s somewhat unsuccessful in that, but then, it’sart. As ever,we’re in a transitional age, and given that as the pan-generational condition,we’re forever seekingways to understand our own unique to and fro. We can’t,however,claim ours has specificallyto do with technology. It alwayshas to do with technology, whether it’sinventinga way to hold fire,write speech, or send e-mail.We’re always changing according to the changes we make, and artists concern themselvesmore with that flux than with any kind of conclusions. It is in that rhythmic sense of ebb and flow,of multidirectional change, of events that disappear before they’re quite intelligible but somehow come to mean something, that Quibblingwas made. In hindsight, I can see why water and its properties became one of the pervasive, propelling metaphors in the work. Alake with many coves is how I saw it. The coves being where we focus, where individualsexist, where things are at least partly comprehensible; the lake being none of that, but, naturally, more than the sum of the coves, or more than what connects them. As a metaphor, the lake and coves stand not just for the form of this hyperfiction, but hypertictions generally,and yes, (sorry)for life itself.The thing about hypertictions is that, for art, they tend to be extremely life-like.They move and shift, allowingeverything,and so allow only that we find our own perspective .They are so multiple they revealwhat is individual,ourselves, readers of our own story. ing what...


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pp. 257-258
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