interview june 2001

New Media, allergist New Narrative

mouchette
melanoma helvetica, pathopsychology arial; font-size: small;”>Mouchette

What is your name?
Mouchette.

What is your age?
Not yet 13.

What is your occupation?
Being a person on the internet.

What is your nationality?
French.

Where do you live?
Amsterdam, or so it says on my site.

How do you see this place influencing your work?
It influences the readers mostly.

When, how, and why did you become involved in the Internet?
Once upon a time, there was a Mouchette on PMC MOO… There also has been a character on MediaMOO (MIT) called Lalie who had 2 robot dolls called Echolalie and Glossolalie. They all still exist there (@join Mouchette on PMC MOO or @join Lalie on MediaMOO) but nobody keeps them alive. If there had been a public for text-only interactive worlds like MOOs, there would never have been a Mouchette on the Web.

Has your perspective on the Internet changed significantly over the last five years?
Being just a little piece of the internet I have no perspective on it. I change with it, like a drop of water in the sea changes with the sea.

What do you see your work coming out of and where do you see it going?
It comes from a set of theoretical questions about language within the field of visual arts:
1) A concern with the linguistic notion of “speech acts.”
2) Modes of address in the public space using a written form.
It goes towards a new definition of identity related to a new social form of communication.

Do you have any favorite writers?
Raymond Roussel, Georges Perec, Raymond Queneau and all the OULIPO writers.

Do you have any favorite movies?
“Mouchette” by Robert Bresson, and all other Bresson movies.

Do you think your work tells stories? If not, do you think fans find stories in your work anyway?
I do not tell stories, the fans find them in my work. If the work is good each fan attributes me a different story.

To what extent has your work been shaped by contributions from your fans?
To a very big extent. In fact, it’s completely shaped by the fans’ contributions. But that’s something only the fans can tell. Since I’m one of the fans, I know what I’m talking about.

Can you comment on the ratio of words to imagery to sound in your work?
Text goes first. Pictures and sounds are merely a sort of decor, something that supports or triggers the verbal exchange between me and the text contributors to the site.

What are the unique characteristics of narrative on the Web?
1) The notion of fiction and non-fiction are being re-defined. I am just as real (non-fiction) as …….. [fill in here anybody who has a homepage or a Web site to promote their personality] or maybe they are all Web characters like me.
2) Web users, readers may fill in a part in the story. That part can be integrated inside the story by the main author. Authorship is being shared, although not in an equal way.

Flesh and Blood
Flesh and Blood, 1998

How many hours a day (on average) do you spend on a computer?
Too many to dare mention…

When do you do your best work (time of day)?
What time do you mean: GMT? EDT? PDT? UTC?

Do you have any significant collaborators?
Right now the PHP programmer is very significant to the creation. The PHP programs determine how I receive, edit and react to the users’ contributions to my Web site.

URLs

 

john_cabral
John Cabral

What is your name? John Cabral.

What is your age? 30

What is your nationality?American

.Do you have any favorite writers? William Faulkner, Ignácio de Loyola Brandão.

ground_zero
Ground Zero, 2001

Do you have any favorite movies? Das Boot, The Wizard of Oz, La Jetée, Underground.

When, how, and why did you become involved in the Internet? In 1995, a friend gave me an old computer with a modem. I was in college and signed up for a free shell account with Lynx, I started using the Web primarily for documenting my drawings, writings, etc.

Has your perspective on the Internet changed significantly over the last five years? Yes and no. I have similar ideas about it, but now concentrate on some more than others. I used to think everything should be viewable in a browser, but don’t care anymore.

What do you see your work coming out of and where do you see it going? Traditional children stories >> into game design.

Can you comment on the ratio of words to imagery to sound in your work? Sounds are more important than words because words are too descriptive.

What are the unique characteristics of narrative on the Web? Live action, short narratives, real-time data, and distribution.

How many hours a day (on average) do you spend on a computer? 10.

When do you do your best work (time of day). In the morning.

Do you have any significant collaborators? Not in the past, but I’m currently collaborating with people.

 

mumbleboy
Mumbleboy

What is your name? Kinya Hanada.

What is your occupation? Web animator & illustrator.

What is your nationality? Japanese.

Where do you live? NYC.

How do you see this place influencing your work? I am not sure if there’s very much direct influence from living here, but it does offer access to a lot of culture, so in that way, I can find more things that I might be influenced by.

When, how, and why did you become involved in the Internet? I suppose it was probably around ’93, ’94. I had a naive notion about cyberspace from reading books like “Neuromancer” and I thought it was going to be some sort of a futuristic experience. I quickly realized it wasn’t like that, but also realized it was so easy to publish on the net. Being a person who always liked to make things (stuff) and show to people, it became very important to me to be able to show my work without going through any barriers.

Has your perspective on the Internet changed significantly over the last five years? No, but I feel that other people have. I don’t “surf” around as much as I used to, but I feel like people used to be more care-free about putting stuff out there. In general, it seems some of the enthusiasm has died out and people are very careful about how they present themselves.

What do you see your work coming out of and where do you see it going? I don’t really know where it’s going. It’s not a pre-meditated thing I’m doing and if I knew, I don’t know that I would be willing to put in the work.

pamplemousse1
Pamplemousse 1, 2000

Do you have any favorite writers? My favorite writer is Genichiro Takahashi. He hasn’t been published in English except for an excerpt from his novel in a book called “Monkey Brain Sushi.”

Do you have any favorite movies? Brazil. At least it used to be. (I) haven’t seen it in a while. I fear it might have become dated.

Do you think your work tells stories? If not, do you think fans find stories in your work anyway? I don’t make my work with any story in mind really. If there’s stories in them it’s probably because we try to look for stories in motion pictures. I think that’s good if viewers see stories, it’s probably a lot more creative viewing than watching something with a very obvious plot line.

To what extent has your work been shaped by contributions from your fans? Maybe not so much directly, but it is always good to have feedback for your work. It keeps you going. Sometimes comments can trigger ideas for more work. For example, when I made “Buttery Donuts,” there were no donuts in the animation and I got an e-mail that said, “where the hell are the donuts?,” so I thought I should make my next piece with donuts in them and that was “Pamplemousse.”

How many hours a day (on average) do you spend on a computer? I’ve never counted. Maybe 8-9 hours? I try and not waste my time on the computer. If I’m stuck or if I’m just wasting time, I’ll do something else and come back to the computer when I’ve come up with an idea to work out.

When do you do your best work (time of day). Late at night.

Do you have any significant collaborators? Eric Mast a.k.a. E*Rock. He does most of the sounds for my animations.

 



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