What does “mouchette” mean?

What does the french slang term “mouchette” mean?
“Mouchette” (literal meaning: “little fly”) is usually meant to refer to either those who post on the overwhelmingly popular, bizarre Mouchette.org website, the creator of it, or the site itself – consisting of various secret links, electronic interactive texts and poems that reveal the multiple faces of the artist, along with her fears and obsessions.

The opening screen on the website is a close-up of a flower, with flies moving around it. The fly is a visual allusion to the french word, “Mouchette,”. If one clicks on the flies to the right of the screen, it leads to the “Blind Jump” section of the site. The fly in the center of the screen leads to two more pages about flies, then the viewer is confronted with a dead end.

In the corner of the homepage is either a photo of a young girl, a drawing of a young girl, or a picture of an older woman. When the arrow is on the picture, a passage appears. One can click on either the picture, or the passage, and it will lead to different pages-the passage always leads to a seemingly public bulletin board about suicide, whereas the picture can lead to different pages, dependent upon which picture is displayed.

The artist Mouchette claims that the young girl pictured is herself. Next to the picture, there is a checklist that lists certain “facts” about Mouchette, some of which contain links to other pages. There is also a scrolling menu at the bottom of the page, which says “browse me” and contains a number of vague links leading to different sub-sections of the site.

The confusion and profusion of links and subdivisions within the site lead the viewer to become disoriented. One cannot easily navigate the site, nor can one easily re-trace one’s steps; the “back” button often leads to random new pages. There is an abundance of subsites within the site, as well as links to outside sites.

Loosely-based on the 1937 book by Georges Bernanos and the 1967 Robert Bresson movie, Mouchette, the website expands upon the basic storyline of the film, which portrays a girl suffering from the pains of abuse, an alcoholic father and dying mother…the girl eventually commits suicide.

One subsite is an apparently “public” bulletin board, upon which people respond to the question: “What is the best way to kill yourself when you are under thirteen?”- a question seemingly posed by the “young girl” behind the site. The respondents leave a variety of messages ranging from attempts to save Mouchette, to bitter notes pushing Mouchette (and her apparently suicidal correspondents) to actually commit the final act.

Mouchette also prompts each viewer to fill in his own form and respond. Yet, it is unclear if these responses are filtered, and by whom-or, are the posted ones even written by real people? If everyone can be Mouchette, who is the driving force behind Mouchette?

Source(s): http://www.dartmouth.edu/~arthist/content/websites/website4/website4.html

Unfortunately this reference has disappeared, but I have saved a  pdf copy.
“Interactivity and Accountability” (pdf link)

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