Saturday, February 05, 2005

Hypertext Everything



Grafedia is an online project that encourages participants to create graffiti that has one or more words incorporate a word underlined in blue that acts like a hyperlink to an image file stored on the web. The participant chooses the text and uploads the accompanying image to the grafedia website. To access grafedia, the viewer sends an email to: "thespottedword"@grafedia.net and a small message (hi, will do). The accompanying image is emailed to the viewer. Try it with the example above.

I like the use of "hypertext linkage" to connect the "real" world to the virtual one as well as connecting text to image. Unlike the grafedia graffiti pictured above, it's not necessary to include @grafedia.net in your message but it is often used to prod the viewer. Myself, I prefer the idea of "It's nice to feel wanted."

Of course, the idea is dependent the viewer's recognition of the hyperlink as a hyperlink (which supposes a computer savvy audience), as well as the supposition that the viewer has both a cellphone and a subscription to services allowing an internet link(the idea is for the viewer to access the information at the location). The use of graffiti as a vehical places this project in an urban landscape, rife with countless Official Linkages in the way of associations (stills from tv commercials, movies, etc and actual internet addresses in signage). Grafedia's links offer a way to counter advertising messages with guerrilla ads. Think of them as landscape easter eggs. I'd like to see links to whole online sites, video, webcams, etc.

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