This is a poem that uses language and code in textural ways. The letters are arranged in a light grey color on a white background clustered so densely that only a few words that jut out are readable. Three squares trigger a dark grey image to appear under the words, which creates more contrast for increased legibility, but it is not a true improvement. The few words one can make out are snippets of code, which might be an invitation to see what is in the source code.
The minimalist interface for this piece presents two links, one in each black square, that lead to a “Poem by Nari.” Self-described as “visual poems from the cyberstream,” these conceptual poems are inspired by the Web— its aesthetics, code, images, and texts, both intended and accidental— and reworked by Warnell to comment, highlight, and transform it into e-poetic works that are difficult to classify in any conventional genre or art form, except as net.art, which is far from traditional. Returning to this piece (or reloading the page) shows different works in the window, keeping the experience fresh while frustrating attempts at re-reading the works by providing uncertain access to them.
This hypertext poem examines language and instructions from help menus and other documentation in the Windows 98 operating system, juxtaposing it with texts and images from other sources (credited in “Windows”) as well as with original material. The formatting for the Windows texts is designed for readers to read them clearly, allowing for Microsoft’s prosaic, utilitarian voice to emerge clearly and deliver instructions for procedures that seem unnecessarily complex. The “Poem by Nari” texts (Warnell’s poetic persona) are made strange and poetic through visual formatting: primarily by eliminating spaces between words, arranging streams of texts in columns, and capitalizing by constraint rather than by convention.
Explore these texts as ambient works designed to create a mood, using language to produce a textual and textural conversation between Microsoft and Poem by Nari’s voices.