This work is published as a video documentation of a simultaneously analog and digital poem— an instance of extreme inscription as described by Matthew Kirschenbaum. Written on a semiconductor alloy with “a focus GA ion beam” at font sizes much smaller than a pixel, requiring an electron microscope with magnification “ranges from 400x all the way to 10000x.” The naked eye cannot read this poem unaided, so the video takes us through an edited journey into the poem’s text reminiscent of Prezi, but much cooler in its materiality.
This poem invents an origin myth for Bratislava (abbreviated BA, hence the title in English), cuts it up and scatters it like seeds into an interface designed to respond to reader interactions. The scattered words are gently drawn to the pointer until a word falls under it, which triggers the whole dispersed line to swiftly arrange itself, brightening into legibility on the canvas, and then dispersing and fading when released. This allows for an exploratory kind of reading, taking in a snippet at a time, as if one is hearing bits and pieces of the story as one travels in Bratislava.