After working on the previous Post, Wunderkammer/Lost birds, I suddenly thought of a blog which could function in a similar way--the Pages and hyper-links opening up (as a drawer of a cabinet might) to reveal an object, image or text of wonder and curiosity. It was soon after that I recalled a work by Anna Munster, artist and writer, Wnndernet--a set of four ' virtual' and interactive Cabinets of Curiosities or Wunderkammers.
Uploaded onto the Internet in 2000, Wnndernet invites the participant to explore of series of links initially classified into four main categories (which I have called 'cabinets' as clicking on the link brings one first to such an image) of exotica, historica, machina, and transgenica. From there one is drawn through a series of hyper-links to image, sound, text and site, 'within' and 'out with' Wundernet itself. Even the visuals are combinations of the visceral (flesh and bones), the valuable (collectible objects) and the virtual (mathematical symbols). The fragments of text lead one on to the the complete (and downloadable) original text. Melding art and science, fact and fantasy, and philosophical theory, the ideas from the (potentially) finite content are open to (possibly) infinite variation and rearrangement. However tempting it is to view one as the digital version of the physical object 'other', both which make connection-in-difference (and therein are of such interest to this project and its exploration of the notion of 'smooth' space), there are differences between the physical Wnderkammer and the virtual Wundernet, as Marsha Meskimmon points out:
Based on the Wunderkammer, its visual tropes, structural logic and reliance upon collection and display as navigational propositions, are from the first a knowing projection of the past into the present. However, the connections between the digital Wundernet and the Wunderkammer are meant to produce a gap, an interval, through which their constitutive difference enables us to make experimental, conceptual leaps in thinking. (p122)And what I am calling 'smooth space'...
Marsha Meskimmon, Women Making Art (2003)
|Reconfiguring the Wall (2006) detail|