[43] Memmott, T. Lexia to Perplexia. 2000.<http://www.altx.com/ebr/ebr11/11mem/> (aesthetic)

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Lexia to Perplexia as Hayles remarks, "hovers on the borders of illegibility" [91, p. 52]. Indeed, its occlusive anchors and navigation border (and may cross over into) incomprehensability. This work, along with _][ad][Dressed in a Skin C.ode [44], press readers to the outer boundaries of exploration.


At times, selectively animated anchors form a site map for selected portions of the work. These maps can almost be seen as a structure to the work--but is more like the inner working sof the computer/human meld that forms the basis of Lexia to Perplexia, as in this portion of Metastrophe. (See Samplers [37] for a simpler treatment of text-to-map structure.)

Screenshot used by permission. This is not an anchor, but an icon showing the place of the action--a different paper, perhaps

Non-distinguished text anchors

Each of the circles on the limited site map flashes open to reveal a "minifesto" with embedded text anchors. Note that not all of the colored texts are anchors. Lexia to Perplexia uses non-distinguished links, and in a more complex way than Strickland's in True North [62] or The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot [61]. Lexia to Perplexia does not provide a direct relationship between colored text and anchored text. Here the colors form an integral part of the creole, the new language that Hayles [91] identifies in the work, rather than a strictly thematic organization. Further, however, the anchors form a subset of the colored words in most cases--there are very few strictly undifferentiated anchors in Lexia to Perplexia. This builds up and the reader's expectation that colored text will yield--and then subverts this expectation when only a portion of the colored texts are flashover anchors.

Screenshot used by permission.

Density to montage to overload

Like ~water ~water ~water~ [59], Lexia to Perplexia presents a montage that as Bernstein [70] notes about montage in general "appear simultaneously, reinforcing each other while retaining their separate identities. Here the anchors reinforce each other as they crowd over and occlude each other. Just as the text can no longer be read in its entirety, so too do anchors lose their visibility and legibility. This, combined with the complex system where not every colored text is an anchor, presents an overrich source of information overload--precisely Memmott's point.

Screenshot used by permission.