[61] Strickland, S. The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot. 1999. <http://www.wordcircuits.com/gallery/sandSoot/> (aesthetic)

Text Menu

Anchor strategies

The work provides a multiplicity of anchor schemas:

  • Hidden text links in the stanzas
  • Links from the graphic
  • A menu bar depicting all possible nodes
  • A menu text for metatext

Screenshot used by permission.

a non-distinguished anchor a graphic anchor a non-distinguished anchor a symbolic "random" menu bar accessing all spaces a meta menu bar

Not every colored text will yield

At first glance, this work seems to be straightforward: colored text will be embedded anchors that yield. However, as in True North [62], the color use in the Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot does not have a direct ancoral relationship. Penetration [30] also uses colored text for nonanchoral themes, but the anchors here are clustered in a bottom menu rather than isolated in the text itself.

The embedded text anchors are thus hidden, sometimes yielding on a colored text and other times yielding on an nondifferentiated text. Strickland interweaves color and design in more fashions than the expected strategy of reserving color and decoration on a page for an anchor. Her color and design are thematic rather than navigational, leading to a richer exploration of the work.

This work, as all webworks, are browser dependant. Some browsers will automatically underline words, thus subverting Strickland's intent. She specifically addresses the browser problem as she recommends: "For a more seamless, more exploratory experience, Netscape 3 users should set the browser to not underline links."

An overall menu

Strickland uses binary numbers as a literary device by numbering the verses about Sand as 0 and Soot as 1s, and by creating a 0|0|0| menu that shows all of the verses. Odin ascribes a metaphysical level to the numbering system: "the Zero (associated with Sand) alludes to the emptiness or nothingness of Zen Buddhism, and the number One (associated with Harry Soot) to the contemplating itself. [104, p 12] " The symbols here work on a multiplicity of levels.

This menu, like many efferent and some other aesthetic sites, shows all of the possible nodes at all times. As the menu anchor is differentiated by visited and unvisited destinations, the reader has a sense of how much of the work she has seen.

Dynamic links

The dynamic links on the 0|0|0| not only provide a gauge for the readers to determine how much text is left to read, but also reinforce the metaphysical meanings by showing that although there is an interplay between the ones and zeros, it is the zeros--the silly-con computer that is ultimately serving the content.

an invisible anchor a graphic anchor an invisible anchor a symbolic "random" menu bar accessing all spaces a meta menu bar