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April 25, 2007

a show of hands: May 1, 2007


Show of Solidarity

A year ago, the immigration reform movement swept through city centers across the United States in an historic series of marches. Over a million workers and their families took to the streets. This year a second wave of marches has been planned (May Day 2007). Although media outlets frequently focused on Latin American immigrants, the rallies invited all immigrants and their supporters to make their presence known, and many answered the call. After attending that march and being swept in the currents of political change, I began a show of hands.

As a show of hands is still in its early stages, I encourage readers to explore it and to send their feedback. Remember to register for Literatronica (even just as a guest) so the system can best adapt to your reading habits. Literatronica is available to authors who are interested in developing their own literary hypertexts. Readers can see a list of the current selections at the site.

Culminating in the May 1, 2006 marches, a show of hands is an adaptive hypertext written on Literatronica (or Literatronic), a system developed by Colombian doctoral candidate (FSU) Juan B. Gutierrez. Although the piece is in-progress, [Mark Marino] wanted to take this moment to present its early manifestation in commemoration of the marches that inspired it.

The icon of a show of hands is a photomosaic (there are currently two in the piece), featuring images of the hands of the marchers as well as of those of other people I encountered through Los Angeles at the time. The photomosaics also act as navigational maps, leading to the various storyheads in the tale. The reader chooses from the hands.

The hands could not be reduced or flattened to an iconic Brown Power fist. While at the march, I snapped pictures of hands, waving flags, raising banners, cradling cell phones, and aiming cameras. Marches often become a single image in the newspaper, members dissolve into a solitary stream. However, the vision, this showing of hands could not have been predicted, and the hands themselves, in all their activities and difference, good not have been imagined. And this is the age of multiple media as this Flickr set from the Chicago march attests.

The photomosaics bring together these photographs to form the broader image of this moment. Of course, due to the gaps inherent in mosaics, the image requires the viewer to complete it, to integrate the pieces, to recognize the larger pattern in what might be called gestalt. Read more >>

Posted by jo at April 25, 2007 02:18 PM