Dreamaphage
(Versions 1 and 2)

Jason Nelson

Dreamaphage (versions one and two)

Jason Nelson offers an evocative and strange narrative that explores disease, memory, and dreams within innovative, surprising, alternately whimsical and unnerving interfaces and environments. Dreamaphage is included here in two versions with two substantially different interfaces, offering a study in the way that new media writers can transform a work on the basis of different artistic and technical constraints.

Version 1 > Version 2 >

Author description: This work was inspired by lost diaries and those strange diseases that arise in one percent of one percent of one percent of us. I love the 3-dimensionality of the different dreams, and the layering of stories, poetry, science, and multimedia playthings through a turning page interface. Leading to the books is a floating depth framework that the user mouses over into and out of. More than any of my creations, Dreamaphage contains dozens of hidden buttons and lost texts. Unfortunately the first version of Dreamaphage suffered from usability problems. The main interface was unwieldy (but pretty) and the books hard to find (plus the occasional computer crash). I redesigned the main interface, playing off the 3D feel of version one, but placing it within two dimensions. I then added a few more extra bits and readjusted the medical reports. I wish more artists revisited older works, adjusting for changes in tech and poetic sensibilities.

Instructions: To hear the sound, turn on the computer's speakers or plug in headphones. The two versions of Dreamaphage are read in different ways. Version one: Click and drag to move forward and backward along the tunnel, clicking on texts and elements to explore them further. When a text has been selected, click and drag the upturned page corners to turn the pages of the book. Clicking on the red words within the books will open new windows to reveal additional aspects of Dreamaphage. Version two: Click the names of the viruses running along the bottom of the piece to open a report concerning that virus. Click and drag the upturned page corners to turn the pages of the book. Clicking on the red words within the books will open new windows to reveal additional aspects of Dreamaphage.

Previous publication: Both versions of Dreamaphage are available on Nelson's site, http://www.secrettechnology.com. Version one was published in the fall of 2003, and version two was published in the spring of 2004.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.