Annette Weintraub

One Text, Many Stories

“One Text, Many Stories” is an exploration of reading, and of how the visual context of a reading influences meaning. An original text composed of nine short passages describes an urban space reconstituted in memory, and is interspersed with short extracts from Michael de Certeau’s “The Practice of Everyday Life” and “The Production of Space” by Henri Lefebre. Taken together, the passages are a construction of ‘the city’ as a fluid mental map of elements that are shuffled and rearranged. The texts explore the changing texture of urban space, perceptions of movement through the urban environment and the semiotics of space. Inspired by the css Zen Garden use of CSS to separate structure and appearance, each page redisplays and reconfigures the primary text. Through this alteration, the text undergoes shifts in meaning and narrative arc. “One Text” imagines a journey through a city that triggers a series of recollections about the changing nature of the urban environment and leads to a reverie about sense of place filtered through memory. The texts explore perceptions of space, the shifting semiotics of signage and advertising, and the changing texture of the environment as the gloss of glass and steel grids replace the softer grid pattern of red brick. Space is indeed ‘produced,’ constructed in simultaneous overlays of momentary perception, flashes of nostalgia, decoding of signs and input of smell and touch. A structured text is altered in visual presentation and in interpretation through the application of different style sheets. Each of the nine pages has a different appearance and page structure: images change, the texts are rearranged in sequence and scale, and shifts in the browser window expose or conceal elements. These pages, while sharing an underlying core text, are read differently and are subject to shifts in meaning.

Annette Weintraub’s work explores the architectural environment. Recent work includes: Life Support (2003), a web based project exploring hospital architecture and the subjective experience of space through a hybrid of 2D and 3D representation;The Mirror That Changes (2001), a web-based sound and moving image piece exploring issues of water sustainability, commissioned by The Ruschlikon Centre for Global Dialogue; and Mirage (2001), a narrative work exploring the intersection of photography and tourism, commissioned by CEPA for the exhibition Paradise in Search of A Future.