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The 39 Works
As aforementioned, The Progressive Dinner Party contains 39 digital works by female artists, which were chosen from Carolyn Guertin's site Assemblage: The Women's Hypertext Gallery. These works can be accessed through their place settings, and are listed below in alphabetical order by title. Also included here are tags describing the work, which include descriptions in the previous page. These tags serve to provide a brief overview regarding the nature of each piece for the reader's convenience.
The majority of the works have been run through the Webrecorder for preservation purposes. Many can still be found in their original states on the web, though the updated version of The Progressive Dinner Party uses the URLS generated by the Webrecorder whenever possible.
Frames, High Interactivity, Image Rich
Tags: Macro Hypertext
Tags: Tables, Slideshows
Tags: Page Refresh, GIFs, Video, Audio
Tags: Macro Hypertext, Tables, Collaboration
Tags: Hypertext, Frames, Java Applets
Tags: Hypertext, Proprietary Software (Adobe PageMill)
Tags: Shockwave, Flash, Audio, Broken
Tags: Proprietary Software (Adobe GoLive 4), Frames
Tags: Hypertext, Frames, Page Refresh, Collaboration
Tags: Micro Hypertext, Frames, Tables
Tags: Micro Hypertext, Page Refresh, Video
Tags: Frames, Image Rich, Audio
Tags: Hypertext, Collaboration
Tags: Micro Hypertext, Frames
Tags: Hypertext, Area Maps, Tables
Tags: Hypertext, Shockwave, Tables
Tags: Tables, Image Rich, Missing
Tags: Micro Hypertext
Tags: Hypertext, Tables
Tags: Hypertext, Frames
Tags: Frames, Missing
Tags: Shockwave, Audio, High Interactivity
Tags: Hypertext, Page Refresh, Audio
Tags: Hypertext, Shockwave, Audio
Tags: Flash, Missing
39 Works Key
To present the 39 restored works, a system was devised involving tags and organizing them alphabetically by title. The works themselves can be viewed in alphabetical order in the next page, and the tag descriptions can be found here. These tags serve to provide a brief overview regarding the key features of each piece for the reader's convenience.
Area maps are used to create images with clickable areas. They are usually presented as a <map> tag towards the end of an <img> tag, followed by a list of screen coordinates. Though rarer, area maps is included as a tag because of the unique functionality it introduces, allowing users to hover over various spots on an image to access different hyperlinks.
This is for works that include auditory components.
Broken or Missing works
Unfortunately, not all of the local files for the works within The Progressive Dinner Party could be obtained. This was either because the work no longer existed (such as Slattery’s Glide) or because contact could not be made with the author for missing files. When possible, an external link to the most complete version of the work was provided in the website.
This tag is applied to works that were produced by multiple artists.
Works that used Adobe Flash to produce animations or sounds were given this tag. Unfortunately, all support for Adobe Flash in modern web browsers will be dropped in December 2020; thus it was imperative that these works were restored within the Webrecorder to ensure their survival.
Frame sets are used in HTML to divide the screen into sections, or "frames", that coexist while simultaneously remaining separate from each other. These are works that use frames as main components for separating menus, images, buttons, and more.
GIFs (Graphic Interchange Format) are still or animated images used by works to introduce animations with technology other than software such as Adobe Flash or Shockwave.
High Level Interactivity
On occasion, a work will demand greater participation on the users part than average to experience the work.
This tag specifies works that focus on hyperlinking text as a way of communicating messages.
Though many of the works featured in The Progressive Dinner Party include images, some of them cannot be easily navigated without them. Such works may be using images as the main way of presenting the piece. Others may include images to provide critical visual cues, such as written cues (like Home, Back and Next), or non-written cues (like arrows and other icons.)
For works that are presented in a linear fashion.
This includes hypertexts that are unusually large, usually as a result of collaboration from one or more artists.
Refreshing the page to redirect users to another is a fairly common practice among these web artists.
Many of the works relied on software produced by companies. Though Adobe Flash and Shockwave are considered proprietary, they were unique and used often enough to justify separate tags.
Artists on the web have many different methods of presentation at their disposal, which includes featuring their work as a slideshow.
This tag is given to works that utilize tables in an important way, such as for images or overlaying content.
This is for works that include video components.
This tag is applied to works utilizing Adobe Shockwave. Though support for Shockwave was dropped in April 2019, Shockwave plugins are still available for certain browsers. Thus, it was imperative that these works were restored with the Webrecorder to ensure their survival.
"Mother Millennia" by Carolyn Guyer
Remembering our mothers, or hearing older relatives remember their mothers, is a human commonality that will never sound the same twice, but will always resonate with the memory and desire we all use to create ourselves. The stories on this website are sometimes painful and angry as well as happy and nostalgic. They each have the qualities of what makes an individual unique, as well as what makes you or me like any other person with a story. -Mother Millennia
About the Work
Carolyn Guyer’s Mother Millennia is a collection of essays, poems, and hypertexts regarding the subject of “mother.” The stories are provided by many cultural backgrounds from around the world, thus covering the complete history of mother over millennium. The site was open to anyone who wanted to read or contribute to the human race’s understanding of “mother,” inviting viewers to offer their unique perspectives based on personal experience.
The main goal of the project was to study diversity. Guyer stated that her hope was to create “a living example of how our differences can hold our individual and cultural identities while at the same time allowing spheres to overlap.” (Mother Millennia.) In sum, even though remembering or hearing stories about mothers is a commonality shared between all humans, no experience will be exactly the same due to differences in culture, perspectives, memories, and circumstances.
Though the website contains many connections (or threads) between stories and other pages, it uses icons and clear link descriptions to prevent the user from getting lost. At a glance, it can be seen that the site is divided into nine main pages: an About page, Stories page, Authors page, Threads page, Biblio page (bibliography), Maps page (which was never completed), Related page (which contains links to sites related to Mother Millennia), Your Story page (a list of resources to help contributors get started), and a Help Page.
The main attraction of the website is the Stories section. The site houses a large collection of hypertexts, either internally or linking externally, but also contains essays and poetry. Users can either navigate these works by Author, Title, Story Genre, or by clicking through hyperlinks. The stories are well-organized within an alphabetical index that also provides the author’s name, type of work, and language(s) it was communicated in. If users wish, they can visit another page that alphabetizes these works by author’s last name. The works are also organized into various threads, which include Adoption, Biography, Birth, Emigre, Essay, Father, Fiction, Flora, Food, Grandmother, Graphics, Letters, Memoir, Oral History, Poetry, Video/Sound, and War.
About the Author
Carolyn Guyer has written a number of famous electronic works in the 1990s, including Quibbling, Izme Pass, and Lasting Image. Guyer is also known for starting a collaborative project within the Hypertext Hotel. In addition to having a background in hypertext writing, Guyer is also trained in visual arts through a wide range of media. She has collaborated with authors including Michael Joyce, Bob Stein, Marjorie Leusebrink, and Sven Birkerts.
Links to the work
"Mother Millennia" has been recorded in Rhizome's webrecorder. Additionally, it has been crawled by the Wayback Machine. A link to Guyer's plate in The Progressive Dinner Party is also provided below.
View "Mother Millennia" in the Webrecorder
View the web archive link
“Carolyn Guyer.” Eastgate Systems, Inc. https://www.eastgate.com/people/Guyer.html. Accessed 28 July 2019.
Guyer, Carolyn. “Carolyn Guyer Bio.” Carolyn Guyer. https://web.archive.org/web/19990210114905/http://mothermillennia.org/Carolyn/CGuyer_Bio.html. Accessed 28 July 2019.
Guyer, Carolyn. “More About Mother Millennia.” Mother Millenia. https://web.archive.org/web/20010514105141/http://www.mothermillennia.org/moreabout.html. Accessed 28 July 2019.
Guyer, Carolyn. “Mother Millennia Home.” Mother Millenia. https://web.archive.org/web/20010516025519/http://www.mothermillennia.org/. Accessed 28 July 2019.
Guyer, Carolyn. “Threads in Mother Millennia.” Mother Millenia. https://web.archive.org/web/20010602140808/http://www.mothermillennia.org/Threads.html. Accessed 28 July 2019.
As the name implies, collaborative projects are built by more than one creator. There are two types of collaborative works within The Progressive Dinner Party that can be identified: collaborations involving only two people or collaborations built in an open environment that allows anyone to submit their own contributions from around the world.
The first of these works tend to be smaller and more condensed, and are the most consistent of the collaborations. This is likely due to there being fewer people to deliberate with about the work’s presentation, making decisions easier to come to. For instance, The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot carries the same presentation throughout the work, in everything from the color scheme to the structure of the poems to the user navigation.
Surprisingly, the public collaborations keep fairly good consistency due to submission guidelines and rules. They are also the most immense in size and complexity, with many hyperlinks branching out from one or more central areas. However, there is rarely a set time or goal regarding the end of the work (if there is one), and the direction the work takes can be unpredictable and difficult to coordinate. Dark Lethe is a good example of this, which has yet to present a conclusion to the main narrative despite its enormous size. Noon Quilt is also unpredictable in that not all of the patches within the quilt are occupied, though the style is very consistent throughout. Like these two works, Mother Millennia maintains a central theme and presentation, but is different since it does not having a specific ending point or space to fill.
Below is a list of collaborative works from within The Progressive Dinner Party. It should be noted that there may be other collaborative works not listed here that fit better in other categories (such as in the Flash and Shockwave category.)
Kokura by Mary-Kim Arnold
Mother Millennia by Carolyn Guyer
Noon Quilt by Sue Thomas and Teri Hoskin
Dark Lethe by Leonie Winson
The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot by Stephanie Strickland and Janet Holmes