“It's a little like a TV crime scene here in Silicon Valley: ‘Move along folks. Nothing to see. Move along.’” -Silicon Valley Journal
About the Work
Cathy Marshall’s Silicon Valley Journal details random events in the life of Mrs. John Glenn, a resident living in Silicon Valley. As she settles into a new apartment complex, social sphere, and last name, Mrs. Glenn gradually discovers the various oddities the area has to offer her, including (but not limited to): sneaky slugs, the lifestyle of the previous family living in her apartment, a newfound weakness towards Safeway, a mysterious tomato thief, and some surprisingly easy ways to acquire wealth.
Marshall’s hypertext is fairly linear in structure, though users have the option to return to the table of contents at any time to select an article of their own choosing. The images she uses serve as digital artifacts from Mrs. Glenn’s life in relation to particular experiences, which are related to the reader in first person. Though the work is simple in its design, the colorful writing is nevertheless entertaining to read-- though it portrays Silicon Valley as an unexciting area to live in on the surface, Marshall manages to make it fascinating by implying that mysteries lie just beneath:
“But I've stopped for a glimpse anyway. I don't know what I expect: Jim Clark is no Andy Warhol, nor is Marc Andreessen an Edie Sedgwick (or even a Jackie Curtis). No glamour here, folks. No celebrities. No flashbulbs popping.
Yet there is a strange fascination.” (Silicon Valley Journal)
About the Author
As a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley, Cathy Marshall has had the opportunity to contribute to both the product and research divisions within the company. Thus, she has gained much experience from working within areas such as information science, computer science, the humanities, and (on occasion) art. She was one of the earliest members of the Hypertext community formed in 1987, and has since then led a number of projects concerning analytical work practices and collaborative hypertext. Marshall would later win the Hypertext conference’s best paper award in 1998 and 1999, which was then followed by the JCDL best paper award in 1998 and 2008.
With so many experiences under her belt, Marshall’s interests have grown to include spatial hypertext, digital archiving and long-term retrieval, how we share and use encountered information, interactions with electronic publications, the Semantic Web and social tagging. Marshall has been deeply involved in these various digital fields of study, having delivered keynotes at Hypertext, WWW, CNI, IVICA, and Unsenix Fast. She served as the Program Chair of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in 2003, in addition to serving as the Program co-Chair of Hypertext in 1996 and JCDL in 2006. She has also been a reviewer for numerous journals including ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems and Computer Interaction, The Journal of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, IEEE Spectrum, Journal of Management Information Systems, Interacting With Computers, and IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics and Others.
This is the table of contents section within "Silicon Valley Journal." Each journal entry is presented as a picture relating to the topic, with the title just alongside it.
This is the first journal article within the Table of Contents. Here, Mrs. Glenn shares her newfound weakness towards Safeway due to deals offered with the Safeway Club Card. Navigation to the next entry or the Table of Contents are listed at the bottom of the page
Here is a rather odd journal entry describing miniature cows that graze on the carpet in Mrs. Glenn's apartment.
In this journal entry, Mrs. Glenn describes her understanding of the previous family living in her apartment by examining the mail they neglected to unsubscribe from.
Links to the work
"Silicon Valley Journal" has been recorded in Rhizome's webrecorder. Additionally, it has been crawled by the Wayback Machine. A link to Marshall's plate in The Progressive Dinner Party is also provided below.
View "Silicon Valley Journal" in the Webrecorder
View the web archive link
Atzenbeck, Claus. “Interview with Cathy Marshall.” ACM Sigweb Newsletter, Winter issue, Article No. 2, January 2009. https://web.archive.org/web/20190726181540/https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1457509&bnc=1. Accessed 27 July 2019.
“Cathy Marshall.” PeoplePill.com. https://peoplepill.com/people/cathy-marshall-1/. Accessed 27 July 2019.
Marshall, Cathy. “Cathy Marshall’s HomePage.” Microsoft Research Silicon Valley. https://web.archive.org/web/20070729230910/http://research.microsoft.com/~cathymar/. Accessed 27 July 2019.
Marshall, Cathy. Cathy Marshall’s Silicon Valley Journal. 1996, http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/~cathycmarshall/svj/svj.html. Accessed 27 July 2019.