"The Electronic Chronicles" by Adrianne Wortzel
“Links between stories and images in these electronic documents are regarded as pockets, absences, lapses, synapses, indicating what is inexpressible or interactively assumed by the viewer/reader.”
About the Work
The Electronic Chronicles is a web-based project that was presented as a thesis in the School of Visual Art. Proposed by Adrianne Wortzel, the project went underway in 1995 with the goal to create stories that are “continually constructed and connected to each other as well as to other sites on the Internet, the World Wide Web, and to virtual communities.” (adriannewortzel.com) She originally intended the work to be viewed with Netscape, though it has been reconstructed since then to emulate the now-archaic browser.
The work itself is presented in two different voices: of those who made the documents and of the actual characters in the work. The first of these treats the subject (the New York Public Library) as though it were thousands of years old. Everything from it’s paintings, papers, and sculptures, to the physical aspects of the building itself, are viewed as archaic and alien. Referred to as the “Twin Lions Building” in “Man-Hat-10”, the writer does her best to explain the reasoning and process behind recording historical events in print-based and digital media. The second voice (those of the historical characters) speak about their lives in first-person, though their commentary still appears as if it is analyzing a world other than our own. The landing page of the site presents users with tables containing links to these characters’ stories, as well as to her narration regarding the subject as a whole. Navigation-wise, the narrator explained that the Electronic Chronicles were produced in the same non-sequential form in which they were found: Each historical figure has a collection of hypertexts for users to explore, as if they are perusing a virtual library of texts.
About the Author
Adrianne Wortzel received her Master in Fine Arts for Computer Arts in 1995 from The School of Visual Arts in New York. Her computer work generally involves innovative techniques regarding interactive web works, though she is also well-known for her robotic installations, production performances, writings and video work. Despite utilizing a wide array of media, Wortzel tends to explore historical and cultural perspectives in combination with fact and fiction. Her work has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions in New York galleries and beyond. Because of her research, Wortzel has received several grants including the National Science Foundation Award for the Robotic Renaissance Project. She has also been published in major art journals such as Leonardo in 2007, and in art publications including From Technological to Virtual Art. Adrianne Wortzel has also been a professor of Entertainment Technology and Emerging Media Technologies at the New York City College of Technology.
This is the title page of the work, thanking contributors such as Dr. Eleanor Musing and her team for recreating the work to appear as it would in its intended environment, Netscape.
This is one of the cells within the table, containing links to documents regarding musEleanor.
This page details the "Two Lions" building, examining the New York Library as if it were created thousands of years ago by an alien race.
This is one of the hypertextual pieces contained within the musEleanor collection.
This is a document within the Kiru collection. This particular page contains a video for users to download.
This page is contained within Whirled History, which the user can navigate by clicking disc-shaped icons.
Links to the work
"The Electronic Chronicles" has been recorded in Rhizome's webrecorder. Additionally, it has been crawled by the Wayback Machine. A link to Wortzel's plate in The Progressive Dinner Party is also provided below.
View "The Electronic Chronicles" in the Webrecorder
View the web archive link
“Adrianne Wortzel.” Wikipedia. Last edited 5 March 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27th_G8_summit. Accessed 9 July 2019.
Wortzel, Adrianne. “Bio.” AdrianneWortzel.com. 1995, http://www.adriannewortzel.com/bio/. Accessed 9 July 2019.
Wortzel, Adrianne. “The Electronic Chronicles.” AdrianneWortzel.com. 1995, http://www.adriannewortzel.com/project/ec/. Accessed 9 July 2019.