"This is of course, from the point of view of the woman, an impossible story. " *water always writes in *pluralAbout the Work
*Water always writes in *plural is a collaborative hypertext created by Linda Carroli and Josephine Wilson. They worked for eight weeks on the project alongside ANAT (Australian Network for Art and Technology) and the Electronic Writing Research Ensemble. The goal was to produce a cross-disciplinary work that addressed electronic language and writing as invention. In this way, the writers could explore the specific medium of the internet community by engaging in the design and identity of that medium.
Throughout this project, the writers strived to maintain their own distinctive voices and styles. As with the internet, Linda Carroli stated that “collaboration doesn’t necessarily have to result in homogenisation, but rather that there is space for different voices, for partiality.” (ANAT) By maintaining their unique writing styles, it was possible to analyze a topic from a variety of angles. Specifically, this topic explored women’s thoughts about romantic and/or sexual relationships.
As aforementioned, the work is a hypertext collection of narratives that form a cohesive whole. When entering the piece, the user is presented with four different paths from the get-go. Together, these links read as “a woman stands on a street corner waiting for a stranger.” As the user continues to explore, they find that each page treats differently content, presentation, and functionality. While some pages only contain text, some might also include an image, or present multiple hyperlinks to the user, or arrange the content in some unique way, and so on. Despite the lack of uniformity within the work, the theme is strong enough to create a sense of cohesion to the user. After fully exploring the piece, the reader will have been shown many different viewpoints regarding a single topic and gain a better understanding of it. Again, this process mirrors the nature of the internet: a user types in a search query and are presented with many pages to choose from with varying answers.
Linda Carroli enjoys exploring non-linear styles of writing, tending to gravitate towards hypertextual work. She is a postgrad in writing at the University of Queensland. As an essayist, freelance journalist and researcher, she has published in a number of journals including RealTime, Eyeline, and Periphery. She once expressed her fascination with the hypertextual medium in an online chat with the ELO, stating "I think the equation of creation and navigation is really quite interesting ... make[sic] me think all those colonial explorers must have thought they were creating the world as they passed through it." (Chat Transcript ELO, April 21, 2002)
Like Linda, Josephine Wilson is also interested in the potential of writing online and hypertextually. She graduated from Queensland with a Masters in philosophy, and from the University of Western Austrailia with a PhD. She is also known for her lectures in creative writing, performance studies, and the history of art and design. Some of her works include The Geography of Haunted Places (which was performed in Australia and London), and her novel Extinctions which received the Miles Franklin Award, Dorothy Hewett Award, and Colin Roderick Award.
This is the first page users come to. Each group of text is a link to a different page. Readers can begin at any point, though a brief summary of the story is given if they choose the first link.
This is one of the pages within the work. The paragraphs are structured in three columns, with images placed at the top and center.
This page contains a small paragraph of text, with three different links to choose from lining the bottom.
On this page, the paragraphs are placed sporadically across the space.
The text on this page is structured uniformly, with larger text placed above each centered paragraph.
Links to the work
"*water always writes in *plural" has been recorded in Rhizome's webrecorder. Additionally, it has been crawled by the Wayback Machine. A link to Linda Carroli's and Josephine Wilson's plate in The Progressive Dinner Party is also provided below.
View "*water always writes in *plural" in the Webrecorder
View the web archive link
Carroli, Linda and Wilson, Josephine. “Intro.” *water always writes in *plural. 1998, http://ensemble.va.com.au/water/intro.html. Accessed 6 July 2019.
“Josephine Wilson”. Wikipedia. Last edited 24 April 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Wilson_(writer). Accessed 6 July 2019.
“Water Writes Always in Plural”. Australian Network for Art and Technology. http://www.anat.org.au/2010/08/water-writes-always-in-plural/. Accessed 6 July 2019.
“Credits.” Ensemble Logic. http://ensemble.va.com.au/water/credits.html. Accessed 6 July 2019.