This coming March we will retrace the steps of Boswell and Johnson on their Journey to the Western Isles. Our project will also be published - not in the form of a Journal after two years of rewrites, additions and footnotes but daily, on to this site.
'A Hypertext Journal' has been evolving over the last year, the site you see here is where we have been developing our ideas about the project and where during the tour we will upload work daily. We are now seeking further funding to enable us to complete the tour itself. We are also looking for feedback from our potential audience - on the real tour and the Net.
We anticipate the tour stretching over 4 weeks from mid March to mid April (see the tour dates page for developing details). During this time we will travel along the established route, meeting people in each new place and via the Net, making work, and documenting the journey. We will both carry a laptop computer and be linked into the net via modems. We will gather information using video, still photography and sound recordings all of which can be fed straight into the computers. The pages will contain a mix of 'worked' pieces (similar to those already on the site made in response to the journals - "There are but two trees..." and ''and returned...") and more spontaneous or documentary 'footage' - for example extracts from 'audience' input via email or straight video clips of actual visited sites or conversations.
Hypertext Journal is a logical extension of work we have previously produced together. The choice of the tour and subsequent journals of Boswell and Johnson as the impetus of the project, reflects our interest in the potential of new media to re-enchant the past. The project is not, however, intended to recreate the historic tour more to explore how 90's technology and the use of the Internet as site can completely overturn existing concepts of travel, documentation, art production and audience participation.
This participation is central to the project - you are encouraged to contact us by email before and during the tour, and we will follow your leads in terms of what we visit and research during the journey. We hope to give talks in galleries etc. on the route and we are particularly interested in hearing from you if you have a connection to the original tour - or would just like to meet up on the route. In effect we will be opening our studio door at every stage of production - inviting comment that can both instigate, affect and comment upon what we are making.
Like any memoir, 'A Hypertext Journal' will bring temporal experience into the realm of history and permanence. None of the pages produced as from now will be removed from the site, this means the development our ideas will be visible at every stage. The older pages will still be present but will become burried deeper in the site. The book on the first page will slowly be covered as more new areas develop.
By using the Internet as a medium we hope that our role as 'artists' can become dynamic and fluid. The travelogue will become a uniquely 'live' interface between ourselves and you - a global audience. We hope to act as an intermediary with the landscape and people of the journey.
Through the production of 'A Hypertext Journal' we'll start to explore the potential of the internet for art production. The evolving site will, we hope, form a unique and timely investigation into just what is possible within this medium and how it can be exploited in ways that differ enormously from any previous medium for creating and presenting work.