piece created for Brown University’s CAVE

The “Cave” is both the brightness of projected light which strikes us snowblind and the dark recesses of the opaque which envelops us in what cannot be seen. This short, time-based project was a simple excursion in cave poetics. White pieces of punctuation marks and textual symbols blow about the cave, concealing and revealing black lines of a poem which move over and under the sheets of roving, typographical fragments. These white sheets act as ‘windows’ that the user peers through, attempting to locate and capture the lines of the poem which are obscured in the textual storm. Fragments of weather forecasts and environmental sounds cover the user as a woman, trapped in her home, narrates the slow reality of her thoughts as the snow churns outside. When the storm dissipates the user is left with a blanket of white text at her feet, composed of the separate lines that she was able to snatch from the whorl of the storm’s disorientation. Perhaps the gaps in the remaining text are symbolic of the fissures in thought which punctuate our phenomenological experiences—drifting in and out as we try to grasp their falling and fading significance.

NOTE: You can actually view a non-CAVE version of this piece on your desktop by downloading the CAVE editing software. Please answer “yes” to questions about certifications and such. Then download and unzip the project file (30MB). Open the file “SnowStorm.xml” in the Cave Writing Text Editor. Once the project is loaded in the editor you can view the file by pressing the Full Screen or Desktop preview buttons at the bottom of the screen. It might take a bit for the preview to load. Controls: “tab” toggles static or active view. In active view “asdw” are movement keys, mouse controls the 3D perspective view. “B” will toggle the cave grid which shows the dimensions of the cave. “Esc” to quit the preview. Be aware, there are links in the piece actived by the mouse, but there is not a mouse-pointer so you have to “look” directly at what you want to click on in order to activate the link. This might take some time getting used to.

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