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NELSON, Theodor Holm

Virtual World Without End

Hypertext & the Interactive Arts Thoughts are not two-dimensional, but until now the process of expressing ourselves on paper has been breaking the multidimensional connections of thought down into little pieces and putting them all in a sequence on two-dimensional paper. Why should we want to do that? Because paper was what we had. Now, on the computer and its screen, we have two choices. One, we can go on breaking the thoughts into a two-dimensional structure and plastering them on simulated paper, using the computer to simulate this two-dimensional Wizzywig array of flat thought. Or, two, we can keep the thoughts in their true, multidimensional structure and create reading and presentational arrangements that will let the reader traverse them in any direction and in any way he or she sees fit. And this, to me, is the most obvious and yet powerful thing about the computer screen world: Ideas needn't be separated any more. So the term "hypertext" I define simply a non-sequential writing links, possible connections to follow, reading opportunities in different directions. "Hypermedia" correspondingly means interactive presentations.

NELSON, Theodor Holm "Virtual World Without End", dans Cyberarts - Exploring art and technology, 1992.

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