<- Internet Studio

Mount Annulus by Sasha Rose Hansen

Wyrd Path is a website that aims to teach interconnectedness, invoking the feeling of networks and nodes branching out infinitely through the medium of crochet that has been flattened through use of a scanner. It has five primary pages labeled as excerpts from a presumably preexisting informational text. Interspersed throughout these areas of exploration, the guest has the opportunity to provide feedback in the method of form boxes sent to my email, fulfilling the Internet’s inherent reciprocity. Each set of information and questions stacks upon the others in a continuous ladder.

The Lessons are made to lay down a sketch of the underlying conceptual theory driving Wyrd Path. The first Lesson available, number three, very deliberately shows the messiness of even just one slowly graduated chain of crochet. The second shows an order of magnitude higher making the physical object much more complex while also further disturbing the continuity of the scrolled image. It acts as intermediary between the most basic foundation of Lesson Three and the complexity shown in the later series.

In Problem Set Nine, things start to become even more abstract and require more thought from the participant. The images I include are non-contiguous throughout the parallax scroll and are based more on formal composition than the more purely conceptual design of the earlier Lessons. They are also scans of larger objects, creating a feeling of extreme close-up and introducing the idea that the viewer is not privy to the whole image

Additionally, these pages include both text of my own as well as text boxes for the guest to fill with their own thoughts. The text is mostly inspired by automatic typing and meditation based on my view of the world as an infinite series of interlocking systems. These patches of text interspersed with the images aim to engage the guest in a confusing but not altogether serious study of how seeing connections can become part constant abstract thought. In bringing in some of the seemingly random or absurd, I hope to relax the viewer and encourage them to spend more time upon the Wyrd Path, as this endeavor certainly has a temporal aspect in that all of my strategies for analogizing my theories and thought patterns are intentionally opaque.

This approach is mirrored by artists like Jodi, whose realized piece often hides behind a wall of specialized knowledge. It also shares some similarities with Cory Archangel’s work in that Wyrd Path is site specific to the internet and its technology and ascetic; parallax scrolling and instant form submission could not exist on any other medium and have no direct analogy outside the web. Most of all though, I think Wyrd Path gestures toward the internet’s relationship to the feminine as discussed in several of our readings including The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett and “Wikipedia’s Sexism” by Amanda Flipacchi. Crochet, pearls, beads, and sequins- the hands themselves that use and employ such objects and techniques, these things are all inherently feminine. The internet is misogynistic but often fails to see that flaw. This work is not just online; it’s for the internet. “I made the internet a present.” That ‘gift’ however, comes with the caveat that although it isn’t signed, ‘feminine’ if not ‘woman’ is written all over it. I mention love, flowers, tea, comfort; the objects are soft, shiny, and round; the text is whimsically written in a whimsical font. All of these things go without underline or direct attention, and as there is no attribution, a random wanderer couldn’t prove a woman made it. In this way, I add the smallest counterweight to all on the internet that treats ‘male’ as default or unquestioned. There are no simple answers. If the polemic attack is convention, I submit this work as merely a suggestion. The notion just out of reach is always more alluring than the well-reasoned counterpoint.

I see mysteries all around me; if I could just mentally untangle the connections inherent to the world, everything would make sense- alas, the puzzle remains tantalizingly just on the far side of solvable. This is the feeling I aim to induce. Who put this here and why? Surely there is an internal logic, but I’m on the outside looking in. I know I can Get in; I just have to find a crack in the armor.

Remember: It’s turtles all the way down.