I taught myself html when I realized that the internet would allow me to write linking stories, pages that would move from one to another in an organic way. I kept a journal of my dreams and coincidences online this way. I was one of a handful of people creating personal websites like this. I was doing a radio interview and the interviewer asked me, but if it is a diary, why are you sharing it in public? Isn’t the whole point of a diary that it is private? Someone else in the room scoffed and said, as if anyone ever writes thinking no one will read it! I explained that I enjoyed sharing and communicating. And by sharing dreams and coincidences, I was having more interesting conversations with others.
So now, nearly two decades later, as I see status updates, social media accounts that are filled with all the tiny details, thoughts, nudges and images of so many everyday lives, I think of that question and feel happy that my intuition was correct, and that the act of sharing makes people feel good. And really, isn’t the term “online diary” more poetic than “blog”?
That urge to create, to take snippets of one’s life and turn it into something, is the basis of much of the imagery in this early web art piece, where are you from? d’où viens-tu?. The interface is based on a tarot card spread, past, present and future, with each card in turn represented by different types of journals, a paper diary with a lock, a computer keyboard, and a microphone for recording stories and music.