technical information
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By Alexandra Saemmer
Tramway explores an event in my life that took on a paradoxical thickness: My mother and I had to make a gesture that always seems so solemn and natural in movies, i.e. close the eyes of my father who had just died. This scene remained an open wound - like a fiery eye I could neither close nor keep open. After a few exploratory clicks, a scrolling text describes the traumatic scene. On most standard computers, it is possible to decipher the text. On more powerful computers the words will be undecipherable. The "lability" of the digital device is used to reflect on the possible forgetting of this scene. The result of this process is both reassuring and unbearable.
Tramway juxtaposes reflections on computers’ as digital reading devices that only partially remain in the user’s control, with intensely personal recollections of pain and mourning. The beauty of the text is complicated by the visual rhetoric, reminiscent of early hypertexts such as Olia Lialina’s “My Boyfriend Came Back From the War." The windows that ceaselessly appear despite the reader’s attempt at closing them, mirror the insistence of a painful memory. The reader is left to ponder the intricacies of the stories conveyed and the interface that resists easy perusal.