October 13, 2005

Le Nouveau Western

by Nick Montfort · , 12:51 am

Tal Halpern’s “Le Nouveau Western,” a Turbulence commission, has just come online.

From Le Nouveau WesternMy first impression is that this is an intriguing segmented text, presented in a visually compelling way, with some interesting sound elements. It doesn’t take long to read through; I certainly recommend it. The interface is little more than a wrapper for this “content,” though, and there seems to be little that makes much interesting use of Flash here. (The main effect of the Flash implementation seems to be that there’s a delay between lexia, or at least, a more noticable one that is highlighted by a “loading…” notice.) To me the piece evoked Composition No. 1 and La Jette more than The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It seems to be a good example of a rather tired electronic literature form, the “interesting notebook.” Maybe the form actually isn’t a problem; perhaps it’s that the interface somehow seems to suggest or promise more to me, leaving me a bit disappointed as far as interactivity is concerned?

Here’s another piece by Halpern, and an interview with him.

Any thoughts about “Le Nouveau Western”?

2 Responses to “Le Nouveau Western”

  1. Ian Bogost Says:

    Hmm, any relationship to the song Le Nouveau Western by everyone’s favorite French rapper, MC Solaar? The song is a critique of american globalization and cultural domination. I can’t hear the phrase “le nouveau western” without thinking of Claude MC.

  2. marc Says:

    That’s disappointing to hear, Nick. Of course, I’ll check it out for myself. I actually quite enjoyed “Digital Nature”, and found that Halpern did several rather observant and clever things with the notions of digital subjectivity, space and organizations of knowledge. There were also some interesting bits on manipulation of digital media that I thought worked quite well. Subtle, yet moving. From this perspective, I suppose anything might be a letdown, but I’ll guess I’ll have to wait and see. Thanks for the heads up, though.

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