Technologies of History is a case-study, an opportunity to put into practice some of the arguments I have been developing over the past few years thinking about the entangled relationships among media, history and memory.
- Steve Anderson, Author's Statement
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Although certain aspects of the design may initially appear to resist easy navigation, our aim is neither to frustrate the user nor indulge in aestheticized design experiments. The project presents several clearly defined modes of exploration, beginning with the "Analyzer," in which media elements are subjected to a process of tracking and fragmenting designed to simultaneously reveal and obscure the contents of a film or video clip. The user may then follow connections that are suggested by either the video segment or its accompanying text to explore further text arguments or a connection between two media clips. Each connection that is made is logged in the user's history and may be revisited at any time. The experience of moving through the project is therefore intended to be partly experiential and partly curatorial; users may select from categories of content that are based on genre, format or (primarily) threads of historiographical concern. The multiplicity of opportunities for revelation or chaos function as both metaphor for history's own lack of resolution and as a rhetorical strategy for resisting narrative closure.