While reading Lexia to Perplexia I couldn’t stop thinking about how different and convoluted everything looked in comparison to common electronic literature. The aesthetics of the piece kept reminding me of what my PC would look like ten years ago every time it broke–the static, the flashing, the confusion! Although, I found a lot of the techniques Memmot incorporated to be rather overwhelming and sometimes unnecessary, I must say, he does manage to make his audience think and also gets a lot of good points across even with his exaggerated format.
Memmot reminded me a lot of Language Poets in that he tried to make the acts of reading/using a computer defamiliarized to us. His method of alienating us from the passive in order to be more aware helped us become much more conscious of the way we read or the ways we interact with our computers. I remember at one point I instinctually moved my mouse in order to uncover text–right after having done so, I realized that I had done it without even thinking twice about it. Memmot’s writing, although cryptic, was very much informative in that he used ambiguous notions that get at a general sense of being–in other words, his ambiguity allowed the reader to deal more with the experience than with the absorption of the content in his text. In Lexia to Perplexia, the readers are pushed away from the quotidian experience of reading or using a computer, or as Memmot puts it: “the static body transmits the intimate detail and private fantasies, expressing and requesting the return to locally confirmed re:motions.” I really liked that Memmot knew how to have an audience’s attention be completely focused on what they were doing when reading Lexia to Perplexia especially when considering how often we interact with computer programs now a days and how little attention we pay to whatever it is that we’re doing.
Memmot also touches on the idea of how human being and computer interactions are somewhat similar to the way human beings interact with life/universe: “At once face to face and turned away, an avatar and I in motion towards personal intimacy, every two um.urgencies col.lide simultaneously at the terminal of humanity and possessed by a terminal attachment to the terminal elsewhere.” The human consciousness is extremely desensitized to the experiences we encounter in life that we go about it without realizing that there is a bigger picture to it all even though we’re constantly interacting with it. The same has happened between us and computers. When Memmot says: “It is the hope of communification that we minimize the space of flesh” I think of a super computer that will eventually allow us to leave our bodies and interact with this “terminal” that I believe might mean the cosmos . What if the next step in technology is a state of animation in an environment where everything is both familiarized and alienated, passive and interactive–a more evolved version of Lexia to Perplexia?
Memmot also manages to relate the connection between computer and man to human and cosmos when he says: “