Ideas on Oedipal Bitstreams

Ideas on Oedipal Bitstreams is an exercise in kinetic field work, taking various languages of reportage as source materials, and offering several variations for each word on the screen. At the opening of each scene, there is a fixed arrangement of words, each with one of their textual variants randomly chosen. The words resist the cursor, arbitrarily choosing their next location, occasionally cycling through their variations and occasionally foregrounding themselves through enlargement. The reader must then carve through the text, using the resistance as an emerging reading strategy. The combination of the two randomised elements (spatial placement and word choices) creates a generative work whose readings are differently constructed and paced each time. The minimalist isolation of each word block, through spatial and temporal progression, form holistic readings when combined which are never stable – a condition foregrounded aesthetically in the physical surfaces of each scene.

Each scene is available in a fast version (running at ‘normal speed’ – approx 4 seconds for movement) and a slow version (approx 60 seconds for movement) to highlight performative differences created through the temporal aspects of the piece. Since movement in time is essential to the creation of meaning in Ideas on Oedipal Bitstreams, the slow version is designed as a performable version in which the in-between states and gradual transformations are areas for vocalisation.

Instructions for Use

Hover the mouse over words to have them resist the cursor and move to a new location. Three buttons in the top-right corner can be used: the first reorders the text to its original static state; the second dumps all text at the bottom of the screen, providing a literal base for new spatial creations (this can be pressed again to reshuffle texts across the x-axis when in a heap); the third button reshuffles the vocabulary for each word.

Technical Requirements for Use

  • Fairly recent operating system (Windows XP or Vista, Mac OS X) with fairly recent web browser (IE7+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Camino)
  • Recent Adobe Flash plugin (and stand–alone Flash player if downloading and running locally)
  • Javascript enabled and the ability to open links in pop-up window ENABLED (check this if the work does not launch in a new window using the links below)


Click here to launch, actual size, in browser

Click here to open tight to browser window (scalable – good for small displays)

If you wish to download the full work and run from your hard disk
(can also be run full-screen)

Download zipped archive of all six swf files ( Windows XP and Vista; Mac OS X)