The Dazzle As Question
By Claire Allan Dinsmore
Studio Cleo / Cauldron & Net
File Size: 189K


>> Editors' Note: This piece was featured in PTG Issue No. 10 Summer 2002 "Time Based Media and the Web." A brief article on time-based media and an interview with the artist accompanied the publication of this work.


The Dazzle As Question was created by Dinsmore in 2000 and appeared in Rhizome's Art Base as well as the February 2001 issue of TrAce's electronic magazine frAme. In 2002, it was selected for the Electronic Literature Organization's State of the Symposium Gallery.

The Dazzle as Question is an animated hypermedia poem which traces the conflict between the left and right brain inclinations of an erstwhile 'old school' artist [as] experienced via his encounter with the digital realm. This conflict notes the[digital] media/um's seemingly unrivaled sway as pitted against the narrator's right brain predilections [heralds of an identity within which he was formerly ensconced, as if such were an ethic of his very being …].

The Dazzle … is a lyrical one; it's locutional marks and varied rhythmic emphases are indicative of the particular tones and dialectical nature of the question and confusion underlying this untoward 'love/hate' relationship. The poem is wrought with the haunt of a foreboding caught between fascination and an almost 'big-brother'-like fear of the 'addiction' to which the narrator is succumbing. The noted tendencies of the digital are then marked by the use of text within the piece - it is not easily read, but is rather ghostlike and obscured - thereby signifying the effect of the media/um in erasing/displacing the narrator's words/identity, undermining his marks. The effect is thus abstracted, culminating in an aura, shall we say, which is more "... impressionistic/textural than textual."

- c. allan dinsmore

Claire Allan Dinsmore is a writer, artist, and the editor and designer of Cauldron & Net: a journal of the arts & new media. She has completed MFA studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art and holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design/The New School for Social Research. Ms. Dinsmore has exhibited worldwide and been published as an artist, critic, essayist and poet. Her work is in the permanent collections of the American Craft Museum, The Smithsonian and The Montreal Museum of Art, as well as within numerous private collections. Presently she is a web designer and president of Studio Cleo where she works as a new media artist and indulges herself in such anachronistic pursuits as bookmaking and metalwork.