Conserving Hypertext Art

  • David Kolb's Caged Texts
  • Translated from Storyspace 2.0 for the Web with HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript
  • 1996/2022

David Kolb's Caged Texts was one of five essays originally conceived for Socrates in the Labyrinth in 1993 as part of his experiment with philosophical hypertextual writing. Developed on the Storyspace platform, it was never completed and, instead, languished among Kolb's archives for 28 years. It is built on a specific structure identifiable by its name—in this case, John Cage, an artist known for musical compositions based on chance. To reflect this aspect of Cage's work, Kolb pulled a book from his shelf, opened it to a random page, and then entered a passage from it into a lexia. This act was repeated until he had entered passages from books by 21 philosophers, from the ancient to contemporary periods.

View Work