One Text, Many Stories


a Nightmare of Change in which Time is Inscribed in Space

—or How a Text Became a Story

"One Text, Many Stories" is an exploration of reading, and of how the visual context of a reading influences meaning.

An original text composed of nine short passages describes an urban space reconstituted in memory, and is interspersed with short extracts from Michael de Certeau's ”The Practice of Everyday Life“ and ”The Production of Space“ by Henri Lefebre. Taken together, the passages are a construction of 'the city’ as a fluid mental map of elements that are shuffled and rearranged. The texts explore the changing texture of urban space, perceptions of movement through the urban environment and the semiotics of space. Inspired by the css Zen Garden use of CSS to separate structure and appearance, each page redisplays and reconfigures the primary text. Through this alteration, the text undergoes shifts in meaning and narrative arc.

Annette Weintraub is a media artist whose projects embed layered narratives within a variety of architectural constructs. Her work is an investigation of architecture as visual language, and focuses on the dynamics of urban space, the intrusion of media into public space and the symbolism of space. Her projects have been shown at venues that include: The International Art Biennial-Buenos Aires; 5th Salon de Arte in Cuba; File in Brazil; Video Biennal Israel; The 5th Biennial of Media and Architecture in Graz Austria; The Whitney Biennial; The International Center for Photography/ICP; International Film Festival Rotterdam; Thirteen/WNET TV’s Reel New York.Web; Viper in Switzerland; at SIGGRAPH and ISEA and other national and international exhibitions. Commissions include The Rushlikon Centre for Global Dialogue, CEPA and Turbulence. She is Professor of Art and Chair of the Art Department at The City College of New York, CUNY.

“One Text” imagines a journey through a city that triggers a series of recollections about the changing nature of the urban environment and leads to a reverie about sense of place filtered through memory. The texts explore perceptions of space, the shifting semiotics of signage and advertising, and the changing texture of the environment as the gloss of glass and steel grids replace the softer grid pattern of red brick. Space is indeed ‘produced,’ constructed in simultaneous overlays of momentary perception, flashes of nostalgia, decoding of signs and input of smell and touch.

A structured text is altered in visual presentation and in interpretation through the application of different style sheets. Each of the nine pages has a different appearance and page structure: images change, the texts are rearranged in sequence and scale, and shifts in the browser window expose or conceal elements. These pages, while sharing an underlying core text, are read differently and are subject to shifts in meaning.

Viewing: Reset the zoom on your browser to 100% and turn off text zoom. Optimum browsers for this project are Firefox 3.5, Safari 4, Google Chrome 3 and Internet Explorer 8. Other settings or browsers will affect the page display.