This interactive web artwork mainly invites users to modify truisms provided by the artist. When the user clicks on the word change, he is given the main list of truisms from which he can choose any one to modify. His modified version then goes to an alternative list. The topics of these truisms range from love to murder, encapsulating a wide spectrum of comments upon which users are free to change any or all parts of them.
While there is a slight learning curve on how to navigate the site, I eventually recognized the different parts to it and the links between them. There are essentially 5 main sections to the site: the Truisms, the Inflammatory Essays, the Living, the Survival and the Lament sections. Of these, the truisms, living and survival sections are similar in style, containing just a line or two and the inflammatory essays and lament sections containing passages. The site cycles from truisms to lament sections, switching between sections at seemingly random points. The home page shows a truism, and three words, “Please change beliefs”. Clicking on either of these 3 words will redirect the user to something different. I found that it was not immediately clear that the site will automatically cycles between the sections, and indeed it took me some time to figure out that there were 5 different sections. Each section has its own characteristic, from the layout of the text, the background colour, and sometimes a video is included, such as this: abuse
Changing the truisms is only one part of the work. If the user clicks on the word ‘BELIEFS’, he is also able to ‘vote’ for which truisms he agrees with, and the results are updated accordingly, showing how many people agree with which truism.
Looking at the alternative list of truisms generated by the changes made by all the users, I could also see how people used the truisms differently, each edit showing how different people are able to modify the truisms to create their own truisms. In doing so, I realized that they were all communicating anonymously in the ‘virtual space’, providing insights into their own personal beliefs and thoughts. It almost seems like a global, public game of ‘exquisite cadaver’, whereby the truisms are taken apart and put together with new elements, forming a new, unique truism.
In many ways this work serves to illustrate that what is true for someone may not necessarily be as true for someone else. The thought-provoking truisms and passages sometimes seem to form their own narrative, each hyperlink bringing the user into a new direction. I think that if the public’s modified truisms could somehow be incorporated into this cycle, it would enrich the experience for both new and returning members of the virtual public.