Mark Lombardi was a transformational hypertext artist – well at least – he is to me. But maybe even he didn’t know this because he never used the machinery of hypertext but looking at this art, to me, we can see that it really is hypertext. But the great transformational aspects of the work is the movement of his global networks of conspiratorial relationships from what could have turned into a dry preaching report to an art form immediately accessible and viable to all. Lombardi is quoted as saying:
I call them “narrative structures” because each consists of a network of lines and notations which are meant to convey a story, typically about a recent event of interest to me, like the collapse of a large international bank, trading company, or investment house. One of my goals is to explore the interaction of political, social and economic forces in contemporary affairs.
What’s more he goes on to how he researched and created his work:
Working from syndicated news items and other published accounts, I begin each drawing by compiling large amounts of information about a specific bank, financial group or set of individuals. After a careful review of the literature I then condense the essential points into an assortment of notations and other brief statements of fact, out of which an image begins to emerge.
This seems to represent the ‘perfect example’ of work at the intersection of Web, Science, and Art – if only the research resources and background material was contained in the links. And this is where hypertext comes in – it is a very small step to make this happen (think Tinderbox) and produce different views on the supporting work.
Now, on November 6th a bunch of hypertext luminaries J. Nathan Matias, David Millard, Clare Hooper, Darren Lunn, Charlie Hargood, Jessica Rubart, and Nathan Eng will introduce the first Web / Art / Science camp – an unconference for people who do hypertext – I’ll be attending and I’ll post a trip report afterwards. Seems to me this would have been one of those events that would have fitted so well with Lombardi’s aims and would have provided useful tools; tools for the artist.