Jeff Knowlton: A Text for the Navigational Age

  • ©2000, Jeff Knowlton, A Text for the Navigational Age



A Text for the Navigational Age


SIGGRAPH 2000: Art Gallery

Creation Year:



Web-based 3D textual environment


Art Site

Artist Statement:

“a text for the navigational age,” a 3D textual environment, is a reflection of my displacement in both physical and virtual space, and an attempt to expand the activity of reading and writing beyond the two dimensional.

I grew up in Orlando, Florida, home to four generations of my family. There, I navigated the city through its building facades, lamp posts, billboards, and mailboxes. When I moved to the West Coast in 1993, I had to comprehend the layout of Los Angeles in its totality. Not knowing the landmarks, I turned to the map. Here I was confronted with a different conceptualization of space: the view from above.

“a text for the navigational age” is about reconciling these two ways of understanding space at a time when the Internet has thrust the rapid dematerialization of space upon us. The reader/flaneur is invited to interact by moving within a textual body that is always present in one, two, and three dimensions.