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Postcards From Writing
2004 by Sally Pryor

What exactly IS writing? Is picture writing something that is half way between pictures and writing? And is it a useful concept for thinking about new media writing and interfaces?

One approach to these questions is provided by Integrationism, a radical new theory of language and communication which Roy Harris has applied to a groundbreaking analysis of writing. In this view, writing is teased apart from speech (transcription of speech is just one of writing's possible uses) and re-aligned with spatial configurations in general. 'Picture writing' then becomes a meaningless and rather ethnocentric term because the boundary between writing and pictures is shown to be fluid, rather than fixed.

These are quite difficult ideas to grasp in a world where written words are so important. In Postcards From Writing, a kind of intellectual road movie, I artistically express my own encounter with them and explore their implications for new media writing and interfaces. My work offers users an interactive experience, rather than simply an illustrated lecture, because user interaction creates dynamic and multidimensional signs that illuminate the ideas I'm trying to express.




Honourable mention, trAce New Media Article Writing Competition (UK) 2004

Selected for The New Incunabula: The Shape of A Woman´s Form 2004

Finalist, Web Art, Drunken Boat's Inaugural PanLiterary Web Art Awards (USA) 2006

Review by Edward Picot, The Hyperliterature Exchange


the theory behind this work:

Summary of Integrationism
What is Picture Writing?
More about Roy Harris
Further Reading

see also my PhD thesis covering many of the same ideas:
Extending Integrationist Theory through the creation and analysis of a multimedia work of art " Postcard From Tunis


produced with assistance from:

The Australia Council 's New Media Arts Fund

Film Victoria's Digital Media Fund - The Digital Media Fund is funded by Multimedia Victoria as part of the Victorian Government's Connecting Victoria policy, which aims to bring the benefits of technology to all Victorians