Simon Biggs' 'The Great Wall of China' is a cross-media work published as an interactive CD-ROM with a set of cards, and also produced as a gallery-based installation. The piece takes its title, and much of its inspiration, from the work of the novelist Franz Kafka, whose classic writings still provide us with some of our most compelling metaphorical insights into the complex, proliferating information networks which increasingly dominate our lives. 'The Great Wall of China' is effectively a story-telling machine: a wall of words (all derived from the original Kafka story) which recombine in ever-changing conjunctions as the reader interacts with the work. In some areas of the Wall words are composed as short prose fragments, which evolve in relation to each other, and within themselves, such that themes and events gradually emerge. Other components are structured more as poems; yet others as Koans or Chinese aphorisms. Interaction with (the reading of) any one text will not only transform that text, but also all the other texts. Each text is competely fluid. Nothing has been pre-written. It is only through the process of reading that the texts come into existence. In this way, an apparently infinite number of stories are (re)constructed.
System requirements: This CD-ROM is compatible with Windows (486 or Pentium chip) and Macintosh (68040, PowerPC or G3/G4). It needs 256 colors and a minimum of 5 mb of memory RAM (although more is better). It does not require QuickTime or any special installation but will play straight from the CD.