Galatea

I can’t remember who it was, but someone (possibly multiple people) in class mentioned that the piece of Galatea was creepy, and I wholeheartedly agree. During the presentation of it I kept being reminded of a similar feeling I got while watching a movie in the past, of course I can’t remember which movie this was, but the point is that the main character was conversing with a being that was equal to God/a God and the conversation was very eerie because the deity was very detached from the troubles and suffering of the main character. This is how I felt throughout the piece of Galatea, the female “entity” that we’re communicating with—the sculpture—seemed disconnected and detached from whatever was happening around her. Sort of as if she thought herself above the topics and conversation we were trying to communicate with her. I was also reminded about another character from a different story—a comic this time around, named “Gantz”. The being in question is sort of all-knowing while at the same time very much mortal as human beings, but although it faces the exact same threat of mass extinction, it is unable to relate to human despair in the face of death. I’m sort of rambling here, but my point is that the being implies that because of its lack of human characteristics, it is by definition godlike. Which is the exact same eerie feeling that this piece gave me as we walked through it. Galatea’s answers struck me as coming from a place of all-knowing, while at the same time indifferent.

With that part out of the way, let’s talk about the design—minimalistic. The piece is basically just text that somewhat scrolls down as you progress through the story. Both different and yet similar to the various hypertexts we’ve walked through in class, it focuses on the content more so than the visual design. The design isn’t nonexistent however, the design of Galatea is sort of in the same vein as the design of a novel with the intricate work of making text flow naturally and effortlessly—but that’s as far as it goes for the design aspect of the piece.

The “condition” system of the piece is interesting as I’ve played around with Inklewriter for my own piece. Apparently, from what I could gather during the presentation of Galatea, there are different endings wholly dependent of what sort of mood one establishes and which choices one makes throughout the piece—and some ending are only obtainable by following a set of exact actions and conversations. Just from my very limited knowledge about condition systems, I can tell that there is an enormous amount of work and time put into this piece for all of the different parts to function just as intended. Something that hit me as interesting was the idea that if you just continue the conversation and you don’t trigger any red flags that lead you towards an ending in any direction, you could potentially just keep the story going on forever.

This piece made me consider making something similar, but apparently you need to download a specific software to be able to run this system. Which is unfortunately, in every instance where you need to download a software, because it is automatically going to limit the people who invest any time into this piece. If this could be run from a website, the reach to grab the attention of more viewers would expand exponentially—but in a way it is sort of appropriate that only a certain number of people get to invest their time in Galatea, as both the e-lit and as the distinguished sculpture art.

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