The Electronic Labyrinth

The Docuverse

Cyberspace is the realm behind the computer screen, the other side of the telephone receiver, just a centimetre beneath the surface of the keyboard, where words and sounds and images and all forms of codified phenomena dance. This is the virtual world in which media mix; the city square of the technological nomad; the new phase space of the economic. Cyberspace is, in theory, unbounded. Everything which can be reduced to zeroes and ones eventually finds its home here--all that can be measured, codified, transacted.

The docuverse is but one slice through this virtual reality, on the axis of media, at the point marked "text." Here lies the dream of the universal library--every word ever recorded knit together in a mosaic of knowledge, just waiting for the holy command to bring it forth. This is the ultimate manifestation of a primal will to closure. The move to cyberspace reifies, as Benedikt has noted, the age-old desire for the Heavenly City, "its radiance like a most rare jewel" (Revelation 21:9). After coming so far, we still find ourselves looking for an Eden, a Xanadu, no less fervently than before.

© 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.
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