Reading Hypertext Aloud

Listening to Susan Gibb’s “Lust” read by Finnegan Flawnt got me thinking about the idea of hypertext audio books. Superficially, the idea seems little more than a gimmick. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like an interesting experiment.

Interaction is such an integral part of hypertext, would a complex linking structure be possible if interaction was taking place without a visual field? Even if those structures existed, would we be able to understand them the same way? What kind of voice-recognition platform might be designed to allow a work to interact with the user in an interesting way? The thought of a work and a user interacting back and forth through sound to create a narrative is worth exploring.

Sure, you might look like that person on the subway who talks to yourself, but you’ve been doing that for years on your Bluetooth phone. Why let it bother you now?