I promised I would look out some material from an unfinished project which I began back in 2001, which attempts to adapt my teenage diaries into a more interactive multimedia affair. This project takes raw material from the 1980s and attempts to set this against the backdrop of the internet.If I could have written the same words I wrote in my diary, and actually emailed them to a 'Secret Friend' who may have responded, what difference might that have made? What if the internet had existed when I was first coming out? These are some of the questions I hoped to consider.
This project is another aspect of my Coming Out Hypertext. In fact, I originally imagined these pages as part of that story, but hadn't yet found a way to weave them in. So it's worth starting the reading there, or with my commentary.
These next few links are previously unseen. I wanted to draw out the serious nature and poignancy of the subject matter, and also lighten it by drawing attention to my adolescent urgency and intensity, allowing myself to be self-mocking. That's where the Cagney and Lacey theme fits in.
I really was a paid-up and very proud member of the Cagney and Lacey Appreciation of the Series Society (CLASS) in the mid to late 1980s. I have no evidence to back this up, but even at the age of 16 I understood there were probably a number of lesbians behind the CLASS administration. Call it a Sharon Gless fan's intuition!
Start off with Nicki's Inbox or start at Nicki's Sent Items and click between the two using the link in the top right-hand corner.
If you don't follow the link from within one of the emails, you might also want to observe Nicki's first Chatroom experience at the imaginary Girl2Girl Zone. This page is very bare of images, I'm aware of that, and I'm still contemplating what images would be appropriate to convey a 1980s online literacy. Perhaps the absence of images is what's important.
There's a lot more to be done to really round-off (do I mean complete?) this project, so if you want to encourage me to take this and the Coming Out Hypertext further, I'll be really grateful for your comments - on the blog or by email.
For another persepctive and more background on this concept of re-working memory and diaries, you could also visit VirtualDayz, the blog of Elayne Zalis, whose work focuses on digital experiments with personal and cultural memory.