The personal digital garden that constructs the structure of time
Abstract written by Wu Yiming
One of the major driving factor of me creating my own digital garden system is that I would love to record a fragment of a certain experience in a particular time and space, and being able to refer back in the future, whether consciously or autonomously. Thus there’s this requirement that the system needs to be able to revert back in time and show all relevant context as if I’m experiencing the moment, and gradually step forward as things were happening for the first time. In other words, it’s not viewing a recording, but to see as it’s happening for the first time, once again.
I designed my digital garden so it works in a way that if you refer back to a certain time, the entire garden would display on that certain date and time, this way I could get a overall viewpoint of what was happening at that point. This way it’s much easier for me to understand the logic and relevancy between pieces of information: How they come into being? How’s that historically important? And how the interconnection evolved?.
I also need such system to be self-manageable, as in no or few extra dependencies, and to have code that’s easy to understand and maintain by one person. The system I wrote requires no
gitversion control system, and the entire program is in
php, and it’s also database-free. In this chapter I talk about how my implementation evolved, and also how it also organized my notes and thoughts into a ever-evolving web that brings implied historical context, and how it’s beneficial to have references that also incorporates the structure of time.
Street View of Dreams
Abstract written by Wu Yiming
Link your images together, and they became a visual world to be explored. I link my imaginative artworks together, they became the street view of my dreams.
There's an abundance of text-interlinking protocols that allows you to surf through written content, but they doesn't necessarily treat links differently with images. Images has visual dimension, and points of interests that could lead to different things, and often to other images. A plain link might be good for some keywords and a few paragraph, but a image could contain an abundance of link-able visual elements.
We may not have a widely adoptable text-based protocol to describe this sort of image links without at least involving some UI interactions either through HTML or other implementations, but in the implementation of my Dream Street View, I build on top of my existing markdown-based knowledge garden, and use a few descriptions underneath each image to provide necessary information on how to navigate from one image to another. When displayed as HTML, there will be clickable markers that show up. When you click the marker, it will navigate to the corresponding images, pages or even external resources. Since I create artworks based on imagination, I can now link them together with such method, this enables me and any other audiences to experience the spatial structure of the imagined world, just like exploring on the street view, you click the arrow, and it goes to the scene on the next street.