by Simone Ellis
Mutare was written and visualized specifically for digital consumption. The work excerpted in this web-based directory is a "book" from an ongoing electronic novel. The name Mutare comes from the word "to change" and originally signified madness brought on by too rapid a change. Our heroine, Mutare, begins to grow into this name as she sets out in her old car heading for a futuristic, Plains Indian reservation in Montana, where she is seeking a vision. The story takes place in the not too distant future, halfway through the first century of the 3rd millennium, AD.
Mutare finds her vision, and in fact finds more than one vision. As she travels deeper and deeper into a four-dimensional, hallucinogenic landscape, the visions begin to track her and seek her for their own manifestations. They need her to express themselves in Earth World, a mundane reality which is limited to three dimensions. Mutare becomes particles and bytes of the visions themselves, and in the process looses her "self" as she once was... or thought she was, anyway. From the other side of her vision, her past interpretations of reality evaporate into a silly mist of trickery. As she morphs though the melting pink goo of future software and eternal skin tearing timeless Sun Dances; through ancient lands of talking stone goddesses, and buffalo skulls stuffed with paintings, she begins to see that a vision without a loss of individual identity is no vision at all. It becomes increasingly clear that she is no longer a separate individual in one time and space. In fact she is so much a part of what she is "observing" that there is no longer a vision and a seeker. There is only one swirling digital soup. And it becomes crystal clear that Mutare will never return to the relatively thin life of three dimensions. Or was there ever such a world in the first place? And if she isn't going back, is she stuck in the land of the Dead?
Whatever it is,
it is thoroughly engaging, and there is no place for boredom here. In fact it
is just what she was seeking when she drove onto that reservation in Montana
the summer of 2049.
Mutare has a life of its own, and can be read many
different ways, but a suggested reading of it
would be to progress in a clockwise spiral
around the 5 dream tunnels of the
central Goddess, beginning
at the head & spiraling
into her belly.
All images except "Sitting Ishtar" and "Old William"
by Allison Adare.
The novel, hypermedia,
and two images mentioned above are
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