Home » Uncategorized » 10/7– An “Armchair” Analysis on Transports of Delight

10/7– An “Armchair” Analysis on Transports of Delight


The Website:

I chose wordpress because it is very interactive and made to accommodate the novice website designer. It also lends nicely to the hypermedia format that I am pursuing. The site is bisected– to the left the content focus will be on the CIW and their programs, and to the right content focus will be on hypermedia (this was elucidated during my viewing of the project that I will discuss next in this blog entry).

Previously I had chosen to blog on google+ but I feel that to be a bit excessive if the blog can be accessed through one hyperlink.

A hypermedia Project:

Kirkpatrick, Joanna. Transports of Delight: The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh 2003.

This project was published in 2003 by Indiana University Press on CD-ROM and “makes extensive use of JavaScript and Apple QuickTime” meida. Thus, it is required that the viewer use an internet browser. The author, Joan Kirkpatrick, was professor of Anthropology at Bennington College where she taught for over twenty-five years.

Immediately I am drawn to the technical aspects that comprise this project. Composition is my current focus because I am learning and discovering ways in which to present media (information). Transports of Delights asks the viewer to make a decision as to how they will receive their information. Probably for repeat viewers, the opening menu has a list of three options for the initial interaction with the content of the project.  I chose (3) “full screen mode” which lead to a nonverbal introduction–an animated sequence of photographs and graphics rich in color and content, accompanied with musical styling/ the “theme song”, informed me that I was entering a cultural experience unique to Bangladesh. Other options included (1) beginning a tour within your web browser, or (2) skipping the animated introduction and jumping into the project’s menu. The first and third options actually lead to the same animated introduction.

Although the inherent nature of the CD-ROM is as nonlinear access to information, the format of the hyperlinks is set so that if followed from top-to-bottom the viewer will experience an almost historical encounter with the Bangladeshi people and the phenomenon of Ricksha art. The main menu offers links to General Information, Arts and Images, Streets and Views, and Readings, all include subtext to explain what each menu option contains beyond the title. Kirkpatrick suggests to her viewers that they become well acquainted with the cultural aspects of Bangladesh before viewing the Ricksha art. This allows the viewer to be placed in a context that covers social, psychological, geographical, and political ideas that helped spur the creation of Ricksha art. Thus, the General Information tab is very important as well as the next menu option– Arts and Images, which supplies a richer context (words and images) for the viewer. Here you can explore the history, the art, the artists, religious and political aspects of the art, etc.

This model is really beneficial for creating a broader context with which to process cultural information. I may take the same approach with this website: I will include historically relevant information about Immokalee, Florida, alongside photographs of the location. In addition, information about the C.I.W. will narrow the scope to focus on the specific topic I’m exploring in Immokalee.

Back to the CD-ROM… If we’ve explored The General Information and the Arts and Images we’ve now got a well defined cultural picture of urban Bangladesh and even a glimpse of the countryside. The next menu option–Streets and Views–supplies virtual tours. It’s as if you’re riding in a Ricksha through a city center or the countryside. Kirkpatrick accompanies information about the sites and sounds experienced in her short videos.

I hope to have something similar to this to offer to viewers. My plan will actually be a visual tour of a museum exhibit dedicated to the C.I.W. and the Fair Food Project, which will be discussed in detail on hyperlinked pages of this website.

…The main menu option Readings include essays and articles on Ricksha art, some of which were published by the publisher of this interactive CD-ROM. Included is also a bibliography and glossary for those who desire to explore further.

For this website, I have begun a bibliography that will include all resources external to my fieldwork.

…There are some aspects of the CD-ROM that seem outdated. A few of the links seem to jar the smooth transition from source to source. Otherwise, Transports of Delight is rich in visual and textual information and inspired a lot of technical and contextual design for the future of this website.


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