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Stacey Mason, Stop & Smell

Susan was a political activist during her Berkeley days, but today she wakes up in her large suburban home, still childless. She dresses without showering and eats in silence. After breakfast, she carries out her chores alone until an unexpected event brings her day abruptly to a halt.

Stop & Smell explores the boundaries of literature and digital sculpture. It invites readers to construct a narrative by interacting with illuminated (fragrant) paper flowers. As viewers smell the flowers, their understanding of the story changes and takes new directions, exploring themes of success, happiness, and expectation along the way.

Stop & Smell was inspired by stretchtext literature, stories in which clicking on links expands a passage to include new text that potentially changes the meaning of the original. By incorporating classic features of literary hypertext—fragmented, combinatory narrative; ambiguous point of view;  discursive agency—Stop & Smell hopes to challenge the perceived limitations of the page by introducing the affordances of the screen into an analog setting.

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