Additional Academic Resources


“Toward a Post-Critical Theory of Hypertext”
by John E. McEneaney, Indiana Univ. South Bend

Discusses Agrippa in terms of an unconventional theory of hypertext that regards traditional print as more “hypertextual” than electronic text formats: “on-line help systems, text-based diagnostic systems, and hypertext fiction [which] typically involve either a central axis of organization, a hierarchical structure, or both.”

“[Agrippa’s] electronic medium serves not only to enforce the linearity of the text, but even takes the linearity two steps further by making it both directional and temporal–Agrippa is a one-way trip and there’s no way back!”

“A Tale of Three Futurists”
By Alex Lowenthal, Univ. Hawaii

Includes a biography of Gibson with a description of Agrippa.

“In Agrippa, Gibson weaves together the ancient art of bookmaking and
the cold touch of modern binary encryption code technology with New York artist Dennis Ashbaugh. It is an elaborately conceived marriage of antique bookcraft and modern computer technology that may alter our conceptions of the immortality of art. Gibson’s book challenges the fundamental assumptions about books, art and reality.”

“Digital Aesthetics: A Systematic Approach”
By Bo Kampmann Walther, Univ. of So. Denmark

Keynote address at the conference Digital Aesthetics, 2003, in which Agrippa is cited as “[o]ne of the most artistically advanced examples of a digitally transient, that is, temporally dependent or adjusted, piece of art.”

Agrippa is described as a ‘black box recovered from some unspecified disaster’, and instead of meaningful words the pages of the book are filled with DNA -codes – ‘AATAT/TACGA/GTTTG’ and so on. -Yet the allegory seems obvious: just as letters generate semantics, so DNA strings create life that interprets information (or ‘recipes’) in a cycle.”