"How often have you expectantly visited a so called "innovative, new media" website with its tags of "highly interactive and engaging content" only to find that its creator's idea of interactivity is to force-feed the user a new page of information every time they click a "next page" button? This is definitely not the case with Australian net artist (net.artist) Mez's recent venture into the realm of the hypertextual with her _][ad][Dressed in a Skin C.ode_, a captivating anthology of non-linear literary works distributed through email lists.
In the creation of texts and poetic forms, Mez utilises her unique "mezangelle" language which appropriates features of code and programming syntax then combines these with plays on symbols and language to alter or enhance meanings. Upon initial contact with "mezangelle," many viewers may find it unsettling due to its ambiguous punctuation, abstract grammar, syllabic dissection and the subsequent slowed reading speed. However, once whatever original discomfort is overcome, the ingenuity of the "mezangelle" language as a literary technique or device really starts to assert itself. It allows Mez to extend her work beyond the boundaries of more conventional literary mediums and coaxes the viewer to construct new meanings for themselves of what it is they're engaging with on screen.
Originally, the navigation and interface design of _][ad][Dressed in a Skin C.ode_ may be fairly confusing and unorthodox (particularly the difficult to read fonts and the directory of enhanced texts, with its arrays of what appear to be linked buttons), until it is realised that Mez has not set out to create a site that conforms to usability guidelines and commercially driven ideologies. This is a site that allows the user parallel or simultaneous understandings of the content, while instigating "non-linear and imaginative order" into the vocabulary of electronic communication.
Mez's _][ad][Dressed in a Skin C.ode_ is an excellent example of the notion of web "spaces" as opposed to web pages and through the use of the "mezangelle" language system and syntax, it is a highly thought-provoking and stimulating collection of textual works. Intended to expand and extract upon a user's perceptions and conceptualisations, these works will leave you feeling somewhat enlightened and enriched by their required level of comprehension and engagement."
- Scott Esdaile, fine Arts forum.