The David Speaks: Sculpting the Truth in the “Carving in Possibilities”

“Carving in Possibilities” is created through an interface that allows you to carve the face of Michaelangelo’s “David” as text appears in your hovering; it is a short Flash piece that provides various viewpoints of the David: himself, the crowd seeing the fight between David and Goliath, the crowd seeing the statue, and Michaelangelo himself. 

As you hover your mouse over the screen, text pops up with the short sound of stone being carved into. There is eerie music playing in the background throughout the game to enhance the tone of suspense. With each one, the David’s face becomes less blurred. When completing this piece, you should hover slowly to make sure you don’t miss the text and bring yourself one step closer to completely carving the statue, or finishing the piece.  As I went through, I attempted to write down all of the lines I came across, but I am certain I did not get them all. If you go into this piece, do your best to go slowly and all around the screen to ensure you got most of the text. I took note of how the font, font size, and font color varied and to me, this indicated differing points of view. One example was text in pink that portrayed the David as a scientific discovery. One line goes “The atoms never change” and this could allude to how there may be a scientist who does not view this statue in any other terms. another example is how there is a green text that says “I am your mystery” and this type of text only appears a few times, as to suggest that the statue is speaking. As you finish the piece, you can choose to exit and when you hover over the button, the text ” Leaving all of the other ghosts behind” appears, leaving readers with a haunting feeling. You can look through the pages of my notes to see what other lines appeared in this piece. The writing in this impressed me so much and the differing points of view gave this more depth, especially since the question of whether or not the David has humanity is raised and explored. 





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The author, Deena Larsen, says this piece “Lets you experience an instantiation of a sculpture–from the story to the sculpture–to well beyond. You can carve as many possibilities as you like–the ways reality could go are endless.” She is known for being a new media, hypertext author and she creates structural patterns in hypermedia. She earned her Bachelors in English/Philosophy  and received an award for the 1986 Best Thesis for her work titled “Nansense Ya Snorsted: A logical look at nonsense.” She then went on to receive her Masters in MA in English in 1991. Currently, she works at the Bureau of Reclamation, where she created the Decision Process Guidebook: How to Succeed in Government. Her website provides more information about her work, her first one being “Marble Springs.”

I feel that the intent of this piece was to show the varying of perspectives of such a well-known statue. Larsen pushes her readers to think with more depth into this subject since the David is representative of the David who killed Goliath. Perhaps she wants readers to consider the possibility of everything, animate or inanimate, having a life of its own, maybe even pushing readers to think about the concept of life itself. It seems that by showing various perspectives of the David, Larsen could be sending a message to her readers about how others have their own views on the lives of others and each one is different. This piece also could show how we as viewers of this statue dehumanize David in a sense because we think of him as only a statue, but not everyone is aware of the story or life of David. With the title, Larsen may be suggesting that we are the sculptors of our own lives and perceptions and therefore, we carve out our own possibilities; others do not carve our possibilities or define what our lives mean to us. Another note to add onto this is that maybe sculpting a statue can be a metaphor for how we live our lives: with each experience we grow more knowledgeable and gain more wisdom; the future becomes less vague to us and so does our understanding of ourselves. We mature and we fully understand who we are and it is no longer blurred to us because we have gone through life’s experiences. In this sense, life shapes who we are, yet is Larsen saying that other’s words and perceptions of us shape us as well? It is something to consider after reading this flash text. 

I would definitely recommend this piece to viewers since the text is so interesting to read and the words stop you in your tracks as you consider what each line could mean in the context of the David statue. 


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