BENDING THE BLOG
Updated: Mar 19, 2021
In designing this blog, I learnt that Wix loves linearity.
All of the style options either featured neat boxes organised like postcards across the page or an invisible line which centrally tightened the posts into a vertical formation. A web page, ultimately, is created to be scrolled down; this followable structure, a thread-like formation, is vital in organising text and images in a logical fashion. As such, my chosen template, in which the posts are stacked vertically, is suggestive of a sensical journey from A to B. Whilst nonproductive meandering is possible, if you picked a random starting point for example, the alignment of the posts inevitably prioritises a certain path of top to bottom or bottom to top. In this sense, it is reductive to my queering ambition. Thoughts never present themselves in a steady, logical order. Rather, they jump randomly in and out of my mind. The very creation of this blog in Wix is an act of ordering disorder, to quote Sedgwick, of straightening it into a “seamless and univocal whole” (8).
Further, the posts which have ultimately been displayed on this page can never pretend to contain, or even represent, the diversity of thoughts and feelings which I have experienced whilst engaging with these texts and topics. The appearance of the blog posts on the page, swamped in a natural blue background, is an inevitable framing device. The “disruptive, the fractured, the tactical and contingent” (Hall 5) responses I have had are sorted into clear, individual boxes. This action appears natural, due to its aesthetic pleasure, and disguises the fact that the whole blog is constructed. My mind becomes invisible in the simplicity of the blog’s design.
I am acutely aware that I am a co-conspirator with Wix in this crime. Throughout the process, my brain delighted in, and continues (even now) to delight in making decisions which place clarity over indeterminacy, succinctness over complexity, and perfection over experimentation. At this moment, I am literally redrafting this paragraph to make it slicker, shorter, and render its point more essential, visible, and readable. An “open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps” (Sedgwick 8) is one thing to locate in film and television texts, but another to replace the usual disciplining my writing into the quality of intelligence and style assumed necessary. As such, my attempts to bend this blog - for example by interspersing discontinuous, unexplained text and video entries from a planting project, beginning my posts at the bottom of the page, or invoking texts on seemingly wildly discrete topics to illuminate my points - have continually sat in conflict to a deep-seated urge to create a navigable experience for the site visitor. The blog still declares its identity explicitly with a fixed title in bold font at the top of the page, and it still features a colour scheme I have developed in efforts to define a personal brand elsewhere on my site.
Undoing this 'fixed brand identity' on my site is an unfinished project. I hope that the childish top/bottom joke manages to draw the visitor’s eye away from the posts and begins to present the blank background as a space of possibility rather than purely framing. I also hope that this post functions in some small way to expose the complexities and anxieties behind the smooth facade of the site.