The egg, the cart, the horse the chicken


Navigation. The piece transforms of its own accord, but there are also hot spots (mainly in caps) in most texts which can be activated when desired.

About the piece

The egg, the cart, the horse, the chicken was written by Hazel Smith (text) and Roger Dean (sound). The hypertext and animations, wrtten in Flash by Hazel Smith, are designed for a split screen. The texts in both the upper and lower frame are grouped into short linear “scenes” which form an overall “movie”. But the sequence in the upper frame can be disrupted by clicking on hyperlinks (marked in capital letters), which allow the reader to jump to texts other than the ones which follow each other in sequence. Consequently the juxtaposition of the texts on the two different screens is also variable. The piece engages with the way in which linear systems are constantly disrupted by non-linearity. This is written into the piece at a formal level by the use of the hyperlinks, animation and split screen, which tend to disrupt normal reading processes. Thematically the piece also addresses the ways in which a simple cause and effect relationship rarely operates, even within scientific systems. At the same time the hypertextual network interconnects many different ideas including the cultural significance of illness, the process of writing, the commodification of women’s bodies, and the atemporal nature of memory.

The soundtrack, is an algorithmic piece, Ligating, for computer controlled keyboard sounds. This sound piece is one of minimalist rhythmic complexity. The mesmeric eleven note cycle at the outset gradually evolves in pitch content, speed, and density of accompaniment. At a certain point, when the pattern has become very fast, its rhythmic content changes quite dramatically. At this point the piece climbs to its conclusion which turns out to be reversible, as the piece then plays backwards. The work was entirely written in MAX—the algorithmic composition and performance MIDI/sound control platform—so that performances vary, but this is a quicktime recording of one realisation, now fixed, for use with this web piece.

About Hazel Smith (

Hazel Smith works in the areas of poetry, experimental writing, performance, multi-media work and hypertext, and her web page can be found at www. She has published in numerous international poetry magazines including Southerly, Heat, Southern Review, W/Edge, Tinfish, Outlet, Milk, Crayon, Reality Studios, and Pages, and a number of internet journals including Jacket and How2. Her volume Abstractly Represented: Poems and Performance Texts 1982-90 was published by Butterfly Books in 1991, and her volume Keys Round Her Tongue: short prose, poems and performance texts was released by Soma Publications in 2000. Her two CDs, Poet Without Language with austraLYSIS, and Nuraghic Echoes (in collaboration with Roger Dean), were released by Rufus Records in 1994 and 1996 respectively. She is a founder member of the multi-media group austraLYSIS.

Hazel has also collaborated on several pieces with musician Roger Dean, and their work has featured on the ABC programs The Listening Room, Random Round and Jazztracks. Their piece, Poet Without Language,was nominated by the ABC for the Prix Italia in 1993. In 1997 they collaborated on a hypermedia-installation piece, Walking The Faultlines, which is featured on Cyberquilt: A CD-Rom Anthology, International Computer Music Association, San Francisco, 1999. In 1997 Hazel was co-recipient with Roger Dean and Greg White of a grant from the Australian Film Commission to design a multi-media work, Wordstuffs: the city and the body, for their Stuff Art website. Hazel Smith and Roger Dean have also collaborated on the hypermedia work, Intertwingling, currently on the website of the journal How2.

Hazel is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English at the University of New South Wales. She is co-author with Roger Dean of the book Improvisation, Hypermedia And The Arts Since 1945 published by Harwood Academic in 1997. Her book Hyperscapes in the Poetry of Frank O'Hara: difference, homosexuality, topography was published by Liverpool University Press in 2000.


About Roger Dean (

Roger Dean is an Australian composer/improviser and sound-artist. He has performed in more than thirty countries, as a double bass player and keyboardist. His compositions include computer music, instrumental works, and recent commissions for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Alpha Ensemble, the Wallace Collection (UK) and Chaconne Brass (UK). His works have been published by Open University Press (UK/USA), Red House Press, La Trobe University Press, and Sounds Australian, and has appeared on on cd-rom and on the internet. He has published two books on improvisation, and a third with with Hazel Smith, Improvisation, Hypermedia and the Arts Since 1945, Harwood Academic, 1997. He is currently developing programs for computer-interactive networked improvisation, and working on a book on computer-interactive sound improvisation for A-R Editions (USA). His music is available on more than thirty commercial recordings, including CDs on Audio Research Editions, Discus, Mosaic, Soma, and Future Music Records (UK); Jade, Rufus and Tall Poppies. (Australia); and Crayon and Frog Peak. (USA). He is the founder and director of austraLYSIS. Roger was born in the UK, and was a featured subject in 2000 in the Avant, a leading UK journal of adventurous music.