"We have, for quite some time, linked and been visitors to Piotr Szyhalski's stunning, evocative and often disturbing Web site. So, apparently, have many others. The progressive artist and writer has won Web-wide recognition for his site which, to offer a murky definition, offers an experience in how we react to visual and intellectual stimuli.
Now he's enhanced the site and it's time to call wider attention to it but be forewarned that our definition of it won't be any more clear. In fact, that's the point.
To understand Piotr's work, one must accept the premise that the Web is a form of communication unlike any previous: a dream-like place where minds can communicate on levels, and in ways, previously impossible to access. To appreciate this site, one must have a bit of time and a very open mind.
A great site, we have long held, offers a very personal vision which, when encountered by each of us, liberates our own vision, deepens and broadens it, and perhaps helps mold it.
This interaction, and mystery it still holds for many of us, is evoked by the very name of the site. The Spleen exists (it lives directly beneath the diaphragm, behind and to the left of the stomach, as the author explains). But it can be removed and we don't miss it. It's NOT a vital organ. It DOES expand during digestion but no one knows the significance of that. In fact, we don't know why the thing, which is actually suspending by fluids in the body, is there in the first place.
This mysterious organ is the motif for a site with several sections, each a kind of artistic/intellectual labyrinth filled with thoughts, quotes, observations, and art. Sections like
" on the power of propaganda), and
" explain by
" example and hint rather than
"hit over the head
Several other sections move us subtly in other directions. In the Folkways Archive, visitors are encouraged to add our own quotes and thoughts to the site -- a kind of free form dialogue.
All of this is served up with some of the most stunning and gripping graphics on the progressive Web: graphics that flicker in the mind long after, like a ghost image on a television screen.
Perhaps our mind is a lot like a television screen with images parading across it and ideas bouncing around in it vying to a niche in our uneraseable subconscious. Perhaps that's a personal reaction to this site. Perhaps that's the point that this brilliant cyber-communicator wants to make.
Perhaps, indeed more likely, the site is like a Spleen of our consciousness. Being there, pulsating and expanding, defying collective definition but having a very personal, and possibly significant, role in our digestion of ideas and feelings.
Or perhaps, no definitely, we've once again failed to explain what Piotr's doing and must again say simply,
"This is a site you HAVE to visit...again and again.