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Paging Dr. Norton Utilities
August 19, 1997
It happened last Wednesday night. That was the night that my brain decided to "Shut Down".

Paging Dr. Norton Utilities

Click here to see "Paging Dr. Norton Utilities" through the magic of Shockwave.

Note: The "Paging Dr. Norton Utilities" Shockwave file is relatively large (3.5 MB) and may take a few minutes to download.

1997 was a particuliarly challenging year for me. I was diagnosed early that year with a rare neurological condition, "Axial Myoclonus".

The types of symptoms that I experienced included uncontrolable "jerks" of the body (similiar to Epileptic seizures) and complete loss of energy. I had a number of tests performed on me - everything from a CAT Scan, to a Spinal Tap. I also went through a series of several medications until a combination was found which seemed to control the symptoms with only a few side affects.

The condition and medication took its toll on me, and I often found myself in a state of depression. I enlisted in a few different types of therapy, including accupuncture, writing a journal, and in a new multimedia project which I called "Paging Dr. Norton Utilities".

Click here to see "Paging Dr. Norton Utilities" through the magic of Shockwave.

The background is a series of images taken from one of my EEG Sleep Lab Studies shown in a jerking motion. Included in the piece are excerpts from my journal, as well as medical records and prescriptions.

Accompanying the visual elements is an audio piece that was written and sung by my wonderfully talented friend from art school, lef. His song is called "Everything Works Out", and is sung in a haunting a-cappella fashion.

I had grand plans for this project - lots of conceptual ideas that never came to be. (Isn't that just like an artist?) Does that really matter? I don't think so. I consider coming back to this project every once in a while, but it is such a difficult place to stay emotionally for too long. The way I figure, I may get back to it someday, and I may not. Either way, it did it's job. It was a very therapeutic outlet for me when I needed it.

Although I am not completely cured, my condition has since stabalized. Everytime I review this piece or read through my journals, I am reminded of challenges which I faced that year.

If I were a computer, I could run Norton Utilities to scan my entire hard drive. Dr. Norton would notify me of a "Major Problem Found", which affects my entire system, and would show the specific files. In an ideal world I would be able to press the button which reads, "Fix Problem".

In turn, Dr. Norton would reply,

"Problem Fixed".