New Text:

An Exhibit about the Literary and Artistic Explorations into
What It Means to Read, Write, and Create

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Collocations is an interactive work of experimental writing designed for tablet computers. It appropriates two key texts from Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein’s historic debates about the complementary relationship between position and momentum on the one hand, and determinacy and indeterminacy on the other. In quantum mechanics that relationship is mediated by an experimental apparatus through which the experimenter observes the phenomenon in question. In Collocations, the tablet computer is that experimental apparatus, and the user’s manipulation of its position in space allows certain poetic texts to emerge at the expense of others. As the user moves the device, certain words from within Bohr and Einstein’s original texts begin to vibrate, becoming highlighted and forming poetic subtexts. Striking a delicate balance between completely predetermined and randomly generated texts, these poems embody the fundamental indeterminacy of matter. At the intersection of science, art, language and code, Collocations posits a new quantum poetics that disrupts classical notions of textuality and offers new possibilities for reading.

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In a domed whispering gallery, even the quietest sounds are carried from one end of the room to another: communication across great distance. Whispering Galleries delivers messages across time—helping a voice lost to history reach a contemporary audience. Visitors to Whispering Galleries see their own image reflected and distorted on a screen, and on its surface, a glowing text appears to float: an entry from an anonymous 1858 diary. The author worked with his hands in many roles: as a woodworker making handles, a dry goods clerk sweeping up and making trade, and a violinist making music at home and church. In daily entries, his week is measured by handwork. Visitors to Whispering Galleries use their own hands to sweep the dust from his diary: gesturing over a Leap Motion controller, they scatter pixels from the text, leaving behind a web of whispers: erasure poems that tell a hidden narrative of 19th-century life, labor, and art.

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Founded on its earlier installation, Read For Us, The Reader's Project presents the work of a software entity that generates digital video montage, with visual content sourced through live image search. The Montage Reader — developed initially for English — analyses its text and first establishes a overall visual grammar based on closed-class words that underlie linguistic structure. The reader then searches for images corresponding to phrases — 'longest common phrases' whenever possible — finally composing a sequence of images that corresponds with the written language of the text both structurally and also semantically — at least in so far as contemporary image search proposes a correspondence that is meaningful for the human user-readers of network services and their aggregation of crowd-sourced indexing. Texts read by the Montage Reader may include parts of Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), and “Some Thing We Are,” a short story by Daniel C. Howe.

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In 2012, if:book Australia created a project that took a book from concept to print within a single twenty-four hour period. The book was written and edited using an online platform where every edit made to the text was captured and stored in a database.Willow Patterns documents the complete output from that database: authors and editors at work. In its online component, Willow Patterns creates an API and searchable interface to the data, making every version of every story accessible and open to remix and response.Its physical component is an export of the book’s complete database published in a lavish 28-volume hardcover with a continuous spine design. If the future of the book includes print as an aesthetic choice, then Willow Patterns highlights the possibility of printed books designed for purposes other than reading, borrowing from print’s powerful symbolism without devaluing the collected stories within.

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Encyclopedia is an ecological installation featuring digital and sculptural content. The core of the work is a text generator that creates encyclopedic entries for extinct fictive animal species. These unique entries are given away as printed index cards to visitors of the exhibition. The work aims to put a gentle focus on the state of the planet, meanwhile exploring the possibilities of digital art. The text presentations of each species shift between matter-of-fact descriptions of habitat and feeding habits and more poetic sentences of the characteristics of the species and its surroundings.

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Networked Optimization is a series of three crowd-sourced versions of popular self-help books. Each book contains the full text, which is however invisible because it is set in white on a white background. The only text that remains readable consists of the so-called “popular highlights” – the passages that were underlined by many Kindle users – together with the amount of highlighters. Each time a passage is underlined, it is automatically stored in Amazon’s data centers. Among the books with the most popular highlights, there is a striking number of self-help books. This points to a multi-layered, algorithmic optimization: from readers and authors to Amazon itself. Harvesting its customers’ micro-labour, the act of reading becomes a data-mining process. The series consists of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The 5 Love Languages of Love, and How to Win Friends & Influence People.

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Print Wikipedia is an artwork in which software parses the entirety of the Wikipedia database and programmatically lays out a full set of over nearly 7500 volumes and, then, uploads these volumes to Lulu.com, a print-on-demand website. The installation displays a set of these printed volumes against a print of a schematic rendering of one bookshelf of volumes. This bookshelf will contain 150 volumes, or 2% of the whole set. The adhesive print will be mounted to the wall, and one shelf will be mounted on top of the print; this shelf will hold the set of books.

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Passers-by is a 4-channel music and text performance. The text by Kafka is an internal monologue, describing the movements of thoughts that result from a dilemma: While walking in an alley the protagonist witnesses a situation. Can he interfere? Does he have to? Is he empowered to do so? Is what he sees really what is happening? The brief encounter takes us to the inner labyrinth of the protagonist. The words in the text are silent. No one speaks out loud. And so are the words in the performance: They remain silent; the audience is reading them. The piece is performed with a performance-instrument that uses an old mechanical typewriter to produce electronic sounds, images and text in real time. The performance combines the act of reading, where the reader creates his/her own inner voice to perceive the text within a field of sounds that surrounds the audience.

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The Deletionist is a concise system for automatically producing an erasure poem from any Web page. It systematically removes text, discovering a network of poems called “the Worl” within the World Wide Web. The Deletionist, based on the work of book artists and erasure poets, takes the form of a JavaScript bookmarklet. It can automatically create erasures from any Web pages the reader visits. Similar methods have been used to erase all text and to turn webpages into Katamari Damacy environments or Space Invaders levels, to make a game of destroying language. Between such extremes and the everyday Web, The Deletionist finds a space of texts that amplify, subvert, and uncover new sounds and meanings in their sources. Neither an artificial intelligence nor a poetry generating system in any standard sense, The Deletionist has a repertoire for uncovering patterns and revealing poetics at play within our most extensive textual network.

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Entropic Texts is an experimental digital poem using text, image, and an interactive interface to explore the notion of entropy. Entropy is nature’s tendency towards decay. Thus, it is entropy that predicts the arrow of time and the length of the life of all things – living and material. As you scroll through this artwork, you are led into a world where the ‘force’ of decay gets slowly stronger, to the point where text, images, and moving image, become glitched and decayed beyond recognition. This imaginary world of quickening decay is represented by the junkyard. What we often call junkyards are spaces that were once collections of adored or useful items that have succumbed to entropy; thus, they are both clear metaphorical and physical spaces of decay.

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Death of an Alchemist is a novel written with data: a literary narrative generated in real time from online information. In the story, a present-day narrator logs onto the Internet to investigate the death of Johannes Trithemius, a German abbot and alchemist who died in 1516. He left behind a mysterious book, the Steganographia, which is to contain the hidden secrets of the universe disguised in code. The work consists of a wall of projected text and symbols that is generated by scraping a range of online data sources for news headlines, social media posts, gifs, memes and more. As the text flickers and updates with each new piece of data that is received, readers are invited to follow the clues to unravel the mystery of the Steganographia and discover who killed Trithemius and why.

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Prey is an exploration in digital storytelling through the infusion of the old with the new, a hybrid grafting of the organic with the inorganic to create an entirely new form of codex. While the design is driven by an earthy handcrafted aesthetic, each novel hosts a unique system of interactive technologies. Upon first glance, they appear as a trilogy of standard vintage volumes. Once opened, readers will find their characters carefully embodied and thoroughly embedded within their pages.

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As of version 10.8 (July 2012), Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X desktop operating system has included Dictation, a feature modeled on Siri, the iPhone voice-recognition interface. When activated, this feature cross-references spoken audio input against an online database of speech data and, using this data, transcribes the audio into text. The accuracy of this transcription is variable. Mac OS X also features a speech synthesis utility capable of “reading” text selections aloud in a variety of differently accented computer voices. The verisimilitude of these various voices is, likewise, variable. In Recursive Dictation, Mac OS X text-to-speech output is recursively routed to the Dictation feature and vice versa. The result is an iterative stream of text and synthesized speech that, due to the limitations of the speech synthesis and speech recognition software, is both ever mutating and never endin

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Saturated Highway Forest Death Psych Synth Panic (2015) is a 3 second pulse of metadata-composed collective musical intelligence. It is composed by collecting and mixing all music tagged as 'dark' as it passes across the artist’s computer. It proposes itself as a new genre, approaching (without ever touching) a collective generic distillation of TOTAL DARKNESS. It is an ongoing composition, where it is re-tagged as Saturated Highway Forest Death Psych Synth Panic, and re-shared, plugging back into the generic metadata system. The flashed image acts as a ‘label’ for this new genre. For ISEA15 it is presented, in progress, as a looped insistence, infecting the space: 3 seconds of sound/image, then 3 minutes of silence. Each day the file will be updated (as the composition changes) so it grows and develops over the event. Corporate music intelligence platform algorithms are put to work, producing something both filled with speculative hope and absurdly reductive, opening a core of panic within the data.

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Spine Sonnet is an automatic poem generator in the tradition of found poetry that randomly composes 14 line sonnets derived from an archive of over 2500 art and architectural theory and criticism book titles. Each tap of the screen reveals a new poem.