Completely Automated

Description (in English): 

I have formally performed “Completely Automated” on stage at a few conferences/venues and I think it could be a good fit for HASTAC’s themes. I would be very excited to perform it as part of an evening of performances. Total run-time is a duration of 15 minutes and it occurs in three parts. In the first part, I do a performative reading of a “historical” document that I have forged. To create the language of the forgery, I programmed a computer program to run a text analysis on a group of historical law tracts. I then skimmed the results and authored my own version of an early law tract. Calling on theater training, I perform this poetic text. In the second stage, the live performance overlaps and blends in with a short video that tells the story of how this forged document is digitally archived on google books as an “authentic” text. This video is blended with voice over of poetic text taken from the document. In the last stage I give a final performative reading of the changes that were made to the document when a group of users prepared it for upload in the digital archives. I think this project is an ideal fit for a performance at HASTAC because it deals with issues central to the digital humanities: archiving, preservation, digital conversion, authenticity, etc. What is at stake when our cultural documents undergo digital conversion? What artifacts or changes might be introduced? Where is the line of document authenticity drawn, in print or digital format?

(Source: Author's abstract for HASTAC 2013)



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Stig Andreassen