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Huckleberry Finnegans Wake

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Huckleberry Finnegans Wake is a combinatoric performance work bringing together Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. With both texts based around river culture, contextual imbrications can be formed by folding one text into the other and through this combinatorial engines can be developed for the texts as well as implied visual and auditory material. Though both source texts are replete with exclusive language (regional dialects, neologisms, etc.) when brought together what emerges is a fantastical environment lacking specificity, but for the rivers (the Liffey and the Mississippi) that run through both. Imagine steamboats on River Liffey, the Pike County dialect being spoken in County Dublin, or Shem and Huck on the banks of the Mississippi.

The development method for Huckleberry Finnegans Wake rests somewhere between the creative and the critical. In one regard, by combining the two source texts a sort of comparative and deconstructive textual analysis can be performed on either text, or both texts in combination. On another level, the work is creative; in that it is generative, performative, and relies on combinatoric principles that lend themselves to emergence.

The performance utilizes a number of applications to generate a multi-modal interpretation of the combined text that includes visual material, audio, and live readings from various combinatorial engines. 

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Talan Memmott