Creative Work
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Mary Flanagan, State University of New York, Buffalo (USA)

[raveling] is a poetry performance piece for machines and human about memory and communication which posits verbal communication and text as iterative rituals that can mutate and change over time, distance, and repetition.

Prior to the piece I produced a poem with my computer. This performance was a stream-of-consciousness spoken word event and was translated by the machine. My computer synthesized the words it recognized and I saved these words into a rough poem.

In performance I read this synthesized computer/human poem to the public and to computer #1. This first computer/performer will listen to the poem and after listening, read back the composition as it recognized aloud to the audience and to the second computer/performer. The second computer/performer will listen to the poem composed by the first computer and read back the poem it recognized aloud to the audience. Each computer and human has its own voice and vocal qualities including timbre, speed, etc. They work together to bring meaning to the piece.

This interpretation/reinterpretation creative loop is accompanied with text images on each computer that can be projected. The words twisting around will be projected so that the audience can listen and view the interaction.

(Source: DAC 1999 Author's abstract)

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Scott Rettberg