Cityscapes: Social Poetics/Public Textualities
animated interactive project towards final interactive work (click arrows on bottom right corner)
Visiting Academic at the RMIT. Supported by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) Small Grant for Creative and Performing Arts. I was invited by the Industrial Design programme to collaborate in the studio teaching project 'Moving Signs/NomadicTecnologici' while developing my research. (March-July 2005)
To use the web as a creative and participatory environment to enable the users to
What kind of textualities are created by the sounds of different languages and what do they signify? What are their sociological implications in these urban environments?
The multicultural characteristic of Melbourne prompted me to enquire into this calligram of natural language sounds , the visual/textual signs from many different cultures encountered in the city as one walks around, the reasons for this diversity of cultures, why immigrants move to other places* how these cultures evolve and mix and the idea of interactivity between the many cultures and the city. It became a new calligram, which engendered a poetic space of the language of intercultural exchange ; of travelling words (to other languages) and the 'in-between' communicative area generated by the visual and audible qualities of these forms and with the recurrent question of how Image-Sound-Text interlace to create new languages. This new kinetic, nomadic, ever-changing calligram of the city became that of broken human voices, fragmented realities and the composition of different languages encountered in these cityscapes in flux.
Extracting visual text from the city environment, deconstructing it and re-mapping it into a different context has been part of the process of this investigation and creation of the digital piece. I worked with cultural community groups to gather and develop soundscapes from their natural languages in the form of phonetic sounds. As there are more than a hundred and forty languages spoken in Melbourne, I chose some of the most prominent ones. The languages included in the project are: Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, English, Spanish, Hindi and the aboriginal language Wathawurrung. The last one, being a language, which used to be spoken in Melbourne and currently taught to children by Bruce Pascoe with the hope of bringing it back to life. I documented the groups participating with the sounds and walked around, reading the city: visually, textually and phonetically. Photos
Interface Layout for the Audiovisual Interactive Collage
It is about the process of exploring and creating. It consists of a blank screen and it is not until the participant begins to explore, that the work exists. This is a concept I enjoy in digital works as I find it, as a user, to be both provocative and inviting to get involved in the performing of the artwork. The performance of the user with the piece is produced by rolling the mouse. As the user explores the surface, the palettes (images of Melbourne, animations, interactive scrolls, sounds, transitions) appear, and, by dragging, image size manipulation and roll over of the mouse, the user can create sound and image compositions. The more exhaustive the exploration, the more intrinsic the compositions which can be produced. It simulates the process of my investigation, in the way of finding images and sounds in the city, appropriating them and creating compositions. Participants are invited to do the same, to explore the city, producing, editing, in a word; creating.
*A Better Life • Land and Property • Freedom • Love and Marriage • Adventure • Job Opportunities • Natural disaster • Experience • Excitement • Fear • A Place • Refuge • Homeless • Disappointment • War Conflict • Reunion • Oppression • Love and Marriage • Racism • Segregation • Adventure
Autocalligraphy: Electronic Generative Handwriting
Promising Researcher Fellowship 2005
Collaboration Kingston University and the Media Research Lab - New York University, USA Sept. 2005-March. 2006