Here are some recent, digital projects I have completed, working with teams of talented students from the departments of English, Computation Arts and Design, and Engineering and Computer Science, at Concordia University:
SpokenWeb: Developing a Comprehensive Web-Based Digital Spoken Word Archive for Literary Research. Using digitized live recordings of a Montreal poetry reading series that took place between 1966 and 1974 this project is investigating the features that will be the most conducive to scholarly engagement with recorded poetry recitation and performance. We aim to create an interactive and nuanced tool that allows for deeper critical engagement with literary recordings. We hope to eventually develop SpokenWeb into a refined tool that we can share with other memory institutions who wish to make their digitized literary recordings available to scholars.
The Victorianator. This iPhone game was developed by my LudicVoice (LuV) team andwas shipped to the Apple Store in August 2011. The gameexplores the use of gesture to trigger synthetic effects upon speech. Gesture was an important part of recitation during the Victorian period. We took specific gestures as prescribed in Victorian elocution manuals and put them at the core of our gameplay. The play records one of thee Victorian poems in monotone. A pitch tracker detects how much or little you intone as you read, and scores your monotone performance. Then, using your recording (or a built in stock recording) the player responds to diacritical symbols that represent different gestural actions that must be performed. If performed properly, the getures trigger synthetic “Victorian style” elocutionary effects upon the voice recording. Thus, if you perform the gestures well, on cue, you “Victorianate” your voice and succeed in the game. The game also features a gallery in which a steampunk robot shows you how to do the gestures, and a game narrative about a character named Silas Shornshong, whose fate changes according to how well you score. Read more about the game in the New Yorker, the Globe and Mail, GeekDad, museumpreneurs, Annabelle, etc.
tickertext2: truisms are… was a digital poetry installation produced in collaboration with the DHC/ART gallery and Concordia University’s FOFA gallery. This second phase of the tickertext project used the art of Jenny Holzer to inspire a new set of writing constraints, and a new network of literary dissemination and display. From 14 September to 14 November 2010, attendees of DHC/ART’s Jenny Holzer retrospective, and writers from around the world were invited to submit their own tickertexts in response to Holzer’s work, and within a set of formal contraints informed by the language and syntax of her famous Truisms. These new submissions were then be transmitted, via the tickertext2 website, to a multimedia Ticker installation located at the FOFA gallery. In this way, textual work created in response to one exhibit at a Montreal art gallery produced a text based art installation across town. As with the first phase of tickertext, the project was conceptualized and curated by Jason Camlot and designed in collaboration with Matthieu Tremblay, Prem Sooriyakumar and David Ward. The tickertext2 site now documents the installation. But the submit interface is still live and new posts continue to be added to stream on the web-based ticker.
tickertext1: historical and new media as literary constraint was a digital poetry installation conceptualized and curated by Jason Camlot in collaboration with Lab 61/2, and ran during Congress 2010 (28 May-4 June, 2010). The project explored the production and dissemination of writing in relation to the features of the historical stock ticker–text in motion, instantaneous telecommunication, periodic updates and formal “telegraphic” brevity. Content was solicited from Congress attendees as well as poets and writers from the international community. Texts were collected on a twitter-like website interface with a limit of 140 characters. The constraint, in addition to the character limit and the non-lineated form, was the demand for alphanumeric texts only, that is to say, every tickertext submission was required to contain a mixture of letters and numbers. Submissions were transmitted form the submission website to the LED stock ticker located in the mezzanine of the MB (Molson) Building at Concordia University. We received over 500 submissions during the period of the installation. The tickertext1 website now documents the installation with images, text and video, including a download link to the 2 hour video of the entire stream of submissions as they appeared on the LED, from start to finish.