Whisper Wire: A Poetry Generator Transmitting and Receiving Electronic Voice Phenomena Through Haunted Media

Categories:  conference, electronic literature, Generation(s), performance
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Whisper Wire is a new poetry generator by J.R. Carpenter, a text transmitter, a code medium sending and receiving a steady stream of strange sounds, disembodied voices, ghost whispers, distant wails and other intercepted attempts to communicate over vast distances through copper wires, telegraph cables, transistor radios and other haunted media.

From the outset, telegraphy has been associated with otherworldly presences. If intelligence and consciousness could be transmitted independent of the body, surely the dead could speak to the living though electromagnetic means. This perception persisted nearly a century, even as telegraph and telephone networks girdled the globe with cables, signals, switches and stations.

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December 14, 1901, three short sharp clicks skipped this grid. The Morse letter S travelled from Poldu, Cornwall — not troubled at at by the curvature of the Earth or the salt wet and wind of the Atlantic — to Saint-John’s, Newfoundland, where it was received by a telephonic headset held to the highly sensitive receiver of Guglielmo Marconi’s waiting ear.

Was the Morse letter S appended to Saint-John’s that day? Hoax rumours abound. Some suggest that what Marconi heard was actually a harmonic — a connection, yes, but not a transmission. Distance distorts. Distance distends. We hear what we need to. Wireless technology revealed a vast, unfathomable ocean of silence and static. Deep listening into that void can return uncanny results. Whisper Wire generates an unheimlich poem of un-homed messages, a spectrum of strange and unexplainable sounds, hunting the either for a listener, a receiver, a media to haunt.

The source code of Whisper Wire is itself possessed. Whisper Wire is a remix of Nick Montfort’s Taroko Gorge. Excerpts and source code of another of J.R. Carpenter’s remixes of Taroko Gorge, titled simply GORGE, appear in her new hybrid code narrative book GENERATION[S], published by TRAUMAWIEN.

Whisper Wire will be performed in Edinburgh on Halloween night at Inspace… no one can hear you scream, an evening of language in digital performance presented by the third International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling and New Media Scotland.

Whisper Wire will become a live wire during this 20 minute hybrid performance. Performance writers J.R. Carpenter and Jerome Fletcher will mix generated text, javascript, found sounds and live readings from the works of decadent authors, Medlar Lucan & Durian Gray and others.

“As we stand on the clifftop at Poldhu, watching the wind which roars in off the Atlantic whipping spindrift off the tops of the waves, we are filled with an overwhelming sense of horror. Between here and New York nothing but grotesque tonnages of uncooked haddock swim. Nowhere is Nature present in such profusion, and we have chosen to expose ourselves to it for the next three days!

At this spot a century ago, Guglielmo Marconi set up a circle of masts by which he would transmit the first radio signals beyond the curve of the earth. We too are here to communicate. Not with the Living, however, but with the Dead.”

Medlar Lucan & Durian Gray with Paul Renner, The Hell Fire Touring Club, Oxford: Pharsalia, 2004, page 21.

48 hours | Inspace… no one can hear you scream.
Sunday 31st October 2010, 7.30 for 8pm.
Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB

Inspace

Inspace… no one can hear you scream: an evening of language in digital performance

Categories:  conference, electronic literature, Generation(s), performance
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Sunday 31st October 2010, 7.30 pm, the third International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling and New Media Scotland will present an evening of language in digital performance with works by Martin John Callanan, J.R. Carpenter, Jerome Fletcher, Donna Leishman, Maria Mencia, Netwurker Mez, Stanza and Christine Wilks. The performance event will be held on Halloween. There will be a haunted theme.

48 hours | Inspace… no one can hear you scream.

Sunday 31st October 2010, 7.30 for 8pm.

Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB

ICIDS Conference Program

Inspace

Further Adventures of Pookie & JR Appear on the Electronic Literature Authoring Software Website

Categories:  electronic literature, Generation(s)
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Pookie is a a biological, digital, quasi-fictional manifestation of Montreal artist Ingrid Bachmann’s imagination. And, for a hermit crab, Pookie sure gets around. Bachmann and Pookie collaborated on The Digital Crustaceans project at StudioXX, Montréal, Québec in 2002. That project lives online here: http://www.digitalhermit.ca/. Bachmann and Pookie collaborated again on Digital Crustaceans v.0.2: Homesteading on the Web at Gallery Articule, Main Gallery, Montréal, Québec, April 4 – May 4 2003.

Pookie and I hung out quite a lot the summer of 2009 and a number of projects emerged as a result. We were in a show together at Arnolfini in Bristol in May, 2010, and have a book coming out any moment now from TRAUMAWIEN.

Our latest adventure – an entry on the Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie & JR has just been added to the Electronic Literature Authoring Software Website edited by Judy Malloy.

Pookie Goes to the Beach, Ingrid Bachmann

[screenshot from The Digital Crustaceans project, Ingrid Bachmann, 2002]

The Electronic Literature Authoring Software Website is resource for teachers and students of new media writing, who are exploring what authoring tools to use, for new media writers and poets, who are interested in how their colleagues approach their work, and for readers, who want to understand how new media writers and poets create their work, the Authoring Software project is an ongoing collection of statements about authoring tools and software. It also looks at the relationship between interface and content in new media writing and at how the innovative use of authoring tools and the creation of new authoring tools have expanded digital writing/hypertext writing/net narrative practice in this vibrant contemporary creative writing field.

Begun in conjunction with the 2008 Electronic Literature Organization Conference, this resource was also a part of the Computers and
Writing 2009 Online Sessions hosted by UC Davis.

Visit Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie & JR on the Electronic Literature Authoring Software Website.