Thursday, July 16th, 6PM – 8PM

The Famous Internet Artist – Paul Echeverria

The Famous Internet Artist is a work of e-literature documenting multiple interactions between the artist, Tony Jones, and various authors of unknown origins. The work examines the demarcation between flux persona and faux persona. As both aliases communicate with each other, the margins between fiction and reality are continuously blurred. Tony, the alias, offers the promise of collaboration, fame, and creative expression. The spam personas seek friendship, love, and travel funds. The materialization of the digital flux persona lingers within each character’s attempts at persuasion. As a consequence, readers are encouraged to consider the authenticity of their own relations within a complex panorama of digital identity.

In exhibition form, The Famous Internet Artist will be conducted as a reading between the original author and the anonymous authors. The original author will conduct a live reading. The anonymous authors will be spoken by a text-to-speech platform through the use of a laptop or amplifier. The reading will be conducted as a call and response between the original author and the mediated personas. Additional methods of distribution for The Famous Internet Artist include web, zine, and print formats.

Paraprojection – Jason Nelson

What makes digital art and writing magical? What makes it inspire wonder and curious awe is the hidden nature of its coding, the technical wizardry transforming screens and spaces into interactive and beautiful and sometimes bizarre experiences. Paraprojection (a term coined by Jason Nelson and Alinta Krauth) is the embodiment of mysterious and hidden digital writing.

The idea is to add an element of unexpected mystery and curiosity to both the festival and the conference. I will also be soliciting text ideas, small animated (with transparent backgrounds) and video clips from conference participants. And I will endeavour to include the best of those into my performance.

MEMORIAS – Jessica Rodríguez, Rolando Rodríguez, Alejandro Brianza, and Luis M. Zirate

Memorias is a web-based artistic project by Jessica Rodríguez developed through the Estuary platform —an online platform to host live coding languages. It is based in six autobiographical writings connected to the way she “hears”, “writes”, “watches”, “reads”, “sees” and “listens” to the word. Through these texts, six code works were designed and programmed, hybridizing natural and computing languages by parsing three existing live coding languages: Tidal Cycles, Punctual, and CineCer0.

Together, Memorias’ languages collide different materialities as well as visual and sonic approaches, going from voices in English, Spanish, Cello and Paetzold samples, audio and visual synthesis, and pre-recorded video clips. This project explores how speech and literature — in its written form— can be used as interfaces that allow the performer to communicate both, with the computer and the audience. Additionally, speech —in its sonic form— is moved through space and time, expanding the possibilities of spoken literature by producing unlimited variations of the “original” autobiographical writings. Within the space/time of the piece, the audience can experience different ways, textures and logics to approach visual and sound through the use of language as a memory trigger.

The Tenders: Embrasures in the Fort’s Collapse – Judd MorrisseyAbraham Avnisan, and Mark Jeffery

Tender Embrasures in the Fort’s Collapse is a new mixed reality zoom performance that constructs poetic architectures and virtual landscapes as anti-monuments to invert and queer colonial narratives and their underlying mechanisms of power and desire. Tender Embrasures engages with structures of the fort and the home, combining remote live performance and augmented reality poetics with 3d scans of the site of Fort Dearborn, an early American garrison out of which the city of Chicago was incorporated. Placing the flamboyant tradition of the rhinestone cowboy in relation to the history of indigenous genocide and expulsion, The Tenders seeks to invert and queer colonial narratives lodged deep within the American imaginary.

Fort Dearborn was an early settler military stronghold and site of a 19th century indigenous uprising by the Pottawatomi Nation, an event that ultimately led to the expulsion of the Pottawatomi from their ancestral lands, which the nation’s warriors mourned in a ceremonial last dance. The scans of the city in the environs of the former fort include the Trump International Hotel and Tower that is situated directly across the river. The work’s embodied poetics and emblematic atemporal environment draws connections between the forced expulsion of indigenous bodies in the 19th century and contemporary immigration policy and xenophobic rhetoric in the United States.

Phone Down Magic On  – Laura Zaylea

Phone Down Magic On is designed as a chapter book for children, grades 3-5, and each chapter begins with augmented reality content. The story follows three young friends who text each other before bed. By holding a phone above the physical chapter book, readers see the characters’ texting session as if it were happening on their own phones… and when a parent says to put the phone down, the texting stops and the “magic” begins. The screen interface dissolves into a dream scene, and clues to a mystery are presented in floating text presented within animated sequences supported by sound design. These clues are then used in the upcoming chapters to help a group of young friends solve unexpected, age-appropriate mysteries (such as missing pets, die-dyed sports uniforms and the anonymous #LoveYourAwesomeSelf graffiti that keeps popping up around school).

This project aims to promote literacy, diversity and inclusion, and healthy self-esteem in young readers. Literacy is promoted through simple sentences enhanced by key vocabulary words: Each animation sequence includes key terms, which are then integrated into the chapters that follow, ideally helping young readers to develop vocabulary and reading fluency. The main characters are diverse in terms of cultural identity, family structure (including a two-mom LGBTQ family, a multigenerational family and a single-parent family) and gender identity (including one nonbinary protagonist). The importance of supporting one’s community and developing self-esteem in one’s self is a through-line that runs throughout the entire project.

Friday, July 17th, 6PM – 8PM

Future Perfect – Ian Hatcher

“Future Perfect” continues the arc of performance work I’ve presented at ELO in past years. It is being created in collaboration with the Chicago performance company Lucky Pierre, which I’ve recently joined, though I’m proposing to perform a short solo version at ELO. It is a lecture in which I discuss the launch of a semi-fictional cryptocurrency called the “Lucky.” The valuation of the currency is in part based on global weather stability, allowing it to serve as a symbol representative of an alternative world in which traded valuation is linked explicitly to large-scale systemic stability and health. The piece also explores Natasha Dow-Schull’s anthropological work on the gambling industry, the hijacking of cognitive flow states, gamification of interface design, and queer utopianism.

Artemisianum – Anna Nacher

Artemisianum is a solo performance based on a microstory created for a 3D / VR platform, currently in production. Its main point of departure is the question of possibilities for enhanced communication between people and plants. The microstory in question is a speculative fabulation about the smell as a communication tool and type of XR. To the author of a performance, molecules released by a plant common in traditional gardens in Central Europe and present in Eurasia, Africa and North America (wormwood or southernwood, Artemisia abrotanum), along with other types of Artemisiae used for smudging (Artemisia Ludovicia) efficiently convey memories of close and intimate human-plant encounters, including entering the states of expanded consciousness (but not hallucinatory). From this perspective, all traditional, folk stories on how gardeners (mostly women) need to talk to plants and tell them stories to keep them growing, acquire another meaning. What if plants respond with a smell, yet this form of transmission goes unnoticed, because it is never accounted for as a meaningful communication? What if the practice of smudging – common across spiritual traditions around the globe and particularly important for the American First Nations – is another form of such an exchange? The microstory narrates the process of chemoreception as embodied and non-semiotic communication, beyond the idea of communication as a transfer of symbols, the one that currently still cannot be captured by any media technology. The vocal performance of the microstory will be accompanied by manipulation of the 3D visual structure on a screen and smudging of the actual Artemisia abrotanum to produce the olfactory effects – depending on the type of room at disposal. Ubiquitous fire alarms in contemporary corporate buildings forbid the practice of smudging in most of interiors, hence makie this form of human-plant embodied communication impossible, which the performance aims at addressing as well.

Rosamede’s Coming Out: A Nonbinary Self-Love Story – Sara Raffel

This narrative piece titled Rosamede’s Coming Out: A Nonbinary Self-Love Story explores the intersection of electronic literature and physical performance while also challenging the tension between perceived binaries, including the physical/digital, masculine/feminine, and designer/interactor. Rosamede’s Coming Out consists of two parts: a branching narrative game with several potential endings and an aerial hammock performance piece that changes based on the ending the audience chooses. Ahead of the performance, the audience can play the branching narrative in the form of a Twine game. The story itself is an updated version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It from the perspective of Rosalind. Rosamede’s Coming Out, rather than relying on the tidy denouement of Shakespeare’s comedic standards, retells the story based on what might have happened if Rosalind had not shed, but rather embraced, their nonbinary identity, and the Twine game offers three potential endings to this effect. Each ending corresponds to a different 5-minute aerial dance piece intended to encapsulate the moment in which Rosalind comes to this personal realization, and one piece will be performed based on the conference audience’s choices while playing the digital narrative. The audience will have time within the 15-minute time slot to play through the Twine piece if necessary–though the digital portion will be available for the entirety of the conference–as well as view the 5-minute aerial dance performance.

A Virtual Banquet – Deena Larsen

Deena Larsen will be running a collaborative fantasy meal throughout the conference, with opportunities to imagine the banquet that will never be–  online, we can order the most succulent and fancy dishes we like— money is no object. At the conclusion of this collaborative writing project, Deena Larsen will share a reading from the work.

Live Word Processing – Theadora Walsh

Live Word Processing is a performance technique in which pieces of prepared animated text and short video are dragged into a plain text document while I simultaneously live-type a semi-improvised essay before an audience.

The microphone is on the keyboard, providing a rhythmic sound track, and the text is occasionally punctuated by gestures and facial expressions inspired by the physical vernacular of dance. Multiple compositions converge, as one poem takes up a spatial relationship to another. Two forms of writing are simultaneously conveyed—one spontaneous and improvised, the other premeditated and looped.

The unstable basis underscores the subjective nature of language. Address as an implicit component of composition. The language shifts its address, operating outside the restrictions of the page to become something like a textual film. John Cayley, a theorist of digital literature, characterizes this performance as between image and language, a text caught in the act of appearing. Live Word Processing has been performed in New York as part of Baby Castle’s Wordhack installed and at Brown University’s Granoff Center.


The Fabric of Everyday Life – Judy Malloy

My generative poem “the fabric of everyday life” — — explores both the creative possibilities and the “big brother” overtones of ubicomp technologies. In this work, my poet/artist/coder’s generative authoring system brings phrases to the forefront at the will of the computer — allowing, if the reader generates several versions, multiple interpretations. Within this framework, both the unpredictable juxtaposition of wired and unwired objects and the aleatory questions (such as “where is the sound of the modem?”) position the “the fabric of everyday fife in an era of changing technologies. The title is a phrase from Mark Weiser’s classic paper, “The Computer for the 21st Century” (Scientific American, 265:3, September 1991. pp. 94-104).

Situating the audience in the unpredictable environment of “the fabric of everyday Life”, the ELO2020 soundwork — — is based on the line from the poem that reads: “the windchimes play sonorously in different keys”. Integrating spoken lines into the code — in such a that every “play” will be different because only sound from the variables that the code generates is heard — like the windchimes it represents, this is a fleeting work that should be played and replayed. And, because some of the variables do not contain sound, once in a while the windchimes are silent or play only briefly.

The Data Souls – David T.H. Wright

Set in a distant future, The Data Souls imagines the discovery of seven rusted data storage devices that define our contemporary age. Their contents use various data sets to generate multiple text performances. While the data is knowable, its causes and reverberations are not. This data is used to 3D model and print correlating artefacts. Each flash fiction or ‘soul’ contains images and recordings of the 3D printed artefact. The full work can be viewed

Lulling Waters: A Poetry Reading for Real-Time Music Generation through Emotion Mapping – Ashley Muniz and Toshihisa Tsuruoka

Through a poetic narrative, “Lulling Waters” tells the story of a whale overcoming the loss of his mother, who passed away from ingesting plastic, as he attempts to escape from the polluted oceanic world. The live performance of this poem utilizes a software system called Soundwriter, which was developed with the goal of enriching the oral storytelling experience through music. Soundwriter implements a real-time hybrid system in which the emotional state of a given story is analyzed by its lexical and auditory features. For example, emotionally salient words are given ratings based on arousal, valence, and dominance while the emotionally charged prosodic features of a speaker’s voice (pitch contour, speech rate, and intensity) influence the final classification of the story’s emotional state. The detected emotions then guide the music to dynamically reflect the story’s progress. The system also introduced an interactive scoring algorithm which translates the detected emotions into musical figures for live musicians. “Lulling Waters” was created as a proof-of-concept for our Soundwriter system, in combination with the goal to ignite passion for environmental protection through poetry. Research for Soundwriter has been published via the International Computer Music Conference of 2019.