Chris Rodley, Andrew Burrell: Death Of An Alchemist

  • ©2015, Chris Rodley and Andrew Burrell, Death Of An Alchemist

Artist(s):


Title:


    Death Of An Alchemist

Symposium:


Venue(s):


Creation Year:

    2015

Medium:


    Database novel

Artist Statement:


    Death of an Alchemist is a novel written with data: a literary narrative generated in real time from online information. In the story, a present-day narrator logs onto the Internet to investigate the death of Johannes Trithemius, a German abbot and alchemist who died in 1516. He left behind a mysterious book, the Steganographia, which is to contain the hidden secrets of the universe disguised in code. The work consists of a wall of projected text and symbols that is generated by scraping a range of online data sources for news headlines, social media posts, gifs, memes and more. As the text flickers and updates with each new piece of data that is received, readers are invited to follow the clues to unravel the mystery of the Steganographia and discover who killed Trithemius and why.


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