Working with Poetics in an Interactive Environment: Mouthplace


Session Title:

  • Short Paper Presentations

Presentation Title:

  • Working with Poetics in an Interactive Environment: Mouthplace




  • Richard Povall and Jools Gilson-Ellis began work on a collaborative project in late 1995 knowing only that they wished to use text, music or sound environments, and interactivity. They had never worked together before. This presentation discusses the development of “Mouthplace”, an artists’ CD-Rom which takes the female mouth as its poetic focus, examining through>visual, written and uttered texts the ways in which the female mouth is a site of contested and contestable meanings. The result of a 15-month collaboration between writer Jools Gilson-Ellis and composer and media artist Richard Povall, Mouthplace rejects the aesthetic of computer-generated slickness and artificial worlds, and instead conjures up traceries of the feminine body and works with painted text, hand-drawn animation, hand-writing, laughter, poetic text, the speaking and singing voice, and rich sonic environments.

    Mouthplace offers the user a virtual stage within which to explore the archaeology of this oral cave. Using a simple format of juxtaposed still image sequences, video and animations, original text, and drawings, the user is able to interact with the world in their mouth. The presentation outlines the working process of the artists, the emerging themes of their work, and its ultimate expression in the published CD-Rom and installation. The presentation partners the actual installation, also proposed for ISEA98.