The Active Text Project: Text Organ

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  • Workshop statement (‘Seminar’)

    The Concrete Poets of the ’60s, and their Dada and Futurist forebears, treated the visual appearance of text as a principal participant in the production of meaning. Their interests in such experimentation grew out of a deeply held belief that traditional forms of written communication, with its clean spacing, rectilinear layout, and sober letterforms, no longer could speak to the cultural schizophrenia of the modern age.

    As concrete poets practicing at the beginning of a new century, Arts Alliance Laboratory has embarked upon the ActiveText Project. The ActiveText Project is an on-going experiment in radical ways of treating and interacting with the visual appearance of text in ways which reflect our post-millennial data devotion. Users can set glyphs, words, or entire passages in motion, pull them apart, blow them up, infect them with dynamic behaviors and even reconstitute them, in an attempt to deconstruct standard notions of text presentation and reception. Arts Alliance Laboratory use these behaviors to write digital poetry, create whimsical web pages and do performance art in dance clubs.