Edinburgh Research Explorer


Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

Related Edinburgh Organisations


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAkademy der Kunste, Berlin, Germany (P0ES1S: Srachspiele); Brown University, Providence, USA (Archive and Innovate conference and exhibition); Palazzo della Arti, Naples, Italy (First Electronic Language Conference and Exhibition)
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 2009


reRead is an interactive digital projection installation. The work considers the relationship between reading and writing in a context where what is written is a consequence of the activity of reading. The installation employs live closed circuit video, video sensing, generative grammars and recursive image processing. On entering the work the viewer finds themselves electronically reflected in a life-size video projection composed of orthogonally opposed and reversed texts. The texts are constantly writing themselves into being, adapting their content and form in response to the viewer's movements. The grammar engine that does this works only at the individual word level without any grammar model, the grammatical relations between words being determined using a simple best-fit neighbour algorithm. The texts that emerge, whilst seeming initially meaningful, are written without any sense of intent or contextual awareness, creating texts that are disassociated but nevertheless evocative. The system ensures the texts remain fully visible in the image at all times. As the texts grow in length they also get smaller, so as to fit across the screen. Eventually the texts become so small they approach single pixel size and eventually disappear, reappearing as entirely new large texts. The texts are reversed so they are most easily read by the viewer turning to face the mirror that is mounted on the wall opposite the projection. Employing recursive image processing, the visual field of the projection is composed of smaller tessellated versions of itself at different stages of development, allowing a visual mnemonic of the reading and writing process to emerge as a form of palimpsest. This visual field is sensitive to the movement of the viewer, changing shape and distorting as the viewer moves, creating an elastic surface in which the viewer is reflected. The system only writes when there is a reader/viewer present. When the viewer departs the area between the projection and the mirror the system enters stasis and, as it acquires 'memories' of the vacant space, gradually forgets (erases) the previous activities reflected in its surface.

2009: Exhibited as an interactive immersive installation at Language Games, Berlin Poetry Festival, Akademy der Kunste, Berlin, Germany
2010: Exhibited as an interactive immersive installation, McCormack Theatre, Brown University, Providence, USA, as part of the Electronic Language Organization conference
2011: Exhibited as an interactive immersive installation, Palazzo della Arti, Naples, Italy, as part of the first Electronic Language exhibition in Italy

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 3317285