[ISEA2015] Artists Statement: John Cayley & Daniel Howe – READ FOR US … AND SHOW US THE PICTURES

Artists Statement

Mixed media installation, custom software (2015)

Founded on its earlier installation, “Read For Us”’ The Readers Project presents the work of a software entity that generates digital video montage, with visual content sourced through live image search. The Montage Reader – developed initially for English – analyses its text and first establishes a overall visual grammar based on closed-class words that underlie linguistic structure. The reader then searches for images corresponding to phrases  – ‘longest common phrases’ whenever possible – finally composing a sequence of images that corresponds with the written language of the text both structurally and also semantically – at least in so far as contemporary image search proposes a correspondence that is meaningful for the human user-readers of network services and their aggregation of crowdsourced indexing. Texts read by the Montage Reader may include parts of Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), and Some Thing We Are, a short story by Daniel C. Howe.

  • John Cayley makes language art using programmable media. Recent work has explored aestheticized vectors of reading and ‘writing to be found’ within and against the services of Big Software. In future work he aims to write for a readership that is as much aural as visual. Cayley is a professor of Literary Arts at Brown University, USA.
  • Daniel C. Howe is an artist, writer, and critical technologist, whose work focuses on networked systems for text and sound, and on the social and political implications of computational technologies. He resides in New York, USA, and Hong Kong, where he teaches at the School of Creative Media.

Text with images (PDF)  p. 158