[ISEA2015] Artist Statement: Abraham Avnisan – COLLOCATIONS (2015)

Artist Statement

Collocations is an interactive work of experimental writing designed for tablet computers. It appropriates two key texts from Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein’s historic debates about the complementary relationship between position and momentum on the one hand, and determinacy and indeterminacy on the other. In quantum mechanics that relationship is mediated by an experimental apparatus through which the experimenter observes the phenomenon in question. In Collocations, the tablet computer is that experimental apparatus, and the user’s manipulation of its position in space allows certain poetic texts to emerge at the expense of others. As the user moves the device, certain words from within Bohr and Einstein’s original texts begin to vibrate, becoming highlighted and forming poetic subtexts. Striking a delicate balance between completely predetermined and randomly generated texts, these poems embody the fundamental indeterminacy of matter. At the intersection of science, art, language and code, Collocations posits a new quantum poetics that disrupts classical notions of textuality and offers new possibilities for reading.

  • Abraham Avnisan is an experimental writer and new media artist whose work is situated at the intersection of image, text, and code. He has presented his work at the 2015 &NOW Conference of Innovative Writing, the 2014 Electronic Literature Organization Conference, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s Word Weekend event, and in the group exhibition MEDIA FUTURES at Sullivan Galleries. His work has been published in Stonecutter, The Poetry Project Newsletter, and Drunken Boat, among others. He holds an M.F.A in Poetry from Brooklyn College (USA) and an M.F.A. in Art and Technology Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (USA), where he received the New Artists Society Merit Scholarship. He is the recipient of the Rosen and Edes Foundation Semi-Finalist Fellowship for Emerging Artists.

Text with images (PDF)  p. 136