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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

The Exquisite Mechanism of Shivers
William Seaman

The participant of William Seaman's interactive video disk installation "The Exquisite Mechanism of Shivers" can create his own poem by combining words, images and sound.

My work explores language, image and sound relationships. I utilize a number of different computer systems to generate this work. These various systems often function in a transparent manner in terms of the final manifestation of the work. Use of these systems allows me a high degree of creative input in terms of generating specific image and sound qualities which could not be created by any other means. The use of HyperCard in conjunction with videodiscs allows for the creation of networks of possibilities for viewer navigation. The notion of an artwork which provides a slightly different experience for each viewer becomes one possibility. Such strategies which facilitate the combination and recombination of a set of chosen elements provide an ever changing experience which is fresh for both the artist and the participant in terms of subsequent viewings.

In my video and videodisc work I shoot, edit, write the text, construct the music, speak and/or sing, as well as program much of the work. I am interested in using the computer as a tool to address specific ideas, The problem with much "Computer Art" lies in its inability to move beyond the tools and techniques which define particular applications and processes, into the realm of content.

"The Exquisite Mechanism of Shivers" is an interactive videodisc installation which combines poetic text fragments, modular music segments and image sequences. The work incorporates a videodisk and computer to facilitate the combination and re-combination of a set of specific word/image/sound modules. Each module is presented as a word (or words) superimposed over a related visual image, accompanied by a musical fragment.

The final installation will function in the following manner: the viewer will select "Words" from a poetic text on a Macintosh menu generated with HyperCard. These words function as modular linguistic sentence fragments in a preconceived sentence template which, when selected, trigger corresponding images and sound which are housed on a videodisc. The computer facilitates the instantaneous substitution of word / image / sound segments within the sentence template structure as derived through viewer choice. Thus the viewer experiences the active navigation of a series of changing poetic audio / visual sentences. The work explores pluralistic meaning through the presentation of material in continuously changing alternate contexts. Humor, visual puns, word/image/sound play, modular musical composition, "canned chance", as well as sense/nonsense relations are all explored.

Technical Background
HW / SW: Macintosh IIFX, Sony-Pal 1500D, Laserdisc Player, Hyper Card, VoyagerVideo Stack, Performer (Audio), OP Codevoice Editor