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   Kay Burns
mind behind academic perceives in spite of sound
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2000 [colour, 1 min. 55 sec.]
(Documentation of Installation)

mind behind academic perceives in spite of sound is a new media piece that was developed for the exhibition 1000 Words Exactly at The New Gallery in Calgary, Alberta in November 2001. For this exhibition 10 artists were invited to produce an artwork that in some way deals with the writings of a critic/theorist and to create a work incorporating 100 words each, thereby filling the gallery with 1000 words exactly.

mind behind academic perceives in spite of sound is a random poetry generator created with Macromedia Director. For the project, using a total of 100 words, I structured word lists of different categories (nouns, verbs, prepositions, etc.) and then devised 7 possible sequence orders for the word categories. When triggered, the program chooses one of the 7 sequence orders at random, which in turn randomly chooses words from the categorized lists and then puts the poem sentence up on the screen. For the most part, the sentences appear to make sense because of the grammatical structures built into the project.

Our incredible desire (need) to comprehend language forces our mind to make sense out these series of words even if it is essentially non-sense. Given the historical connection between poetry and spoken word, the 100 words have also been broken into audible syllables which are played back randomly with the changing poetry text. Again, our dependency on language as a primary source of communication is reinforced by our inclination to make sense from this altered spoken language.

Production Centre: EMMEDIA, Calgary