Literary Arts :: Writing Digital Media
Installation :: Custom Software :: Laser Projection :: Performance

Seær is a new media text delivery system that uses sculpture, custom software, and performance of writing to hybridize systems of conventional and asemic writing. This project is a research, fabrication, and writing endeavor that seeks:

  • first and foremost, to physically manifest the catastrophic moment, when persistent marks transition from non-language to language;

  • to elicit in the viewer unique experiential moments that prompt one to question her or his perceptual impressions;

  • to investigate the various ontological states of inscription that exist between the graphic and the symbolic.

     Whereas other language-driven, new media works may have fleeting instants that begin to explore other boundary points of signification, Seær allows the viewer to hover in the realm of the catastophic moment when it mixes asemic writing with traditional writing, as the content sometimes slips between and others times leaps back and forth from non-specificity to legibility. The underpinnings of this new media system of textual delivery -- one that morphs word and image -- is Seær’s focus on materiality and the perceptual experience: about how certain materials and surfaces are perceived as devices of inscription and image generation. To do this, Seær couples new technologies (laser projection, custom software) with recalcitrant materials (stone and stone-like surfaces) to investigate, creatively, textual materiality. While the project is not primarily concerned about the composition of text, this investigation does contemplate the different considerations in authoring for this text delivery system, so that the author is able to shift meaning more fluidly and with a finer granularity than that afforded by the word, the letter, the stroke -- the archetypal or conventional atoms of expressivity in language.

     In this way, Seær rehearses the advent of writing itself (as the petrograph once did, preserving gestures of articulation from memory via markings on stone), but through a polemical instantiation using new media technologies. More specifically, the project considers questions that investigate what is at stake in the act of signification, when language driven work is delivered using seemingly static -- but in fact, very mutable -- physical substrates. How does meaning shift as graphemes slip between random mark, to patterned image, to letter and word, and back again? How does a reader’s expectation of lasting permanence affect the reading of word and image when its state of being is made transient instead? The author was concerned about these and other questions that revealed the affordances of this specific combination of technologies and method of textual delivery, and the potential impact on the way we read and write literature delivered with new media systems.