The Word:TheWall(2)

Ann Morrison
Independent Artist, Australia
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Abstract:

swimming thru the brine to the clear waters beyond

Creeper goes home before blushing.

but the walls heard what was barred

sometimes adjectives make a great vibration

many memories are flavoured in bubbles

The cow went moo, and we all laughed at the ASCII

a new kinda worm came to warm

babies are a god's smell

but COG knows what you're thinking

even a stopped watch gives the right time twice a day

eyes cast liquid nets into the wave of yesterday, dredging ...

a day in which my eyes sink back into the back of my skull and burn holes in all they glance upon

Presenter: Ann Morrison (anmore)

Performers: Ann Morrison, Zina Kaye, and Anna Cicognani

Virtual Characters: anmore, anti, creeper

The Word:The Wall was performed live and on-line at an International Conference, Code Red, held in Sydney, Australia in November 1997 and as Word: Wall #2 at DAC2000 Bergen, Norway in August 2000. The performances were well-received, Word: Wall performance involved audience participation and a live guide at the event. The performers were elsewhere at another site. Word: Wall #2 was introduced by anmore and performed with web cam uploads from three sites. The two other performers were located in Sydney. http://www.anmore.com.au

The work has continued to progress and build upon itself, and much debate, from settings far away, and also well inside the MOO, has ensured that the next manifestation captures the spontaneity and inspired actions that so often occur between the three performers. At DAC2001 I propose to give a short introduction to the history of the work, followed by a live performance, (The Word:The Wall#3) that also includes edited excerpts from 'rehearsals' including the history of conversations and evolution of discourses. The on-line MOO performance will include web cam and may include some sound to include the background blur of the everyday, in order to facilitate the reader's entry into the text.

The concept behind The Word:The Wall was to create a predominantly text-based interactive on-line work that operates within a specific environment, built to heighten the performative aspects of virtual interactions. The standard Moove architecture has been redesigned and reprogrammed to utilize the arbitrariness of disrupted and disruptive narrative. The wall is for writing on, and the room repeats the messages in random sequences. The performers write on the wall, talk to each other and the Wall 'speaks' their writings. Quotes from conversations get written up, as do responses to previous conversations, which the room reiterates. The Wall dictates, generating a code to work within and against. The initial idea then, was to develop an environment that would extend and facilitate the arbitrariness and anarchic behavior of the performers within a MOOve environment and to present this within the public arena.

Some core members both write and program: in this text-based environment, one doesn't really go without the other. The 'conversation' between the players continually requires rebuilding and adaptation of existing objects or life forms, or the building of new ones. Normally when you talk you modify the conversation; in here the performers just as quickly modify the environment. All of the programming and writing take place through keyboard typing within the same interface. Other members simply interact in a playful manner. The environment encourages humour and absurdity, in preference to linear thougth or rationality. In this environment Focault's idea that the word is an active agent is taken to the extreme.

About the Presenter: Ann Morrison is a new media artist. As a creative programmer, performer, writer, artist and director Morrison authors, alters and continually develops virtual environments and communities. The architecture of the MOO as a text-based environment that supports creative communication possibilities, site-specificity and sound, image and video/movement has allowed a logical and elegant extension of her continually evolving work. Her current practice has developed from a thirteen year performance/installation history, which includes the publication of theoretical and academic articles. (see list of publications and CV at http://www.anmore.com.au)