[ Interview and Documentation ]
What role did text play in the creation of this project? Since the piece works within the context of electronic literature, the text plays a crucial role in it. The project started with our common idea to use the response of whole recipient´s body in space. And conceptually, we thought about crossing the boundaries. So at first, I wrote the text that basically defines the whole work – intro, its 7 human systems, outro. But the whole text of those 7 systems is not just triggered when you move the hands in the right position in front of the motion sensing input device Kinect. You have to unveil it by your interaction gradually – as if by virtually caressing it at different places. We wanted to work with kinetic textuality that is interactive and with a multisensory reading – reading, watching, listening. The text poeticizes the functions and ontology of the human systems and there is also a structural coherence – in each text, a specific preposition prevails – around for stomach, about for brain, out for lungs, for for muscles, of for heart, in for skin, trans- for reproductive organs. Thus, each organ has its own poetic voice, but still belongs to the whole of the body. The main idea is to imagine the person, whose interior one would desire to read.
How does this project relate to your overall poetics? We have created together electronic literature projects before and after this piece. We have been interested in the possibilities of interaction with the digital text that goes beyond the manipulation with the keyboard or mouse. Being able to interact with the text by your hand gestures and without touching any device is really liberating. We have another piece that uses Kinect, called I: *ttter. Before this we created some pieces, where the user interacts with mouse/keyboard. After Enter: in’ Wodies we created a free application for Androids called Obvia Gaude, where you interact by touching the screen of tablet, shaking and moving the tablet. I started working more with sound poetry and my newest sound poetry project uses the device Leap Motion that scans the slightest moves of fingers and is really small and convenient. In all the projects, we work with intermedial poetics and haptic poetics and try to question various ways of reading and perception.
What was the impetus/inspiration for this work? There were several ones: a technical one, a poetic one, an aesthetic one and a personal one. The technical one was our curiosity about using the 3D sensor Kinect that can scan the space and thus one can program a piece that responds to the movement within this space. The poetic one was our fascination with kinetic poetry and various forms it can take as well as the fascination with a human body and its systems that have (in my approach) a unique “voice” – and thus each poem is written as if the lyrical subject was the corresponding system. The aesthetic one was our attraction to intermedial connections: each system is besides the text represented by an image of the corresponding organ or its tissues (taken from medical websites) and a sonic loop (added to the main tune) that should remind the user of the sound of that organ. The personal one was the fact that we started thinking about this piece during my stay at MIT, when we were separated and we wished to “read” each other.
How did the gallery space you presented this in influence the work? We presented this work in several galleries and I do not think they influenced it much. Galleries themselves didn’t inspire the piece, but, there were several iterations of how the interaction of the piece works, which was done by observing how people in galleries communicate with the work, what is for them interesting/boring, what was “working” and “not working” etc. So the current version is the fourth iteration of the whole mechanism of the work. We also presented it outside, on the walls of gallery building and it had its charm on an August evening. The light conditions – in the sense of getting the right atmosphere for getting into the mood, enough space and good sound are essential. Besides the presentations in galleries, we perform this piece as well, even more often than having it installed. And that approach influences the work. Ľubo usually interacts with the piece and I perform the words/parts of the words that Ľubo uncovers as reading/sound poetry. He only uncovers parts of the text, not the whole text, and thus the experience is always different. Some people after watching this told us that they really like the idea of performing only pieces of words rather than uncovering the whole text first and reading the text as it was written.