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Conversations in the Dark


Hart, W, Conversations in the Dark, Dark Mofo festival 2013, MONA, Rosny Barn, Rosny Park, Tasmania, 2013 (2013) [Published Creative Work]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 William (Bill) Hart


"Conversations in the Dark", invites you to undertake a journey inwards, beneath the exoskeleton of possessions, the carapace of social and professional identity, to the interior where we have many, diverse and often conflicted voices. A recent article in New Scientist talks about how our thinking processes developed through conversation and retain many of its qualities. When the eye and ear turn inwards to this interior space, we begin a journey towards dreams and oblivion. This work contemplates this space of thought and image, but it is a metaphorical rather than a factual journey, its not trying to illustrate or visualise some theory of mind, but is closer to being a collection of anecdotes and personal observations. "Conversations in the dark" is classified as a ‘generative’ artwork. It’s not a loop, an edited sequence of images, but a real-time unfolding of imagery using raw material sourced from the physical world, some mathematics and an arbitary set of rules. Each time you see it, will be different, but also recognisably the same. Often the experience that a generative artwork offers is not as powerful as an edited sequence, it can lack an apparent intention. However, what excites me about generative art, is the potential that something marvellous might happen, that the chance conjunction of a range of parameters and group of elements may generate a passage, that offers a profound insight, outside any preprogramed meaning. The installation is a collection of networked processes spread across four computers. It starts with a microphone situated at the entrance to the barn. The microphone is attached to a computer, which listens and interprets snatches of speech, both from the installation and from people as they enter or leave. These are fed to an "association engine" which uses the words to generate short monologues. The monologues evolve from this initial seed into a conversation where all speak, but no one but no one appears to listen. These monologues appear as sounds spoken using synthetic voices, or as animated text on screen. The monologues are constructed using patterns and conjunctions of keywords extracted from a "corpus", in this case a selection of psychology, philosophy and fiction books from Project Gutenberg. The other imagery comes from the physical world, captured using a DIY 3D camera. It is animated to often float at the cusp of recognition, or in unstable fluctuating states.

Item Details

Item Type:Published Creative Work
Keywords:generative art, software art
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Fine arts
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:Arts not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hart, W (Dr William Hart)
ID Code:86867
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2013-10-30
Last Modified:2017-11-09
Downloads:6 View Download Statistics

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