video & multimedia


corporate design


portfolio (video & multimedia: "The Poetry Machine")


In Octobr of 2002, "The Poetry Machine" was presented as a performance installation at the Frostburg State University Faculty Art Exhibition in Frostburg, Maryland.Throughout the evening, gallery audience members wrote their desired topics on index cards, which they then submitted through a metal mail slot in the gallery wall.

Sitting at a computer behind the gallery wall, writers typed away, creating free-verse poems based on each topic submitted by the audience. As the writers typed, their words were projected on a wall in the gallery space, so that the audience could see these words take shape as "live poetry". Each poem was printed out, and given to audience members as a "souvenir" to take home. Some audience members assumed that the poems were generated by a computer program, rather than a human being.

"Poetry Machine" is intended to generate an environment in which the audience and artist are able to collaborate, on a basic level, in the creation of free-verse poetry. The piece strives to bring the following questions to mind: What happens when the act of writing becomes public? What is the nature of improvisation in art and writing? How does the anonymity of artist and audience affect the collaborative process?

Click on thumbnails images to view photos from the installation.

Below is a sample of poetry written during the POETRY MACHINE performance.The poem is based on the topic, "sweaty ponder", submitted by an audience member.


Sweaty Ponder - by Lisa Erdman

In the wonder of ponderous swonder,
gallant sweaters of unimaginable colors
are waiting in your closet.

Don’t open the small wonders
that hide on the back shelf
behind your row of shoes.

Add some foot powder to the thoughts
that sprinkle over your eyelids
before the twilight of misaligned dreams.