This is a web-based work that compiles headlines from the Associated Press and Reuters RSS feeds. Instead of showing all the words in the headlines, viewer's can control how often each word can appear before it has faded away. The project is both a play on the word "news" as well as a vehicle for exploring the ebb and flow of information in the age of the 24-hour news cycle. The fundamental questions of the work are how much of this ongoing record of human action is reduced to the same set of verbs, nouns, and proper names, how often do we encounter something truly different, and how much have we learned as individuals to tune out. As time goes on, the new words that appear, stranded in the vacuum left by those removed, achieve a sense of "found" poetry.writeclick.org/newers
- Polarized Ray Tracer
In June 2012, in preparation for creating sculptures out of inlaid polarized glass, I built a 3-d ray-tracing engine that would take into account the polarization of the source light and of the surfaces.
- The Blackbird Project
This is a project first prototyped in 2007 and renewed again in the summer of 2011 after extensive research into mathematics, programming, linguistics, the philosophy of language, and poetry.
- Write Click Application Suite
This group of programs grew out of work on the Blackbird Project and the desire to have writers start experimenting with some of the functionality and capability that the larger program will provide.writeclick.org
NETS is an interactive experiment in erasure poetry using Shakespeare's 154 sonnets as source material. It is inspired by and takes its name from Jen Bervin's book published in 2004. NETS was created as an installation for Antena temporary bookstore in Houston, TX in April 2012 during Project Row Houses Round 36 art exhibition.writeclick.org/nets.php
- Road Meditation
After traveling a few thousand miles by car in the summer of 2010, completing the last stretch alone, I became mesmerized by the way the landscape passed by the side of the road. The interplay between the limited vantage point of the car on the road and the ever shifting environment created a deeply meditative mental space. Early video games took advantage of the fact that a road created an easily definable visual plane, allowing the limited memory and processing capabilities of the time to create fairly realistic 'pseudo-3d' effects. Using the same memory-cheap algorithms, I wanted to create an experience where a small set of variables would provide an ever-evolving experience mimicking the natural environment. The project quickly became an experiment in how to represent the quotidian lushness of nature in a genre that is best known for the minimal ornateness of its imagery.
- Wait For Godot
Because of its repetition and logical non-sequiturs, Waiting for Godot is a very fun text to recombine based on Markov chain patterns. Drama as a genre is especially rich for the most rudimentary of text alteration algorithms because for the most part only one language register is at work: dialogue. No descriptions, no thoughts, no actions — and on top of that, each piece is clearly tagged to its speaker.Wait For Godot (last working version, c. 2008)
- The Hunger Game
Back in January 2008, I spent a few days trying to sketch out my ideas for a simple video game based on Knut Hamsun's novel Hunger and have now put what little progress I made here, with hopefully more to come some time in the future. Rather than try to recreate the narrative of the story, which would be rather tedious, I wanted to make a game based on the strange rules of interaction set forth in the novel. Hunger tells the semi-autobiographical tale of a young writer starving his way through late 19th century Christiania (now Oslo) — it is a novel of wandering and does not concern itself so much with the man's quest for food and money, which he often gives away as soon as he has gotten it, as much as it examines how he can sustain some sort of mental coherence despite encroaching madness. Language plays a huge part in the main character's strategy to keep himself straight: inventing words, putting on airs, arguing with policemen about the time, and it is his ability to continuously engage others in conversation without facing the reality of his situation, that simultaneously makes him most mad and most sane. The point of his rambling is not to communicate, it is merely to stave off the bleakness of his situation.
The simple premise for my game then would be to wander, your character slowly drifting into the coma of beggardom, and the only action you could take would be to talk with other characters, trying to keep them engaged in conversation by whatever means possible. The conversations would be driven statistically, using some simple Markov Chain algorithm, using the source text as well as inputted text, so that the conversational maneuvers could grow organically within each instance of the game. The point would not be for the other characters to understand your sentences, merely that they are able to react to them. Like the novel, it is not about communication, but merely staying in the game.
- Yoknopatawpha County Map
Right now I have only taken the time to put up the basic GoogleMap view (with markers), but the grunt work of hand-entering a 100-page character glossary into a MySQL database was finished in summer 2007. It's just a matter of cleaning it up and getting the user interface right.
- Interlineated Waterfall
- Box13 Art Space
September 7 - October 13, 2013
WORDPLAY looks at the enigmatic complexities of language and text within the works of ten Houston based artists who are creating in an era characterized by ever increasing modes of communication and a constant onslaught of information. The works encompass a variety of themes that exist as statement and narrative in literary and poetic forms.
WORDPLAY features new works by Logan Sebastian Beck, Harry Dearing III, David Feil, Jorge Galvan, Matthew Gorgol, Jordan Johnson, Lillie Monstrum, Darcy Rosenberger, and Sapphire Williams.
- Do It: Houston
- Alabama Song
July 26 - 27, 2013
Conceived in 1993 in a conversation between curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier, do it is the longest running exhibition ever to take place. do it asks hundreds of artists from around the world to contribute original “scores,” i.e. instructions on creating an artwork that are meant to be interpreted and conceived by another living artist. Exhibited in over 50 venues and performed in countries worldwide, do it bridges a connection between artists, institutions, and communities by providing a framework for artistic and intellectual interpretation.
Artists featured in do it: houston include: Regina Agu, Debra Barrera, Caleb Churchill, Joseph Cohen, Jamal Cyrus, Jack Eriksson, David Feil, Lauren Moya Ford, Joseph Havel, Rachel Hecker, Katy Heinlein, Otis Ike, Jang Soon Im, Erin Joyce, Autumn Knight, Cody Ledvina, Massa Lemu, Gabriel Martinez, Ayanna Jolivet McCloud, Senalka Mcdonald, Madsen Minax, Mari Omori, Mark Harold Ponder, Davide Savorani, Carrie Schneider, Patrick Turk, and Ronnie Yates.
- Robert Boyd, The Great God Pan is Dead: preview
- Paula Newton, Glasstire, preview
- Whitney Radley, CultureMap, preview
- Bill Davenport, Glasstire, review
- Abby Koenig, Houston Press, review
I created work based on three scores, the first in collaboration with poet Ronnie Yates and the latter two in collaboration with artist Carrie Schneider.
- Kathryn Andrews, Untitled (2012)
- Liam Gillick, Instruction (1989)
- Dan Graham, Do-It-Yourself Two-way Mirror Mylar Window (1996)
- Road Meditation
- Main Street Projects
March 8 - April 3, 2013 mainstreetprojects.org
Abby Koenig with Houston Press:
As the sun went down, the moving images became entrancing. It is like a huge version of the arcade classic Road Fighter, but the journey is endless and ever changing. The cityscape in the background looks familiar and yet it doesn't; the roads take you to place you've never seen before yet you have been there a million times. It is in a word: awesome. (more)
- The Will Of Odysseus In His Sleep Is Doom...
- CHECK UP, Letter F Gallery
September 2-9, 2011
'CHECK UP' considered the idea of the doctor's office as a charged psychological space. For one week, 13 artists' work inhabited the private rooms, alcoves and waiting rooms of an abandoned doctor's office. Artists: Arthur Bates, Logan Beck, Cameron Blaylock, Carrie Cook, Jack Eriksson, David Feil, Hayden Fosdick, Gabriel Martinez, Garrett Mcclure, Lauren Moya Ford, Erin Joyce, Jason Villegas, Isabel Wilson.
The Will of Odysseus In His Sleep Is Doom was an installation arising from a writing project of the same name. The text is a retelling of the section of Homer's Odyssey where Odysseus is escorted home by the Phaeacians, during which voyage he sleeps, guiding the boat with his mind. When he awakes, the Phaeacians have left and the land around him appears unfamiliar and foreign. Switching between interior monologue, dream sequences, and external narration, the story focuses on the fear of being unable to account for one's own life and one's responsibility for and complicity in violence.
For the installation, selected portions of the text where painted in a slowly descending spiral pattern on the wall and fixtures of an abandoned doctor's examination room. Because the sentences wrapped around all four walls it was impossible for the reader to encounter the entirety of the text at once, and trying to read it in a linear fashion would literally disorient the reader due to the dizzying effect of spinning in circles, echoing the vertiginous escalation of doubt and doom in the text with the reader's own sense of unease.
The text was also printed in a limited edition of 35 small-format books and sold at the opening.⬇full text (pdf)
- Play Date: Zach Moser & David Feil
- PLAY DATE, Joanna Gallery
December 11, 2009
- About Andrus Studios
Andrus Studios was an independent, progressive, and artist-directed recording studio owned and operated in Houston by Walt Andrus from 1964 to 1971. The musicians who recorded with Andrus Studios range from B.J. Thomas and Lightning Hopkins to The 13th Floor Elevators, Fever Tree, and The Red Krayola.
- About The Archive
The Andrus Studios Archive was founded by Frank Davis, Amye McCarther, and David Feil in March 2010. Frank worked with Walt Andrus as an engineer and a musician for most of the studio's active period in the 1960s and 1970s. Upon Walt's passing in 2009, his wife brought the remaining tapes in his collection from their home in New Mexico back to Houston for Frank to keep and preserve.
The goal of the Archive is to keep a living record of Walt and the incredible body of work he produced with the musicians and artists of the time. We welcome everyone and anyone to contribute their own expertise on and recollections of this exciting period in Texas and Houston history.
The Archive is currently run and supported purely on a volunteer basis.andrusstudiosarchive.org
- Buns & B.
Buns and B. is a children's book currently in progress as a collaboration with Kathy and Karl Kilian and Melissa Quiroz Campbell. This is a collection of early illustrations I have contributed to the project.
- Benito the Bug
This is a personal project that has taken many forms and false-starts since first conceived in 2003 (geesh!): a children's book, an adults-only children's book, a high-toned bildungsroman, a graphic novel, a feature-length animation.
- CorpusLAB: American Phrasal Verbs
The CorpusLAB series of books are based on computer-aided analysis of spoken and written American English. By studying the exercises in this book, a student learns the most frequent phrasal verbs and associated phrases (collocations) in American English and works with sentences based on real American English.corpuslab.com
- Happy Birthday, Osito!
A children's book created for Hank and Pinkie Fritzsche for their 50th wedding anniversary based on family stories.⬇full text (pdf)
- 3-D Tragedies
- While researching the history of the 1900 storm in Galveston, I came across a collection of stereoscopic images depicting the wreckage and the carrying away and burning of bodies. I was struck by the use of such a technological novelty in documenting such gruesome scenes, as well as the way that in retrospect both have become equally historically distant. Thinking of today's trend of using updated 3-D technology to make the blockbuster violence of big budget cinema seem more real, I wanted to update these (now) documentary images back into the pop idiom of novelty, using the red-cyan 3-D method most associated with comic books and various low-budget gimmicks. The project is still in the gestation process, but I was able to create a rough proof of concept (left) rather quickly.
- La Traversée de la Manche à la Rame
In collaboration with Julien Valentin, Tony Delattre, and Jean-Sébastien Tacher, all young artists based in France, I participated in a performance piece in the fall of 2006 wherein we claimed to be rowing across the English Channel between Wimereux and Dover and then back again to Boulogne. In actuality our rowboat was towed behind a sailboat once we were beyond sight of the coasts. The local French news interviewed us before the stunt.
- Poster Art
The following art was created for two seasons worth of performances and workshops organized by Nameless Sound (at that time known as Pauline Oliveros Foundation Houston and then Deep Listening Institute Houston). The musicians depicted include: Frank Gratkowski, Joëlle Léandre, Joe McPhee, Ikue Mori & Zeena Parkins, Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Thomas Lehn & Gerry Hemingway. A variety of materials were used in the creation of these images, including colored thread, cardboard, hand-cut construction paper, and found objects.