Research Creation

“Everybody’s Everybody’s Autobiography” by Philip Miletic and Stephen Trothen

“Everybody’s Everybody’s Autobiography” is a research creation project that is central to third chapter of my dissertation on Gertrude Stein’s Everybody’s Autobiography as a radio text. The project explores further Sarah Wilson’s claim in her essay, “Gertrude Stein and Radio,” that radio served as a “formal model” for Stein’s later writing. The research creation project aides in grounding my claims for Everybody’s Autobiography‘s  radio imaginary and its correlation with autobiographical practices.

The installation consists of several recordings from collaborators reading from Everybody’s Autobiography, foregrounding the book’s orality/aurality. Participants at the installation can tune from reader to reader as they progress through the book. You can read more about the intricacies of the project here. Below is a video demoing “Everybody’s Everybody’s Autobiography.”

Poor Yoricks’ Summer

Poor Yoricks’ Summer was created to understand the affect of an online Infinite Jest reading group and the autobiographical disclosures these groups, like Infinite Summer and Infinite Winter, produce. I implemented a thorough reading and blogging schedule that replicated the online reading group of my dissertation’s study, Infinite Summer, to understand the medium specific affordances and constraints of an online Infinite Jest reading group.

I recruited and provided instruction and support for three “guides,” who would, along with me, write weekly blog posts on respective week’s pages of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. I also solicited guest posts for nearly every week of the duration of the reading group. You can view the blog and read the blog posts at https://poorsummer.wordpress.com.

“Album” by Philip Miletic and Stephen Trothen

“Album ” is a generative sound piece that considers online attention as a form of “listening,” with Instagram as the site of our investigation. As Kate Crawford argues in “Following you: Discplines of Listening in Social Media,” listening is a more apt metaphor than “lurking” because “listening” defines online attention as an active engagement and pluralizes the forms of attention online. “Album” takes Crawford’s metaphor literally, aurally differentiating the forms of online attention and engagement on Instagram.

Users are asked to put headphones on and listen to music as they scroll through an Instagram account in front of them on a computer screen. The faster they scroll, the more the music deterioates in quality; the longer they stay on an image, the more the music develops. The quality and development of music argues the various forms of attention and engagement that the user participates in. Employing CSS modifications, the images on the Instagram account are blurred, in order to ensure the primacy of listening over vision (and the touch of scrolling) without eliminating the vision and touch of Instagram.

“A Chording to Chance” by Stephen Trothen and Philip Miletic

“A Chording to Chance” invited participants at the Critical Media Lab’s XDM Exhibition in Kitchener, ON to take a chance and translate Stéphane Mallarmé’s 1897 poem, “Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard” into “Dotsies” font using an original chorder keyboard that has been designed for this project. “Dotsies” is a font designed by Craig Muth in 2012 to save space and optimize typeface for digital screens. Our project playfully combines Mallarmé’s experientation with the page and translation with Muth’s experimental optimization of the screen. “A Chording to Chance” reflects on how interface design choices can overtake, or supersede, understanding in the act of transcribing. And, in the spirit of Mallarmé, this project draws attention to the mediation of language. The goal of this project was to complete this “new translation” together by the end of the night. However, we only reached the third page. We may consider continuing the project at other exhibitions. Here’s the “translation” so far:

AChordingtoChance Final Translation Just Dotsies.jpg