Eran's Blog

Text Festival May 2014


The Text Festival in Bury, Greater Manchester, UK, is an internationally recognized event investigating contemporary language art (poetry, text art, sound and media text, live art). Its name distinguishes the festival from other poetry events, and this year I had the honor to participate and experience this difference that the festival’s director, the great Tony Trehy, cultivates.

In my honest opinion, having a beer with Ron Silliman equals no less than three years of University, so I had quite a few… I met a lot of extremely talented poets, and had the pleasure to participate in the “Sound Science and Automation” event, dealing with how far can technology push the limits of poetry.

Mind Your Poem photo by Jorg Piringer

Austrian sound poet and musical artist Jörg Piringer and I had to set up our computers together, when we realized our shows really act as two parts of a bigger whole, which made it even more special for me. In my part I presented four works:
1. Mind Your Poem, a system that generates poems using EEG and knowledge in Neuroscience (in collaboration with Eyal Gruss and Gilat Parag).
2. Soup of Life, which simulates artificial non-biological life evolution, using behavioral models of lipids (with Omer Markovich).
3. Wikiland, a video game that uses face detection technologies to have the players interact by moving (with Turing Dames/Lushkit/Mahanaim 134).
4. Frankie the Documentarian Robot, which is, well, a robot that uses primitive AI capabilities to determine what to ask. (with Maayan Sheleff and Gal Eshel)

Soup of Life Text Festival photo by Tom Jenks

I made some connections during the festival, and ever since I visited Márton Koppány at his home in Budapest, and also met with Jörg Piringer, when we both participated in Paraflows Festival in Vienna. My performance at the Text Festival was generously supported by Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Israel, London.