2014 Shanghai, China
Collaborator: Jeffrey Shaw, Edwin Nadason Thumboo
Software: Leith Chan
Production: ALiVE/ACIM, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong
The Infinite Line proposes new modes of spectatorship in the performance of poetry. In the tradition of Oulipo, the ‘workshop of potential literature', this interactive installation gives visitors the opportunity to recombine the poetic ensemble of Edwin Thumboo. Twenty-seven seminal poems are redefined as poly-vocal readings, which de- and reconstruct his original oeuvre, creating renewed vectors of meaning.
Using a 360-degree 3-D theatre (AVIE), visitors engage with twenty-seven life-sized video recitals by Thumboo. The application software allow visitors to reassemble a matrix of individual lines of poetry in a ‘live’ rereading of key texts: the viewer uses a physical microphone as a pointing device, enabling him or her to move a virtual microphone in front of the lineup of Thumboo videos. Whichever figure of Thumboo the microphone points to will be activated to perform the reading. Moving the microphone from one clip to another will interrupt the ongoing reading at the conclusion of a phrase and jump-cut to the reading from the newly chosen clip. The Thumboo videos always continue their readings from the point at which the previous viewer stopped them. The resulting indeterminate assemblages of sequences/fragments of Tumboo’s oeuvre of twenty-seven poems offer new optics and an infinite number of interpretations of these poems, and of the man.