Category Archives: Electronic Literature

Populated Solitude

2020 Culture Night in Drogheda, thanks to Brian Hegarty, Droichead Arts, Arts Council Ireland, Louth County Council and Visual Arts Ireland, saw Populated Solitude having its first outing at the Westcourt Hotel, West Street, Drogheda.

Populated Solitude is part of a walking tour of visual art works situated around the town which are curated by Brian Hegarty and, as Brendan Behan writes in Hold You Hour and Have Another “If you don’t get up and get down town you’d hear nothing” (Behan 1963, 18)

Creative ideas for the project stem from the idea of connections throughout the COVID19 Pandemic. From the initial contact by Brian Hegarty, inviting me to create a work for Culture Night 2020; in reading a post by Sean Collins in the Facebook Group Drogheda Down Memory Lane, alerting us to the announcement that the Westcourt Hotel was to close. Sean provided an incredible timeline of the history of the Westcourt Hotel, including Paul Murphy’s words about the hotel in 1963; in contacting Paul Murphy to ask him to talk about his memories of meeting Brendan Behan in The White Horse Hotel.

Following the initial inspirations I started to ‘pick-up’ audio recordings, such as the recording with Paul Murphy; photographs, such as the old photograph in Sean Collins’ thread about the Westcourt; and text, from both Paul Murphy’s original story from the Drogheda Independent in 1963, and Brendan Behan. I searched for works published by Brendan Behan in 1963, eventually buying some of Behans books from ebay and discovering the lines: “If you don’t get up and get down town you’d hear nothing, nor find out what they’re saying about you. And God send, they’re saying something. Good or bad, it’s better to be criticized than ignored” in Hold Your Hour and Have Another (Behan 1963, 18)

The creation of the collection of sound, vision and text has resulted in a performance using content with an online presence and a physical presence.

Populated Solitude poster, Culture Night 2020.

The QR codes, which can be read by simply pointing the camera of a mobile phone at them, reveal a wordpress blog which introduces the creative ideas and inspirations surrounding the project; an interview with Paul Murphy, former editor the Drogheda Independent who in 1963 met Brendan Behan in the White Horse Hotel; and the work On A Summer Morning In 1963, an audio visual work created using the text, visuals and sounds picked up during the project.

The aim for the project Populated Solitude is to continue to pick up more audio, visuals and texts relating to Drogheda town centre, in order to highlight the histories and connections and to present them in the online settings of WordPress, YouTube and Twitter.

The entire exhibition can be viewed as part of a walking tour in Drogheda until October 3rd.

Ear For The Surge

I was reading Homer’s The Iliad this morning

A great way to kick-start inspiration.

There’s around 15,000 lines of hexameter verse. Using repetition, branching, drifting and no two performances or hearings will ever be the same.

The use of sound and rhythm is something we improvisors thrive on.

I set myself a task to write some text.

Starting with six titles: Travel Advisory, Pandemic Corona, Coronavirus Update, Symptoms 2020, Keep Your Family Safe, and Coronavirus Advice.

These became six internet searches, using the browser, Brave.

Then, using the found text from each search, I was able to write three verses for each of the six titles.

Travel Advisory

See the world at a glance on our colour-coded map
Note that conditions can change rapidly
To receive updated travel advisories and alerts
The advisory is an extension of the Jan 23
Check the full advisory for further details
Is COVID-19 spreading where you're going

Avoid nonessential travel 
Frequently asked questions and answers
Resources for Airlines
Guidance for Airlines and Airline Crew
Resources for Ships
Communication Resources

Compare low prices
Book popular tours
Reserve tables
Current international Travel Warnings
Foreign governments implement strict restrictions
Fewer international transportation options are available

Pandemic Corona

Real-time counter, world map
Travel related restrictions, infection 
Novel strain virus, symptomatic
Severe respiratory disease, far and wide
Virus Corona, 
Spreading Flu-like, nationwide

CDC: Public Health Response
Spread of pandemic Covid-19
The Connecticut Department of Public Health
Transitioning to a new process
Daily collection of data
Hospitalisations and fatalities

Live now EarthCam Live
Times Square in 4K 
EarthCam 314 watching
For dedicated cyclists
Continuing to ride every day is a welcome respite
Advocates hope the surge will last

Coronavirus Update

Get the latest information 
Confirmed cases, infection history
Government response
People confirmed infected
People confirmed dead
Total recovered

Everything you need to know
Coronavirus outbreak has sickened half a million
Killed more than 1000
Death toll reaches 1,868
Click on each country for detailed statistics
World tries to slow its spread

United Kingdom: 201,101
World: 3,774,246
Coronavirus counter with new cases, deaths
And numbers of tests per 1 Million population
Historical data and info
Daily charts, graphs, news and updates

Symptoms 2020

Here are the signs, from mild to severe
Underlying medical conditions
Developing more serious conditions
Novel coronavirus, Covid-19
Heart, lung or diabetes
Symptoms such as dry cough and high fever

Coronavirus symptoms you may not be aware of
Malaise and dizziness
The letter F
An envelope
Stepping up efforts to tackle the new coronavirus
According to a study released Monday

Some of the nation's leading medical experts
First of all, just because you have these symptoms
We are learning more every day
The number of infections grows worldwide
Develop symptoms about five days after exposure
Colds generally do no result in serious health problems

Keep Your Family Safe

Keep your family safe
Keep your family safe
Keep your family safe
Keep your family safe
Safety is the Priority
Keep your family safe

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
A clean household is one way to help keep COVID-19 at bay
Make sure you are keeping their mental health in check
This is an incredibly stressful time
Clean doorknobs, light switches & handrails daily
Pay special attention to cleaning the door handles

Everything you need to know to prepare for the outbreak
One of the best ways to slow or stop
Social distancing 
Separate people
Settings > Account > Family
Avoid touching face and cover coughs

Coronavirus Advice

Stay aware of the latest information 
Through your national and local public health authority
Most countries have seen cases
Many are experiencing outbreaks
Follow the advice of the local authorities
Minimise your risk of exposure to coronavirus

Advice for people at higher risk
Including older people
People with health conditions and pregnant women
Free, practical advice for the citizens of Scotland
Visa and passport advice (COVID-19)
Stay Connected

Guidance for British people travelling abroad
Specific precautions older people should take
Tailors advice for people
Find out how we are monitoring and responding 
Subscribe to alerts for consumers
Most up-to-date information

The texts are now being randomly collated, published in a branching and repeating fashion on Twitter. I love twitter bots!

Audio will be uploaded it to SoundCloud, Videos to YouTube, and commentary to WordPress

June 3rd Update

3 more texts are added to Ear For The Surge.

#BlackLivesMatter, #TheMovementForBlackLives, and #ViolenceCommitedOnBlackCommunities

Black Lives Matter

Human rights protest
Racial profiling, police brutality
Betterment of the African Americans
Incarceration is a way to destroy a community
T-shirts, clothing, apparel, posters and accessories
The aftermath of George Floyd's murder on May 25th

Tweeted over 30 million times
Black lives shattered
A global organization
Eradicate white supremacy
Educational, Social,
Financial and Spiritual.

Black humanity and dignity
We have a problem
There is a huge racism
Stand up Sundays
Keep everyone safe
Social justice

The Movement For Black Lives

Seeks to reach millions
Mobilize hundreds of thousands
Sustained and increasingly visible violence
Mission is to eradicate white supremacy
Build. Heal. Learn. Organise.
Enough is enough

Fighting for a Fundamental reordering of society
Free from systematic dehumanization
Collective vision
End state-sanctioned killings
Institutional oppressions
Build local power

Rooted in this wider Black Freedom Struggle
Non-violence is rooted
Coalition of over 50 black-led organizations
Free from sexism, misogyny, and male-centredness.
Cooperatives as a viable way
Opportunity to uplift.

Violence Inflicted On Black Communities

This violence left thousands dead
Deep trauma
A culture that tolerated gruesome lynchings
Tolerant of crime and violence
Ideological and political intervention
Black and blue, Blindspotting

Accept the cold hard truth about black culture
Embrace the differences and diversity
Chapter-based,
Member led.
Affiliations around the world
Long history of racial tension

The death of a black Minneapolis man
Latest tipping point
2.5 more likely to be killed by police
Black lives
Intentionally targeted
Prescription for a deeper, systemic issue.

SFBookDraft1

A multi platform collaboration between Kelly McErlean and Claire Fitch.

Kelly has a set of 36 photographs dating from at trip to San Francisco in 1999. They are published on Flikr and are the inspiration for a set of 36 texts.

2, 1.
Four empty cable cars
3
Two turquoise baskets
Eight on the landing

Kelly recorded each of the 36 texts, sending me the raw audio files to edit and process into sound works. These are continuing to be published on SoundCloud and will form part of a 36 minute live improvisation.

Soundcloud

We’ve also set up a YouTube channel, that will host videos created from the photographs and improvisations of the audio.

Finally, there is a Twitter bot publishing the pictures, texts, videos and sounds. Please follow and share.