Golan Levin

Since the physical language workshop at MIT, Golan Levin has been at the forefront of programmatic explorations of typographic space. Interspersed with his purely visual explorations he sporadically returns to typographic explorations that usually involve text generated and manipulated in realtime.

In Ursonography (2005: Jaap Blonk and Golan Levin) Levin built “a new audiovisual interpretation of Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate, ….  [with] an elegant new form of expressive, real-time, “intelligent subtitles.” With the help of computer-based speech recognition and score-following technologies, projected subtitles are tightly locked to the timing and timbre of Blonk’s voice, and brought forth with a variety of dynamic typographic transformations that reveal new dimensions of the poem’s structure.”

Schwitters screaming at the top of his lungs probably imagined his gutteral morphemes spattered against clouds, strewn across buildings, diving through screens. Levin’s Ursonate reaches toward those hallucinations.

In The Dumpster (2006: Golan Levin, Kamal Nigam and Jonathan Feinberg) blog posts are dynamically searched and the ones that refer to romantic breakups are injected into a visualization. Unwittingly broken-hearted bloggers become collective authors at a party hosted by the programmer. Texts that were once announcements of isolation enter into a massive herd of blobs that have gravity.

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