Embodied poetics / augmented reality
My body of work is rooted within a writing engagement where natural and computational language are entangled. I am a hybrid language artist whose compositional practice is structured and open-ended, rigorous but experimental, one that errs from blueprints to inhabit the unexpected. I use code as a medium to write, to process my writing, to remix foreign sources and to produce new texts algorithmically. Borrowing from multiple contexts – literature, architecture, science – each project is a conceptual and executable system with evolving constraints for its performance.
I purposely invoke the word performance as a term applied to both artists and computers, suggesting both expression and mechanical precision. As a creative coder, my work contains principles for aesthetic dimensions including visuality, temporality and motion. The performance of a given system as software may be experienced on a laptop or mobile device, as a site-specific multi-screen installation, or in the context of a live event where its structures and data can be extended to orchestrate the intervention of one or many bodies. I attempt to construct complex projects in which the underlying poetic system is fluidly ubiquitous, everywhere and nowhere, circulating between human and non-human players and performers.
While my works are published, performed and exhibited as works of computational poetry, large-scale manifestations are realized through a choreography of coded systems, bodies and spaces. In 2012, I formed the collective, Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r), inspired by the architectural form of early modern operating theatres, elliptical multilevel spaces designed for viewing human surgeries and dissections from above. ATOM-r was envisioned as a theater of operations to explore histories of sexuality, the technologized body, and the queer behaviors of complex systems.
My work implements a range of technologies for embodied poetic systems including mobile augmented reality (AR) in which the physical world and virtual materials are palimpsested. Configurations of text are spontaneously mapped to geo-spatial points populating an invisible architecture – the elliptical tiers and constellations of the operating theatre. Performers wear temporary tattoos that are scanned with a smartphone to invoke digital poetic layers. The fake flowers on the surface of bodies in the ATOM-r operating theater emblematize a contemporary augmented poetics and perform an inversion of Stein’s 20th century loop: a rose is not a rose is not a rose.
Judd Morrissey is a writer and code artist who creates poetic systems across a range of platforms incorporating electronic writing, internet art, live performance, and augmented reality. He is the creator of digital literary works including The Precession: An 80 Foot Long Internet Art Performance Poem (2011), The Last Performance [dot org] (2009), The Jew’s Daughter (Electronic Literature Collection, 2006), and My Name is Captain, Captain (Eastgate Systems, 2002). He is a recipient of acknowledgements including a Mellon Foundation Collaborative Fellowship for Arts Practice and Scholarship, a Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and a Fulbright Scholar’s Award in Digital Culture.
His projects have been included in a broad range of festivals, conferences and exhibitions with recent venues including Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (Buenos Aires), Zero1 Garage (San Jose), Eyebeam (NYC), Le Cube (Paris), Casa das Caldeiras (Coimbra), Anatomy Theater & Museum (London), Performing House (York), Center of Contemporary Culture Barcelona, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Landmark Kunsthalle (Bergen), House of World Cultures (Berlin), Teatre & TD (Zagreb), and the Chicago Cultural Center. His work has been the subject of numerous critical studies and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, The New Republic, RAINTAXI, and the Iowa Review.
Judd is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Art and Technology Studies and Writing. In 2012, he co-founded the performance and technology collective Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r). The group are currently working in-residence at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago. Their first work, The Operature, premiered in 2014, and they are currently working on new large-scale project, Kjell Theøry, scheduled for completion in 2017.