Radiating (2023)

What does language look like when we play with it and allow its meaning to continue radiating like light in every direction?

A machine that lets language radiate. Listens to your words and gradually transmutes them into synonyms or rhymes, acting on either their meaning or their sound.

I was inspired by Kathy Acker’s concept of language in Dead Doll Humility:

“To her, every word wasn't only material in itself, but also sent out like beacons, other words. Blue sent out heaven and The Virgin. Material is rich. I didn't create language, writer thought. [...] I'm constantly being given language. Since this language-world is rich and always changing, flowing, when I write, I enter a world which has complex relations and is, perhaps, illimitable. This world both represents and is human history, public memories and private memories turned public, the records and actualizations of human intentions. This world is more than life and death, for here life and death conjoin. I can't make language, but in this world, I can play and be played. [...]

A writer who had found his own voice presented a viewpoint. Created meaning. The writer took a certain amount of language, verbal material, forced that language to stop radiating in multiple, even unnumerable directions, to radiate in only one direction so there could be his meaning.

[...] The writer's voice was a process, how he had forced the language to obey him, his will. The writer's voice is the voice of the writer-as-God.

Writer thought, Don't want to be God; have never wanted to be God. [...] Want to play. Be left alone to play.”


Python for interaction (speech recognition, Google text-to-speech, audio, and natural language processing libraries), Raspberry Pi with button, LED, microphone, & speaker.