:: dynamic text performance tool


demo video
[ 60 MB .mov]

demo video
[ 21 MB .mov]

performance video
[ 24 MB . mov ]

[ 2.3MB
windows os ]



Equal parts digital graffiti and digital concrete poetry, TextOrgan is the rave cousin of It's Alive! TextOrgan takes the It's Alive! environment, adds a MIDI keyboard for quick access to all the functionality, and allows the user to either input text directly or to select among a set of prepared texts that are then streamed onto the screen. She can quickly build up immensely rich collages of performance-specific poetry and found texts.

TextOrgan was developed for use in conjunction with a DJ at musical events. By collaborating beforehand, the DJ and the TextOrganist can choose a selection of texts and discuss what sort of mood or themes they want develop in the set. When the set begins, the two embark on a improvisational duet, each reacting to what the other is throwing into the media environment. The DJ plays his decks, and the TextOrganist uses the MIDI keyboard and a mouse to play the text. The output of the TextOrgan, projected above the crowd, oscillates between text as pure text, text as image, and pure image, creating an experience that is at times reading, at times watching and at times both. The TextOrganist can also extract simple signal information such as pitch and intensity from either the ambient environment or directly from the DJ's decks. This provides a mean of automating some of the text dynamics to be in synch with the beat, or to ebb and swell as the intensity of the music decreases and increases.


Jason E. Lewis (concept, design, architecture, programming)
Alex Weyers (design, architecture, programming)


January 2000 - present


C++ application for Windows 2000
MIDI keyboard or standard computer keyboard (limited functionality with the latter)
TextOrgan makes substantial demands on the CPU. We recommend a 300 MHz or greater machine with a 32 Mb graphics card.


Technopoetry Festival, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, April 2002. Deployed as part of Hubbub.

Teleopolis, San Francisco Exploratorium, SF, CA, February 2002. Deployed as part of Hubbub.

Print on Screen, Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria, September 2000 - September 2002.

ISEA 2000, Paris, December 2000.

CyberArts 2000, O.K Centrum für Gegenwartkunst, Linz, Austria, September 2000.

British Academy of Film & Television Artists, Arts Alliance Global Summit 2000, London, February 2000.





recent work made with TextOrgan


by J. Latek
[8MB QuickTime]


by F. Tsonis
[8MB QuickTim ]


images made with TextOrgan

more images of textorgan in action in the activetext installation

computer keyboard map