Oracle: The Articulation of Promise

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNResearchpeer-review

Abstract

1. INTRODUCTION
Oracle: The Articulation of Promise is an artwork created by Amy Cunningham for sung voice and single screen video. Taking the form of a video installation and a live performance it was first exhibited with the title Oracle as part of Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens at IKON Gallery Birmingham in November 2012, curated by Sam Belinfante and Third Ear. (IKON Gallery, 2012)
2. OBSOLETE PIONEERING TECHNOLOGY AND THE CRITICAL ROLE OF THE FEMALE VOICE
Oracle was conceived as a video song cycle in response to the phenomenon of nostalgia for pioneering yet obsolete technologies. It was also intended to explore the role of the singing voice as a critical tool in video art. In this work pre-existing material was re-imagined, after which the resulting footage was then combined together with original vocal music, using reflection, layering and montage. Key materials used were writings by the 19th century mathematician and analyst Ada Lovelace who interpreted the Analytical Engine, the first fully automatic and universal computer, invented by Charles Babbage in 1834. (Krysa, 2011). It was intended that the ‘off-screen’ disembodied singing voices in Oracle would echo the critical and analytical role that Lovelace took in her work, as exemplified in her letters to Babbage and in her translation notes, from which extracts were used as lyrics and text in the video work.
2.1. Process and Context
The title, ‘Articulation of Promise’ is borrowed from a description of Lovelace’s ability to analyse, communicate and imagine the future: ‘She understood the plans for the device as well as Babbage but was better at articulating its promise.’ (Maisel, M and Smart, L, 1997). The term ‘Oracle’ draws upon two references. One is a reference to the Delphic Oracle in Greek mythology, associated with the female ‘pythia’ (Connor, 2000), who perhaps like Lovelace in her communication role between theory and practical use, took the position of mediator between the spirits and the prophets. The second is the name of the first ‘Teletext’ service used by the Independent Broadcasting Association in the U.K. Teletext which, could be considered a forerunner of the Internet and loom-like wove patterns within the spare scan lines of the television image, finished broadcasting in 2012 and has now itself become part of the narrative of the obsolete. Lovelace thought creatively about the Analytical Engine, and compared its algebraic patterns to the Jacquard Loom. She also predicted that the computer could be used to generate music, poetry and images. (Krysa, 2011).

The combination of rational logic and the poetic was important in the creation of Oracle, in which the singing voice can slide disarmingly between the subjective and the objective, and the video image has the ability to contain divergent, fictional and factual references.
3. REFERENCES
Connor, S. (2000) Dumbstruck: The Cultural History of Ventriloquism. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
IKON Gallery. (2012). Programme: Past: Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens, http://www.ikongallery.co.uk/programme/past/event/713/autumn_almanac_the_voice_and_the_lens/ (29th March 2013)
Krysa, J. (2011) Ada Lovelace, (doCUMENTA (13): 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, no. 055). Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern.
Maisel, M and Smart, L, (1997), Ada Lovelace: Founder of Scientific Computing, http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/lovelace.html (29th March 2013)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEVA LONDON 2013
Subtitle of host publicationElectronic Visualisation and the Arts
EditorsKia NG, Jonathan P. Bowen, Sarad McDaid
Place of PublicationSwindon
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Articulation
Oracles
Broadcasting
Footage
Vocal music
Logic
Ventriloquism
Montage
Song Cycle
Prophet
Algebra
Birmingham
Mediator
Names
Fiction
Poetry
Greek Mythology
Artwork
Letters
Cultural History

Cite this

Cunningham, A. (2013). Oracle: The Articulation of Promise. In K. NG, J. P. Bowen, & S. McDaid (Eds.), EVA LONDON 2013: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts Swindon.
Cunningham, Amy. / Oracle : The Articulation of Promise. EVA LONDON 2013: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts. editor / Kia NG ; Jonathan P. Bowen ; Sarad McDaid. Swindon, 2013.
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abstract = "1. INTRODUCTIONOracle: The Articulation of Promise is an artwork created by Amy Cunningham for sung voice and single screen video. Taking the form of a video installation and a live performance it was first exhibited with the title Oracle as part of Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens at IKON Gallery Birmingham in November 2012, curated by Sam Belinfante and Third Ear. (IKON Gallery, 2012)2. OBSOLETE PIONEERING TECHNOLOGY AND THE CRITICAL ROLE OF THE FEMALE VOICEOracle was conceived as a video song cycle in response to the phenomenon of nostalgia for pioneering yet obsolete technologies. It was also intended to explore the role of the singing voice as a critical tool in video art. In this work pre-existing material was re-imagined, after which the resulting footage was then combined together with original vocal music, using reflection, layering and montage. Key materials used were writings by the 19th century mathematician and analyst Ada Lovelace who interpreted the Analytical Engine, the first fully automatic and universal computer, invented by Charles Babbage in 1834. (Krysa, 2011). It was intended that the ‘off-screen’ disembodied singing voices in Oracle would echo the critical and analytical role that Lovelace took in her work, as exemplified in her letters to Babbage and in her translation notes, from which extracts were used as lyrics and text in the video work. 2.1. Process and ContextThe title, ‘Articulation of Promise’ is borrowed from a description of Lovelace’s ability to analyse, communicate and imagine the future: ‘She understood the plans for the device as well as Babbage but was better at articulating its promise.’ (Maisel, M and Smart, L, 1997). The term ‘Oracle’ draws upon two references. One is a reference to the Delphic Oracle in Greek mythology, associated with the female ‘pythia’ (Connor, 2000), who perhaps like Lovelace in her communication role between theory and practical use, took the position of mediator between the spirits and the prophets. The second is the name of the first ‘Teletext’ service used by the Independent Broadcasting Association in the U.K. Teletext which, could be considered a forerunner of the Internet and loom-like wove patterns within the spare scan lines of the television image, finished broadcasting in 2012 and has now itself become part of the narrative of the obsolete. Lovelace thought creatively about the Analytical Engine, and compared its algebraic patterns to the Jacquard Loom. She also predicted that the computer could be used to generate music, poetry and images. (Krysa, 2011).The combination of rational logic and the poetic was important in the creation of Oracle, in which the singing voice can slide disarmingly between the subjective and the objective, and the video image has the ability to contain divergent, fictional and factual references.3. REFERENCESConnor, S. (2000) Dumbstruck: The Cultural History of Ventriloquism. Oxford University Press, Oxford.IKON Gallery. (2012). Programme: Past: Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens, http://www.ikongallery.co.uk/programme/past/event/713/autumn_almanac_the_voice_and_the_lens/ (29th March 2013)Krysa, J. (2011) Ada Lovelace, (doCUMENTA (13): 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, no. 055). Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern.Maisel, M and Smart, L, (1997), Ada Lovelace: Founder of Scientific Computing, http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/lovelace.html (29th March 2013)",
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Cunningham, A 2013, Oracle: The Articulation of Promise. in K NG, JP Bowen & S McDaid (eds), EVA LONDON 2013: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts. Swindon.

Oracle : The Articulation of Promise. / Cunningham, Amy.

EVA LONDON 2013: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts. ed. / Kia NG; Jonathan P. Bowen; Sarad McDaid. Swindon, 2013.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNResearchpeer-review

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N2 - 1. INTRODUCTIONOracle: The Articulation of Promise is an artwork created by Amy Cunningham for sung voice and single screen video. Taking the form of a video installation and a live performance it was first exhibited with the title Oracle as part of Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens at IKON Gallery Birmingham in November 2012, curated by Sam Belinfante and Third Ear. (IKON Gallery, 2012)2. OBSOLETE PIONEERING TECHNOLOGY AND THE CRITICAL ROLE OF THE FEMALE VOICEOracle was conceived as a video song cycle in response to the phenomenon of nostalgia for pioneering yet obsolete technologies. It was also intended to explore the role of the singing voice as a critical tool in video art. In this work pre-existing material was re-imagined, after which the resulting footage was then combined together with original vocal music, using reflection, layering and montage. Key materials used were writings by the 19th century mathematician and analyst Ada Lovelace who interpreted the Analytical Engine, the first fully automatic and universal computer, invented by Charles Babbage in 1834. (Krysa, 2011). It was intended that the ‘off-screen’ disembodied singing voices in Oracle would echo the critical and analytical role that Lovelace took in her work, as exemplified in her letters to Babbage and in her translation notes, from which extracts were used as lyrics and text in the video work. 2.1. Process and ContextThe title, ‘Articulation of Promise’ is borrowed from a description of Lovelace’s ability to analyse, communicate and imagine the future: ‘She understood the plans for the device as well as Babbage but was better at articulating its promise.’ (Maisel, M and Smart, L, 1997). The term ‘Oracle’ draws upon two references. One is a reference to the Delphic Oracle in Greek mythology, associated with the female ‘pythia’ (Connor, 2000), who perhaps like Lovelace in her communication role between theory and practical use, took the position of mediator between the spirits and the prophets. The second is the name of the first ‘Teletext’ service used by the Independent Broadcasting Association in the U.K. Teletext which, could be considered a forerunner of the Internet and loom-like wove patterns within the spare scan lines of the television image, finished broadcasting in 2012 and has now itself become part of the narrative of the obsolete. Lovelace thought creatively about the Analytical Engine, and compared its algebraic patterns to the Jacquard Loom. She also predicted that the computer could be used to generate music, poetry and images. (Krysa, 2011).The combination of rational logic and the poetic was important in the creation of Oracle, in which the singing voice can slide disarmingly between the subjective and the objective, and the video image has the ability to contain divergent, fictional and factual references.3. REFERENCESConnor, S. (2000) Dumbstruck: The Cultural History of Ventriloquism. Oxford University Press, Oxford.IKON Gallery. (2012). Programme: Past: Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens, http://www.ikongallery.co.uk/programme/past/event/713/autumn_almanac_the_voice_and_the_lens/ (29th March 2013)Krysa, J. (2011) Ada Lovelace, (doCUMENTA (13): 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, no. 055). Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern.Maisel, M and Smart, L, (1997), Ada Lovelace: Founder of Scientific Computing, http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/lovelace.html (29th March 2013)

AB - 1. INTRODUCTIONOracle: The Articulation of Promise is an artwork created by Amy Cunningham for sung voice and single screen video. Taking the form of a video installation and a live performance it was first exhibited with the title Oracle as part of Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens at IKON Gallery Birmingham in November 2012, curated by Sam Belinfante and Third Ear. (IKON Gallery, 2012)2. OBSOLETE PIONEERING TECHNOLOGY AND THE CRITICAL ROLE OF THE FEMALE VOICEOracle was conceived as a video song cycle in response to the phenomenon of nostalgia for pioneering yet obsolete technologies. It was also intended to explore the role of the singing voice as a critical tool in video art. In this work pre-existing material was re-imagined, after which the resulting footage was then combined together with original vocal music, using reflection, layering and montage. Key materials used were writings by the 19th century mathematician and analyst Ada Lovelace who interpreted the Analytical Engine, the first fully automatic and universal computer, invented by Charles Babbage in 1834. (Krysa, 2011). It was intended that the ‘off-screen’ disembodied singing voices in Oracle would echo the critical and analytical role that Lovelace took in her work, as exemplified in her letters to Babbage and in her translation notes, from which extracts were used as lyrics and text in the video work. 2.1. Process and ContextThe title, ‘Articulation of Promise’ is borrowed from a description of Lovelace’s ability to analyse, communicate and imagine the future: ‘She understood the plans for the device as well as Babbage but was better at articulating its promise.’ (Maisel, M and Smart, L, 1997). The term ‘Oracle’ draws upon two references. One is a reference to the Delphic Oracle in Greek mythology, associated with the female ‘pythia’ (Connor, 2000), who perhaps like Lovelace in her communication role between theory and practical use, took the position of mediator between the spirits and the prophets. The second is the name of the first ‘Teletext’ service used by the Independent Broadcasting Association in the U.K. Teletext which, could be considered a forerunner of the Internet and loom-like wove patterns within the spare scan lines of the television image, finished broadcasting in 2012 and has now itself become part of the narrative of the obsolete. Lovelace thought creatively about the Analytical Engine, and compared its algebraic patterns to the Jacquard Loom. She also predicted that the computer could be used to generate music, poetry and images. (Krysa, 2011).The combination of rational logic and the poetic was important in the creation of Oracle, in which the singing voice can slide disarmingly between the subjective and the objective, and the video image has the ability to contain divergent, fictional and factual references.3. REFERENCESConnor, S. (2000) Dumbstruck: The Cultural History of Ventriloquism. Oxford University Press, Oxford.IKON Gallery. (2012). Programme: Past: Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens, http://www.ikongallery.co.uk/programme/past/event/713/autumn_almanac_the_voice_and_the_lens/ (29th March 2013)Krysa, J. (2011) Ada Lovelace, (doCUMENTA (13): 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, no. 055). Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern.Maisel, M and Smart, L, (1997), Ada Lovelace: Founder of Scientific Computing, http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/lovelace.html (29th March 2013)

M3 - Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

SN - 978178172156

BT - EVA LONDON 2013

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Cunningham A. Oracle: The Articulation of Promise. In NG K, Bowen JP, McDaid S, editors, EVA LONDON 2013: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts. Swindon. 2013