Oracle: the engine weaves

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This text discusses Oracle, an artwork that takes the form of a ‘video song cycle’ for soprano voice and HD video. Oracle was conceived as a way to represent the voice of the 19th century mathematician and analyst Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace (also known as Ada Lovelace) who interpreted the Analytical Engine, the first fully automatic and universal computer, invented by Charles Babbage in 1834. In this work pre-existing material was re-imagined, after which the resulting footage was then combined together with an original vocal music score. 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 on the Analytical Engine, from which extracts were used as lyrics and text in the video work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAda's Legacy: Cultures of Computing from the Victorian to the Digital Age
EditorsR. Hammerman, A.L. Russell
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery and Morgan & Claypool
ISBN (Electronic)9781970001495
ISBN (Print)9781970001488
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


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