Live Writing : Writing as a Real-time Audiovisual Performance

Lee, Sang Won and Essl, Georg and Martinez, Mari

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper suggests a novel form of audiovisual performance — live writing — that transforms creative writing into a real-time performing art. The process of typing a poem on the fly is captured and augmented to create an audiovisual performance that establishes natural links among the components of typing gestures, the poem being written on the fly, and audiovisual artifacts. Live writing draws upon ideas from the tradition of live coding in which the process of programming is revealed to the audience in real-time. This paper discusses the motivation behind the idea, interaction schemes and a performance interface for such a performance practice. Our live writing performance system is enabled by a custom text editor, writing-sound mapping strategies of our choice, a poem-sonification, and temporal typography. We describe two live writing performances that take different approaches as they vary the degree of composition and improvisation in writing.