Judy Malloy, Editor





Eugenio Tisselli
MIDIPoet

B orn in Mexico City, Eugenio Tisselli is a writer and programmer, whose work includes artists software, social technologies, and digital narratives. His installations, performances, software and text works have been featured in publications, festivals and exhibitions around the world, and he collaborates regularly with artist Antoni Abad at the mobile phone networking site http://megafone.net. He is the coder of ojoVoz, a tool for mobile phone/webpage community-based audiovisual knowledge bases, that is currently used in the Sauti ya wakulima project, created by rural farmers in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.

Since 1999, when he wrote the first version of his MIDIPoet software, he has created a series of visual poetry performance works composed with sound, projected words, and visual images. Sometimes starting with a few words and building -- in conjunction with sound -- to the inclusion of graphic images, photographs, and arranged words; sometimes combining still phrases with moving words and performer actions, his work highlights the relationship of letters to words and groups of words, as well as the relationship of the performer to the words in ways that are important to an exploration of reading/viewing text in the development of new media literature.

Tisselli has been an associate researcher at Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris and co-director of the Master in Digital Arts at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.

For his contribution to Authoring Software, he writes about the creation and uses of his MIDIPoet software.

More information about Eugenio Tisselli's work can be found at http://www.motorhueso.net



Eugenio Tisselli: MIDIPoet


B ack in 1999, when I wrote the first version of MIDIPoet, software for the real-time manipulation of texts and images via MIDI was either expensive or very difficult to use. (and in some cases, both) So, my aim was to develop a software tool that would be powerful, easy to use, and that would allow me (and others) to compose and perform interactive pieces of visual poetry.

In its current version, (which was released in 2002) MIDIPoet consists of two applications: MIDIPoet Composer and MIDIPoet Player. As their names suggest, Composer contains a set of tools for creating MIDIPoet pieces, and Player performs them. The MIDIPoet environment has its own programming language, made up from relatively complex text commands. In order to make things easier, (and allow other people to approach the tool with realtively little pain) MIDIPoet Composer offers a visual way of creating MIDIPoet pieces, so there is no need to write code. MIDIPoet itself was written in a combination of C++ and Visual Basic, and only runs under Windows. It is available for free download at http://motorhueso.net/midipeng/index.htm

MIDIPoet has been used in different contexts: digital poetry performances, interactive installations and even VJ sessions. Of course, it offers very limited possibilities when compared to other current electronic literature authoring software; yet I find that MIDIPoet is interesting precisely because of its limitations. I believe that every tool potentially pre-determines the results of its usage, imprinting its recognizable marks onto the pieces created with it. I also find that there are very few tools oriented towards performative electronic literature. The fact that MIDIPoet can be controlled either by the computer's keyboard or almost any MIDI instrument makes it a very adequate tool for live presentations.


MIDIPoet performances

Here are some of my videos of my MIDIPoet performances:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhGHN3pnvps (Barcelona, 2008)

http://vimeo.com/8278370 (E-Poetry, Barcelona, 2009)

And a poetry performance / concert by Christopher Funkhouser using MIDIPoet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9PkkqOzCf4 (ELO-AI, Brown University, 2010)














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Eugenio Tisselli

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