the writer, the performer, the program, the madwoman

text by Hazel Smith
sound processing by Roger Dean

Working Note:

the writer, the performer, the program, the madwoman is a performance piece which involves sampling and real-time manipulation of voice and text using interactive computer programs written by Roger Dean. The piece is different each time it is performed, because the sampling and real time manipulation are always improvised. The piece is about the struggle between the different identities of a contemporary writer as she moves beyond words on the page, and allows her work to be transformed by performance and technology. Real-time manipulation blurs the roles of writer, performer, audience and computer program, and creates a productive conflict for the writer between control and loss of control. In the piece this tension is dramatised as a power struggle between the writer and other forces, and a balancing act between madness and sanity.


the writer, the performer, the program, the madwoman


BIOS: Hazel Smith works in the areas of poetry, short prose, performance, mixed-media work and hypermedia. Her web page is at . Her writing appears in numerous international literary journals and anthologies, and she has published two volumes of poetry: Abstractly Represented: Poems and Performance Texts 1982-90 , Butterfly Books, 1991 and Keys Round Her Tongue: short prose, poems and performance texts , Soma Publications, 2000. She has made two CDs of her performance work, Poet Without Language (1994) and Nuraghic Echoes (1996) both released by Rufus Records. She has written several commissioned works for radio, and is co-author of numerous multi-media and hypermedia works. She has performed at venues in the UK, Asia, US, Europe and Australia, and collaborated on gallery installations with the artist Sieglinde Karl. She is also a founding member of austraLYSIS, the international sound and intermedia arts group.

Hazel is currently Senior Research Fellow in the School of Creative Communication, University of Canberra, and Deputy Director of the Canberra Centre for Writing. She is co-author, with Roger Dean, of Improvisation, Hypermedia And The Arts Since 1945, Harwood Academic, 1997, and author of Hyperscapes in the Poetry of Frank O'Hara: difference, homosexuality, topography, Liverpool University Press, 2000. Her new book, The Writing Experiment: strategies for innovative creative writing, will be published by Allen and Unwin in 2005. She is also editor of infLect: a journal of multimedia writing at .

Roger Dean is an Australian composer/improviser and sound-artist. He has performed in more than 30 countries, as bassist, keyboardist, and lap-top artist. His compositions include computer and chamber music and his works have been published by Open University (UK/USA), Red House, La Trobe University, Sounds Australian, the International Computer Music Association, and on the web (including commissions from the Australian Film Commission and Overland Express). His music is available on more than 30 commercial recordings, including CDs on Audio Research Editions, Discus, Mosaic, Soma, Future Music Records (FMR) (UK); Jade, Rufus and Tall Poppies (Australia); and Crayon and Frog Peak (USA). He is developing computer-interactive networked improvisation; is extensively involved in sound-text and intermedia work; and has published four books on improvisation in music. His most recent is Hyperimprovisation: Computer-Interactive Sound Improvisation (A-R Editions, 2003). He is also founder and director of austraLYSIS, the international sound and intermedia arts group which has performed extensively internationally.

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