:: interactive and dynamic text installation



The ActiveText installation brings the TextOrgan performance approach to text into a large-scale environment for use by the general public. The TextOrgan output is projected onto a large (approx. 20ft. by 15 ft.) wall. The viewer/user stands approx. 25 ft. away, behind a pedestel. On which is a full-size MIDI keyboard and a mouse. The viewer/user sprays text onto the screen using the mouse for to control location and rate of spray; the black keys select different source texts. She manipulates the appearance of the text by pressing the white keys on the MIDI keyboard. These keys change the color, make the text move in different ways and adjust how the text already on-screen reacts to the location of the mouse. The viewer/user can also effect the program's internal clock by tapping out a rhythm on one of the white keys; this has the effect of locking the text's dynamics to the whatever beat she chooses. We provide music (Nightmares on Wax) to encourage users to attempt performing their texts to the music.

Please see TextOrgan, It's Alive! and The ActiveText Project for more information.

Jason E. Lewis (concept, design, architecture, programming)
Alex Weyers (design, architecture, programming)


2000 to present


Honorable Mention, Prix Ars Electronica 2000


Print on Screen, Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria, September 2000 - September 2002

CyberArts 2000, Ars Electronica , Linz, Austria, September 2002

Arts Alliance Global Summit, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, London, England, February 2000


ActiveText: A Method for Creating Dynamic and Interactive Texts

ActiveText Behaviors

ActiveText SoftType


TextOrgan, C++ application
Windows 2000 OS

800 MHz + PC
77-key MIDI keyboard