Text Rain

Romy Achituv & Camille Utterback


Text Rain is an interactive installation in which participants use the familiar instrument of their bodies, to do what seems magical—to lift and play with falling letters that do not really exist. In the Text Rain installation participants stand or move in front of a large projection screen. On the screen they see a mirrored video projection of themselves in black and white, combined with a color animation of falling letters. Like rain or snow, the letters appears to land on participants’ heads and arms. The letters respond to the participants’ motions and can be caught, lifted, and then let fall again. The falling text will ‘land’ on anything darker than a certain threshold, and ‘fall’ whenever that obstacle is removed. If a participant accumulates enough letters along their outstretched arms, or along the silhouette of any dark object, they can sometimes catch an entire word, or even a phrase. The falling letters are not random, but form lines of a poem about bodies and language. ‘Reading’ the phrases in the Text Rain installation becomes a physical as well as a cerebral endeavor.

Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C., USA.
Itaú Cultural Institute, Text Rain (Portuguese version), São Paulo, Brazil
The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, Text Rain (AP on extended loan), Pittsburgh, PA
Fundacio La Caixa, Barcelona, Spain.
21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
Partial Exhibition List:
The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC. 2015
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN. 2013
ZERO1, San Jose, CA. 2013
Hå Gamle Prestegard, Obrestad Lighthouse, Norway. 2012
Emily Davis Gallery, University of Akron, Akron, OH. 2010
Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA. 2009
Fundacio La Caixa, Barcelona, Spain. 2007
Time Warner Center, New York, NY. 2006
Itaú Cultural Center, São Paulo, Brazil. 2006
Austria at ARCO, Medialab Madrid, Conde Duque Cultural Center, Madrid, Spain. 2006
WRO International Media Art Biennale, The National Museum, Wroclaw, Poland. 2005
La Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT), Montréal, Canada. 2004
LiteraturWERKstatt, Kulturforum, Berlin, Germany. 2004
The Lighthouse, Brighton, United Kingdom. 2002
Taiwan Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan. 2001
Space and Spatiality Master Class, Kolding Design School, Kolding, Denmark. 2001
Kiev International Media Art Festival, Center for Contemporary Art, Kiev, Ukraine. 2001
Microwave International Media Art Festival, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong. 2001
The Boston CyberArts Festival, Boston Architectural Center, Boston, MA. 2001
WRO Biennale, WRO Center for Media Art, Wroclaw, Poland. 2001
Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA. 2001
Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria. 2000 – 2001
Montevideo / Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 2000
Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea. 2000
SIGGRAPH 2000 Art Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana. 2000
European Media Art Festival 2000, Osnabruck, Germany. 2000
NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo, Japan. 2000
Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY. 2000
New Langton Arts Gallery, San Francisco, CA. 2000
New York University, New York, NY. 1999Awards:
OLB media art prize at the European Media Art Festival. 2000

Permanently Installed: