Word Play, is based on the Text Rain installation, made by Camille Utterback and Romy Achituv in 1999. This version, commissioned by RNL Design for the City of Fontana, California, includes a dynamic LED background wall that displays children’s drawings made at the library. The LED wall and parallel projection wall are located on opposite sides of the entry to the children’s section of the library – creating a distinct and colorful visual marker for this area of the library.
On the projection wall, the falling letters are words that the children use to describe their drawings. As viewers interact with the text from the children’s descriptions, corresponding drawings appear behind them on the LED wall. The black and white camera sees the colored light from the LED wall as white, so the images do not appear in the background of the projection.
For this commission, Utterback responded to the librarians’ and the architects’ desire to create a piece that the community could take part in by making Text Rain into an open-ended platform to incorporate Fontana children’s artwork, and descriptions of these drawings. Utterback created a custom web-based content management system to allow the librarians to upload and organize drawings, create thematic groupings, and update the installation with a currently running group of drawings and text. Librarians can organize drawing sessions with children, then upload the drawings to a database and tag each drawing with the children’s descriptions. Since drawings or sets of drawings can be saved and added to over the years, eventually the piece will become an archive representing different generations of children who have visited the library.
- The Fontana Children's Library, Fontana, CA
Mon - Thur: 10am - 9pm, Fri/Sat: 10am - 6pm, Sun: 12pm - 5pm
- Ricardo, Francisco. Literary Art in Digital Performance: Case Studies and Critical Positions. Continuum Press, New York. NY.
- Blair, Elizabeth. “Louisville art hotel offers rooms with a view” Morning Edition, NPR, December 23, 2008
- Mather, Victoria. “The Art of a Hotel Holiday” Vanity Fair, No. 556, December 2006, pg. 156.
- Wong, Nicole. Animatronica. Microwave International Media Art Festival, Hong Kong, China.
- Polk, Molly. Engaging Space. Kidspace at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA.
- McQuaid, Cate. “Poetry in Virtual Motion at Cyberarts Fest.” The Boston Globe, “Living|Arts” section, May 3, 2001
- MacDonald, Christine. “Video Art Beckons (literally).” The Boston Globe, “Life at Home” section, March 29, 2001
- D’Amato, Jennie. “All the Right Moves, the Art of Camille Utterback” PDN’s PIX, Vol. 7, Issue 1, February/March 2001
- Komatsuzaki, Takuo. New Media, New Faces, New York. NTT Inter Communication Center, Tokyo, Japan.
- Baker, Kenneth. “Fears, Hopes — Address Unknown.” The San Francisco Chronicle, January 22, 2000
- Video Interview with Smithsonian Magazine
- Watch This! at The Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Tracing Time/Marking Movement at the Frist Center for Visual Arts
- On the Edge 2012 features Text Rain in Norwegian Lighthouse
- “Camille Utterback and the Technology of Interactive Art” on The Huffington Post
- Collider 2: Camille Utterback at Emily Davis Gallery, University of Akron, Ohio
- Contemporary Art Center of Virginia Exhibition
- Text Rain on NPR’s Morning Edition