click for video demo of "nobody knows but you"

Click image above to view demo of a reader playing with the piece (Quicktime, 02'12", 21 MB.)

nobody knows but you was written for Double-Cute Battle Mode, an application prototype for a VJ (video jockey) remix battle. DCBM allows two players to combine visuals and special effects in a playful competition for screen space. Using joysticks, players plug their imagination into their computer and share a creative space in an intuitive video-game style interaction. The piece was conceived as a way to ease text back into an image-dominated culture by treating it simultaneously as a visual special effect and as a poem.

The twenty-three verses appear on a plane in three-dimensional space. A cube shape displays additional visuals. Both the cube and the plane may be scaled and rotated, and the reader has control over which verse or image is displayed.

You may notice in the image at top left, or while watching the installation video, a twelve-year-old girl plopped down in front of the installation. She played with the piece on and off for three hours. She began singing the words, making up melodies and turning certain verses into refrains. There is a clear lack of literature that responds to the intellectual and creative needs of young people today. I hope that interactive writing can help to fill that gap.

try it out for yourself

you will need a USB joystick, such as Logitech's Dual Action Game Pad ($20 at plug in the joystick via USB, install any necessary drivers. launch the nobodyKnows application you've downloaded (link below), put on some music, and enjoy! see the mapping of text and image to joystick controls so you can better manage the visuals.

some joysticks won't automatically work correctly. you will need to map the X- and Y-Axis of the joystick's left stick to the mouse X- and Y-Axis. the software that comes with your joystick should enable you to do this. here are some step-by-step screenshots from Logitech's Profiler software. it may not look exactly like your software, but hopefully it will help you get an idea of what to do.

Download for Windows