Elinor O’Donovan

Gods in the Machines

Gods in the Machines
by Aisling Phelan and Elinor O’Donovan

Part of Screen Service’s ‘Collision Project’.

Gods in the Machines is a non-linear narrative-based web piece. Taking as its starting point the decision by screen service to pair the two artists as collaborators, Gods in the Machines explores conversation as a creative act. Inherent in online long-distance collaborations, each artist is, to the other, a god in the machine: each housed in a computer screen, their likenesses and voices captured in pixels and radio frequencies and physically channelled through thin glass wires, connecting the two in their workplaces.

Gods in the Machines finds the duo locating common ground through conversation, then as gods, terra-forming this ground, endowing it with many things; trees and birds, planets and people, liquid crystal displays and fantasy role-playing games. Each text exchanged is a crystal lattice, a neuron, a breezeblock, that is over time assembled to form a world of fiction.

The inhabitants of this fictional world, much like its gods, experience logistical setbacks in communicating: Wi-Fi cuts out, calls drop, a voice is too distant to be heard. Despite these obstacles they persist in their efforts to communicate, determined to be heard and known.

“Can you hear me now?”

elinor.odonovan (at) hotmail.com