savestate

savestate is a digital language instrument / poetry-toy.

Download it here: Mac Linux Windows


I performed with it at the Electronic Literure Organization’s Archive and Innovate conference on June 4th, 2010.

savestate’s interface has an interface made in TouchOSC, so it is usable to play it via iPad or iPhone, but it can receive OSC messages from other software as well. It is also “codebend” compatible.


In sum, it has 4 word banks, or “oscillators,” to be swept and performed. Each of these banks can be routed to any of 4 display positions on the screen. I implement routability using an onscreen Monome-esque toggle grid. There are also triggers to change the color of the screen, which are useful for indicating transitions and building compositional structure.

Multitouch control of the toggle grid allows one to augment the position of text in realtime. One can switch the position of two phrases, or “walk” text up or down the screen, thus creating new texts performatively. savestate is foremost a playground.

The work features Commodore 64 font and a small color palette, as it grew from another piece titled “You Have to Move Forward” that has a similar aesthetic.

The structure of the instrument was informed by an early version of my illucia hardware, and how it might be used to route electronic poetry.

Gratitude: Daniel Howe for guidance, Ian Hatcher for inviting me to perform, and the ELO for hosting.