Postcards from Spokane

A microphone, 3 monitors, 10 story cards, 118 vintage postcards and 12 Spokane-based poets. Postcards from Spokane is an interactive performance system using speech recognization technology that connects spoken words to corresponding visuals.

Interactive Performance System, 2018

Carrie Sijia Wang

Installation at the Spokane Public Library
The Spokesman-Review Article

Special thanks to: Laboratory Residency, Spokane Public Library

Postcards are inexpensive souvenirs that can carry a lot of sentiment, both collective and personal. A postcard distills one’s travel experience onto a tiny piece of paper, with an idealized image that is often not a direct depiction of the place visited, rather a representation of how the local community wants their town to be remembered.

 

Working with the Spokane Public Library, I scanned more than 100 vintage postcards in their collection, categorized them and assigned keywords to each postcard. The keywords were then sent to 12 local poets, who were asked to write poems using as many keywords as possible.

 

When installed at the library, people were invited to interact with the project by reading from one of the 10 story cards I prepared or telling their own story about Spokane. The poets also performed their poems written specifically for the project using the performance system.

Residency at Laboratory

Postcards from Spokane was completed during my residency at Laboratory in downtown Spokane. The video here is a good summary of both my project and my experience at the residency.