The System

To become a content generator, a low-level government clerk at the Office of Content Generation involves a long and complex process. One important milestone in the process is the qualification test. Candidate 3751 failed the test, let's see if candidate 3752 will have better luck.

Live Performance, 2018

Carrie Sijia Wang

Screening Performance, Performing Screens, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center

Refest, CultureHub

NIME Performance, The Paper Box

Documentation credit: ITP Nime 2018, Tong Wu

Special thanks to Greg Shakar, Wenqi Li, Ari Melenciano and Hayeon Hwang

Set in a futuristic, fictional world, The System presents the process of The Content Generator Qualification Test. The test loops in between three sections: Content Generation, Integration Reinforcement, and Subject Realignment, with each cycle getting progressively more intense than the previous one.


In Content Generation, the candidate is asked to type as fast as possible, while Integration Reinforcement requires the candidate to recite slogans following a computer voice. The texts in these two parts are both Markov chain generated.

The source text for Content Generation is a collection of destination descriptions on international tourism websites. The source text for Integration Reinforcement is the combination of lyrics from the world’s 204 national anthems.


The audio elements in this performance include a modular musical composition played by typing the keys on a computer keyboard, a clock that ticks and speeds up in the background, a computer voice giving instructions, the performer’s voice reciting slogans, and notification sounds from the system.