my country is a Living Room: Pay-Per-View Internet Produced Art

This is probably the first net art project
available in a pay-per-view mode : my country is a Living Room is the creation of Italian, La Spezia born, Carlo Zanni. First realised back in 2011 it takes the form of a Print-On-Demand book and a Pay-Per-View Internet piece.

The project made extensive and radical use of Google Scribe to write a short poem for the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Italian unification.

The poem was written in English using Google Scribe, an online editing tool
that auto-completes suggestions as you type. Only the words and letters printed in bold at the beginning of each sentence have been consciously written.

In the first sentence the only words written on purpose
were for example: “I wok”, while the rest was automatically suggested by the
online software and accepted pressing several times -one for each
word- the space bar.

Phrase by phrase, this visionary and dystopian poem wrote
itself unveiling -in a constant stream of consciousness feeling- some
inconvenient truths framing a sleeping, resigned, happy nation.

The poem has been translated by Google Translate to fifty seven
languages with no editing (all the translations are available in the

The book is a 150 pages, hard cover with dust jacket Print on Demand
book powered by

The back cover features an endorsement by Christiane Paul (Adjunct
Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum and Associate Professor of
Media Studies, The New School)

The book:

The online version of this piece embeds the Google Scribe feature in a
web page driven by a server that automatically sends keystrokes (the
letters or words in bold are written by Carlo) starting the poem and then
continually accepting the first suggestions offered by the software.

Carlo Zanni, my country is a Living Room 2011, installation view SKL Gallery, Palma de Mallorca

Through this process, the poem keeps changing and its meaning morphing, as our
society does. Available at a, people
visiting the project can stare at it reading the poem taking shape in
front of their eyes. Or they can browse an Archive with stored
versions. The server is meant to store a new version as soon as a
change appears in the poem.

The piece to date has toured to:

SKL Gallery in Palma de Mallorca,
MAXXI Museum, Rome
FILE Festival in Sao Paulo

Words: Beverly Luckings

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad

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