Click names below or scroll right  → 

Hanns Holger Rutz


semantic suspension




Elena Peytchinska & Thomas Ballhausen

operative fiction

non-linear storytelling


post-digital poetics

more-than-human collaboration

Maya Rasker

writing as:

- art form

- knowledge generator

- artistic-academic research tool

- experimental system

Maryam Ramezankhani

Persian calligraphy


expression of “self”

subjective pronoun “I”


Julieanna Preston





writing performance

Sarah Rinderer

to communicate

to compose

to space

to pause

dot dot dot

P - R



<< Elena Peytchinska & Thomas Ballhausen



We understand our artistic research collaboration as a complex texture of literary, scientific, spatial, material and performative writing practices: an ecosystem of agencies and operations, theory and fiction. Thus language is a spatial practice: an entangled process of writing (digitally and bodily) and spacing that revolves around the dynamic interrelationship between the science of fiction and the fiction of sciences.


We believe in a spatial experience of the text, »one that is discursive rather than declarative« (Johanna Drucker). Therefore, our post-digital texts and drawings are intertwined and entangled; they are situated in (and sensible to) the surfaces or sites where they emerge. They manifest as material, lines or even action, becoming more-than-texts, connecting the stories they tell (and their protagonists) to the spaces they produce. Our practice is inextricably linked to our way of generating (and not: occupying) spaces through temporal as well as more-than-textual interventions. Influenced by Michel Serres' philosophical practice of theory production by inventing »personnages«, we further ask: Can characters created within texts develop their own agency, exceeding the authors' intentions, and thus become equal participants in the writing experience?





Gradually intensifying the interweaving of drawing and literature throughout our artistic collaboration, we present the relational, practice-oriented model of Operative Fiction. This po(i)etic concept is not only about the encounter with the supposedly unthinkable other and alien but about its active and necessary integration into one's process of thinking and creating: A key moment precisely because by means of writing and practising Operative Fiction, we enfold – together with our more-than-human partners – multispecies collectives and multimodal realities. We exemplify this practice through the figure of a malfunctioning space probe – the protagonist of our more-than-textual Science Fiction prose poem, What the Probes Report. The articulation of the figure's monologue embodies the machine's defect rather than an anthropomorphic effect. Based on the actual names of man-made space probes, we develop our explorative reflection on control, obedience, and fallibility: Quite deliberately, we do not place human agency at the centre of the modular narrative but stage the homonymous machines as disrupted protagonists. The operativeness of our more-than-textual writing is situated in and materialized through the surface and tools of a digital platform – in this specific example, a Research Catalogue exposition. 




1. Operative Fiction, 2023 © Elena Peytchinska & Thomas Ballhausen





In our exploration of the spatiality of language and, specifically, the activation of the locale where writing takes (or rather generates) place, we propose a multilayered experience of the book as an object as well as a geometrical, topological and especially a performative space, which we understand as an ecology of the book. This new ecology includes the landscape of interaction and, at the same time, its inhabitants. Texts, drawings, figures, and figurations all participate in the heterogeneous ecological texture. In our monographs, Fauna. Language Arts and the New Order of Imaginary Animals (2018) and Flora. Language Arts in the Age of Information (2020, both De Gruyter), we explore and map the territory of language arts: on the one hand in transgressing traditional scientific methodologies and models from thinking of the other into thinking with the other, and on the other hand with and through the agency of our eponymous characters. Applying Michel Serres' methodology of thinking by inventing personae, Fauna and Flora operate on and percolate through the margins of text (written, figural) and space (concrete, fictional), reconfiguring the notion of authorship and placing literary texts and digital drawings within the frame(less) collective of more-than-human and more-than-organic actants.



1. Fauna, 2018 © Elena Peytchinska & Thomas Ballhausen, De Gruyter/Edition Angewandte.

2. Flora, Extra-Raum Vienna, 2020 © Elena Peytchinska & Thomas Ballhausen


LINK TO – New Ecology of the Book





This is a sound practice based on a text corpus segmented beforehand or during the performance to allow the formation of new connections among fragments. Connections can be defined linguistically or sonically, often using similarity relationships. Different algorithms implement sequential generative strategies, ranging from random movement via set permutations to traversals of graphs constructed from sonic features. This practice is spatial since observers are presented with ongoing explorations of the corpus in different directions, recognising an incremental definition of sonic volume and recurring elements. Examples are found in the sound installations Kalligraphie (2007), Writing Machine / Writing (simultan) (2011 / 2020), and schwärmen + vernetzen (2017). In Kalligraphie, small horizontal glass plates are arranged around a listener’s head. One layer of the composition uses isolated sentences relating to the rhizome in the first chapter of A Thousand Plateaus. The words forming a sentence are iterated across the glass plates, and subsequent fragments are identified by a connecting word or stem. The whispered words prepare the unvoiced sound for recolourisation by the resonances of the glasses that are excited by transducers. In Writing…, using Petri-dishes as sounding bodies in a circular arrangement, the corpus is generated from radio station signals, and rather than moving from sentence to sentence, one phrase is continually drifting, as fragments are overwritten by sonically similar fragments. schwärmen…’s corpus is a text by lyricist Gertrude Grossegger, organised by clustering acoustical similarities, allowing path traversal within an invisible graph, manifesting in space as movement along arms of an imagined creature.




1. Kalligraphie text excerpt

2. Writing Machine / Writing (simultan)

3. Writing Machine / Writing (simultan)

4. schwärmen + vernetzen


LINK TO - Kalligraphie

LINK TO - schwärmen + vernetzen

LINK TO - Writing (simultan)

<< Hanns Holger Rutz


I am interested in written text and spoken words in their in-between states; between discrete glyph and continuous shape or swarm, between semantic identification and timbral, rhythmic, intimate perception. I do not like narration and story-telling. Artistic research always runs into a danger of explaining and linearising. What happens to language when it does not attempt to draw an arc between an exposition and a conclusion, when it becomes an ongoing flow within installative work?


I would like to work with text as with any other compositional material. I often use digital processes. I would like to feed a text into a reverberation processor, into a granulator, a cross-fader, a frequency filter, a decolouriser.


I like how dreams, like algorithms, are ambiguous in terms of language formation. We employ language when we recall dreams, but the crucial elements are in pre-language state, and the recall becomes an intervention; and when one remembers a word, a sentence, a name, they are often in flux, they suddenly change position and meaning, exploiting that fraction of a second when there is a lapse in our attention. Text moves by itself.









This is a visual practice, in which spatial possibilities of text running “out of line” are explored, and glyphs become protagonists in their own right. It destabilises the linear flow of text and offers alternative routes or relationships among its parts. It can turn text into texture, as letters become unreadable or lose their syntactic fabric. It is also a practice of algorithmic treatment of text and characters that does not attempt to directly intervene on a semantic level, thus sharing a perspective with concatenative sonic spatialisation, which also often creates forms in ignorance of semantics.


This practice is used in Configuration (2015) which expands a site-specific sound installation by other media—scent, light, video—to create an account of a residency stay in Riga. The video is a monochrome triptych, one channel visually translating the algorithmic process used for the sound. Observing the movement of code elements, I became interested in applying the system to two short essays. A force field is defined between letters of words and lines of text, allowing experimentation with the dynamical behaviour of these forces. A similar approach was used in a graphical improvisational score, Miniatures 15, in a filmographic part for the electroacoustic piece Machinae Coelestis (2013), and in a lecture performance From Data To Process (2017). Going from digital moving image to print, the leporello text composition A Zero Moves Between One and Eight (2018) employs semantically interpolated lines that run between discretely formulated paragraphs, typographically set using a topological learning algorithm.



1. Machinae Coelestis (excerpt)


LINK TO - Configuration 

LINK TO - Machinae Coelestis

LINK TO - From Data to Process



<< Julieanna Preston


Language is a substance. Like sound, in sound, of sound, from mouth, lips and belly. It is a flight of fancy, endearing and violent.


Language is a material substance. Ink, paper, paint, graphite – one material surface inscribed onto another, leaving a mark of its somatic utterance. I crush, slice, dribble, hurl, cull, smother and steam words just as I do clay, timbre or silk fabric.


Language is a performance. A temporal situated ecology of breath, gesture, emotion, aurality, acoustics and bodies, specific bodies. It will not just rest on the page idly; it flings itself out of my grasp, my gasp, stutter, mumble and sob.


Language is a system susceptible to subversion, corruption, and revolution as much as it is a subservient shackle to authority, power and propaganda. Sometimes muteness says it well.


Language is a social contract, the glue that holds me together to you and you and you, when it works. And when it doesn’t, we are on the outside, lost.


Language is a compositional improvisation spun through the teeth as much as the cursive stroke, one biting, one caressing. Its bitterness and acidity are sweet and seductive, and vice versa.


Like love, language is often not enough.

On 22 June 2022, the longest/shortest day of the year, fifty-five individuals located world-wide, welcomed dawn, and wrote about the weather in their locale. Word Weathers was an interactive durational writing performance that considered the radical nature of now-ness as a temporal state of atmospheric contingency bound by location, observation and critical reflection on the state of a biosphere in crisis. Our collective efforts were to become weather: to mark the moment of transition from navigational, geographical and meteorological thought using the limits/potentials of the computer keyboard, Zoom’s unpredictable and serendipitous algorithms to report.


Led by Julieanna Preston, curated by Janine Randerson, hosted by Te Tuhi Art Centre, and in collaboration with Layne Waerea, Mick Douglas and Andy Lock, Word Weathers was first tested as the four-hour durational work Word Whether Weather at Nonfiction Now’s 2021 Conference held in Wellington. Building up stamina and with a desire to include others, Word Weathers took place during one rotation of the earth and incorporated the views, sounds, writings, emotions and text of people associated with ArtAngel’s swansong project World Weather Network.


Our goal was to exploit Zoom’s simple rename function as the typing space. The white san serif font letters on a black field offered an aesthetic that was soon challenged by collaborators who found creative means to inject their mother language, use numbers and symbols as emojis, write essays in strings or frugal poems. The immediacy of each gesture was complemented by the slowness of noticing the weather wherever one was and the transference of that event to the keyboard. Writing on and in now-ness was intense and became more so when there were always two other people writing at the time in the shared zoom space.







1. Maryam Ramezankhani, Fresh Air

2. Maryam Ramezankhani, Outcry

3. Maryam Ramezankhani, The Dance

4. Maryam Ramezankhani, The Height of Dreams




<< Maryam Ramezankhani


I am a calligrapher and a PhD student in linguistics based in Tehran, Iran. I am also a woman, a daughter, a sister and a wife.


Anyone who reads these sentences, almost instantly, conjures up an amorphous image of me or develops a feeling towards me, however vague. It is amazing how three short sentences can form a multi-faceted frame of definitions and characteristics about a being; in this case a woman/student/artist living in Iran.


As humans, we all want to be a part of the multi-layered descriptions that forge our social and cultural identity. However, at the same time each of us try to create our own unique identity with nuances that might resonate or resist the collective one.


The ongoing strive of forming one’s own “I”, especially for women, is what I have been looking for in my practices of Persian calligraphy and linguistics. Persian calligraphy, in particular, follows strict rules. That is, the artist is specifically instructed about how to write letters and words. It is also a male-dominated field but the number of women practicing it in Iran has risen in recent two decades. Calligraphy is deeply rooted in Persian culture and poetry. Its unbreakable relation with language and meaning is what has driven me to try to practice it through a linguistic glass.


How do the text of a poem, the choice of words in it, along with artistic techniques and movements used in Persian calligraphy help the artist to display his/her/their own “I”? How can I discover and express my “I” through the artistic processes and outputs?


In the continuing adventure of finding and realizing “I”, I decided to explore the expression of “self” in the poetry of two prominent female poets in Persian literature; Parvin E’tesami (1907-1941) and Forugh Farrokhzad (1934-1967). They were contemporary to each other, and unexpectedly died in their thirties. Parivn died of typhoid and Forugh died in a car crash.

Both are considered significant figures in Persian poetry; Parvin in classic style and Forugh in modern style.


In order to find out about their expression of self, I considered it best to see how each referred to their own feminine self by using the pronoun “I” as an agent/doer of an action. Persian language, like Italian and Chinese, is a Null Subject language. That is, the subject of a sentence can be tacitly implied and is understood from the verb or the context. Therefore, when the pronoun “I” emerges in a sentence, it is almost certain that the speaker had wanted to emphasize it.


I found two types in which the poet referred to herself. The following table displays the cases. As the table shows, Forugh puts herself in a powerful position in relation to the universe around her. In almost half of her pieces she boldly talks about herself being the source of action, while Parvin puts her agency mostly in others’ words.






<< Maya Rasker


The role and position of ‘creative’ writing within academia and within the domain of artistic research is not unequivocal. In academia, it is standard practice to employ writing for the transfer of knowledge and insights: it is primarily a means of communication. In the praxis of artistic research, the results are also, at least in part, contextualised and substantiated in language. This leads to the paradox that, if writing as an art form (imaginative, evocative, non-discursive, etc.) seeks to be relevant in and for artistic-academic research, it must relate to itself discursively in its own medium in order to achieve that relevance.


In my doctoral research, Word and whetstone. Perspectives on writing at the intersection of art and academia1, the above paradox is fully embraced in a dissertation-as-‘academic novel’. It shall be no surprise that my engagement with the subject as a researcher is propelled and supported by a professional background as novelist, coupled with the position of educator at various art schools.


How does argumentation take shape, I continue to wonder (together with my students), in and through writing as an artistic and investigative gesture? To consider writing as an experimental system (analogous to the scientific experimental system), in which different relations are established between the poetics of words, theories, epistemology, and the writer’s experience, gives way to its use beyond meaning: the gesture of writing itself as carrier and generator of knowledge and insights.


1. Original title (in Dutch): Woord en wetsteen. Beschouwingen over schrijven of het snijvlak


An epistemology of writing is not about what it is. Rather, it is about what writing can do, what it can bring about, in the context of artistic and / or academic research. A characteristic of the art of writing is that ideas, insights, and connections arise through the act itself. Writing is communicative, relational, and generative. To generate a meaningful outcome, the question – or the subject, or the material itself – must be approached, repeatedly, from ever-changing and progressive perspectives.


In the following example, I conduct an interview with myself, alternating in de process of writing between perspectives of ‘me’, ‘author’ and ‘researcher’. The underlying and overarching subject of this interview / text is derived from an observation from a colleague, asking: “What is it you are really after?” The method, or angle of approach to tackle this issue, is to draw from texts produced by my supervisors’ specific statements that may, or may not, sharpen my view on the subject.


In the ‘experimental system’, as mentioned above, one can distinguish between the ‘epistemic thing’, something about which you want to know this or that, and the ‘technical object’, with which we can find out this or that – positions that change in the course of an investigation. (These notions come from philosopher of the history of science, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger). In the production of this particular piece of text, my supervisor’s ideas, the fictive questions, and the apparently spontaneous answers operate, alternately, as ‘thing’ I want to know more about, and as an instrument through which I find answers or new insights. The production of the text was in fact used as a piece of my doctoral research; part of it landed in the dissertation.



<< Sarah Rinderer


Arranging poetry according to the color sectors of a lighthouse,

signalling statements in the International Flag Alphabet for overcoming large distances and language barriers,

condensing impressions, smells, sounds, feelings to a written dialogue without speaking,

transferring the intimacy of book dedications to the walls of an exhibition space,

combining past and present, incomplete memories and pixel errors in prose,

placing and spacing typographic formations inspired by conglomerate rock on the pages of an artist book,

composing with seemingly soundless punctuation marks,

pausing –


The main focus of my artistic-literary practice is dealing with language itself, with its pauses, blanks and in-between-spaces. My concept- and research-based works and prose texts, artists’ books and poems, often examine, reconstruct, transform and translate language systems as well as means of contemporary communication, thus creating new poetic meanings and definitions.


LINK TO – Sarah Rinderer’s website



The preoccupation with the musical, emotional, asthetic and political potential of punctuation marks, whose perception is often limited to their syntactic function, is a recurring element in my works and also brings together various aspects of my interdisciplinary practice.


My diploma project at the University of Arts Linz Inter;punktion. Zeichen setzen – zwischen Kunst, Literatur und Musik, for instance, assembled my concert performance and composition for mixed quartet » - . ! :, making the only soundless marks on book pages of German-writing authors and an own text audible; reflective essays on the linguistic, visual, musical and performative quality of gaps, pauses and silences composed from individual observations and cross-disciplinary-references; and the typographic and haptic design of the programme accompanying the concert and the diploma thesis book.


Thus, with time the project also became a reflection of ways to shape transitions, to set (punctuation) marks between disciplines – and to make them resonate.




1. Sarah Rinderer, » - . ! :,score: Arno Schmidt, 2019, © LBachmann

2. Sarah Rinderer, » - . ! :,score: Marlene Streeruwitz, 2019, © LBachmann

3. Sarah Rinderer, » - . ! :,concert performance, violin: Olga Akhtyrska, viola: Lea Gisler, saxophone: Lisa Felbermayer, accordion: Jakob Steinkellner, 2019, © LBachmann

4. Sarah Rinderer, » - . ! :,concert performance, violin: Olga Akhtyrska, viola: Lea Gisler, saxophone: Lisa Felbermayer, accordion: Jakob Steinkellner, 2019, © Jürgen Gründwald

5. Sarah Rinderer, » - . ! :,concert performance, Arno Schmidt p. 55, Sarah Rinderer p. 2., performed by Olga Akhtyrska (violin), Lea Gisler (viola), Lisa Felbermayer (saxophone), Jakob Steinkellner (accordion), Video by Jonas Juffinger, Sound by Sebastian Six


LINK TO – concert performance » - . ! :,

LINK TO - More about Inter;punktion. Zeichen setzen – zwischen Kunst, Literatur und Musik