Skip to content
Volume 32, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1466-0407
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9118



An interactive generative system is a computational system for creating artworks that produces new versions or sequences of a text, image or sound each time it is activated. It interrogates ideas of authorship and the stable, monolithic, text. This article argues that interactive generative media can result in a new approach to imagetext as algorithmic imagetext. In algorithmic imagetext, text and image are not necessarily juxtaposed but share the same or similar algorithms. The essay focuses on interactive generative media and algorithmic imagetext in the work of ‘post-black’ African American multimedia artist and writer D. Fox Harrell. It explicates his programming of algorithmic processes to generate both verbal and visual texts through the interactive generative GRIOT system, and suggests how programming relates to the semiotics of text and image. The essay examines Harrell’s adaptation of the GRIOT system to generate the polypoem ‘The Girl with Skin of Haints and Seraphs’ and then, in collaboration with Kenny Chow, to create the generative visual renku – a transformation of the traditional verbal Japanese renku into interactive image tiles. In addition, it looks briefly at the way Harrell combines the verbal and visual in multimedia work. The article also analyses how Harrell attempts to employ algorithmic imagetext to overturn stereotypes of racial and gender identity, and to problematize the tensions and interactions that occur through globalization.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error