Alison Clifford

Artist Statement


Alison Clifford's artwork considers how interactive technology and digital media can be used to provide new perspectives and alternatives for narrative and poetic forms. Her output explores ideas from hypertext theory employing non-linear structures that require user participation to navigate through the content. These structures also incorporate a degree of randomness or chance, offering multiple perspectives on the theme under exploration. The works submitted were created for the web and for CD-Rom.

Fig 1. The Sweet Old Etcetera (2006) URL:

The Sweet Old Etcetera (2006) reinterprets the poetry of E.E.Cummings for the web, introducing motion and interactivity to offer new ways of engaging with it. Specific aims of the project were firstly, to explore whether motion and interactivity might aid the understanding of the poetry. This idea raised questions as to whether the addition of motion and specific behaviours attached to individual letters might offer additional interpretations to the meaning of the poetry with regard to its visual form and its content. Secondly, a further aim was to expand on the existing visual form of the poems themselves, creating a unified imaginary landscape in which to locate them. Both aims were designed to complement the sense of play already inherent within the poems and to foreground the poetry itself.

Fig 2. Silhouette: A Dance (2006) URL:

Silhouette: A Dance (2006) was created for Born Magazine and interprets Addie Tsai's poem of the same name. The aim of the interpretation was based primarily around the structure of the poem, exploring its ambiguity by presenting a different version of it each time the user accesses the project. (This was achieved by means of programming each individual poetic cell to appear in a random order of the final sequence.) The accompanying visual element hopes to create tension between the non-linearity of the poetic structure and its reliance on the random command, with that of the linear pre-defined structure of the gradually emerging background graphic.

Fig 3. [citizen] (2001) CD-Rom Accompanying Project URL:

[citizen] (2001) is an interactive CD-Rom created in collaboration with Japanese composer Teruyoshi Kamiya. The work reflects upon the city in the age of globalisation through interactive visual montages and audio loops. As the user interacts with these elements, different texts and ideas are revealed creating a city that is constructed from collages of real and imagined fragments. The project also explores connections between words and sound - through interaction with given words and corresponding sound segments, users can generate their own poetic and audio compositions that differ depending on decisions made by them. Like the other works, [citizen] incorporates randomness into its structure offering multiple perspectives on the theme.

Alison Clifford Bio

Alison Clifford is an artist working with new media based in Glasgow, Scotland. She gained a Master in Digital Art from the Audiovisual Institute of the University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Her work has been exhibited at numerous international new media art festivals and she has also received several awards including: BAFTA nomination and Alt-W Production Award for The Sweet Old Etcetera, and a Creative Scholarship from the Phonos Foundation, Barcelona for [citizen]. Most recently she collaborated with poet Addie Tsai on Silhouette: A Dance for Born Magazine. She lectures in Digital Art at the University of Paisley.