Ode to Code to Mode & Morse Code


Kelly started working with Morse code in 2012, as that of a pedagogical inquiry, aka practice-led.

The Re-Morse Scale: Kelly approached sound artist Andrew McMillan (founder of Vitamin S) if it would be possible to play the computer keyboard musically, and he introduced her to Pure Data, installed it on her computer, and showed her how to use the programme. Kelly then went on to create ‘re-morse scales’ which she subsequently played on the keyboard according to Morse code.

Some of this re-morse scale work was published in the Canadian zine fillingStation in their Experimental Writing by Women issue 57 and discussed following the opening with Christian Bok on Rob McLennan’s blog  

PD programme used to programme my keyboard

ReMorse Scale using Pure Data (PD)

Listen to ‘ideophone note‘ in Morse code using PD on Kelly’s keyboard.

McLennan discusses the ‘stunning’ quality of the writers in this issue 57, and that Kelly ‘utiliz[e]s Morse Code in truly inventive ways’. Aside from the Pure Data (PD) re-morse scale, Kelly uses breath for Morse code, where the dot is her in breath and the dash her out breath.

Her poems, and use of layout, were set and printed in a show (I titled NeeMiss / nemesis) Makyla Curtis curated. For NeeMiss Kelly also used the daf drum to play her Morse code and recordings were available to listen to, along with her breath recordings.

Other Morse code poems of Kelly’s were published in Brief and DEEP SOUTH. For her Morse code poem tissue she breaths using Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing). The dot is to be the in-breath via the left nostril the dash is to be the out-breath via the right nostril.

A version of tissue, the code and layout, as well as the title, was used by weaver Michelle Mayn. In ‘Streaming Tears‘ and ‘Streaming Tears III‘ Michelle Mayn takes Kelly’s phrase streaming tears from her poem, ’tissue’. Mayn’s woven piece references Kelly’s vertically tilted Morse code (which Kelly used to give the Morse code the impression of streaming / raining down the page). You can see an earlier publication of Kelly’s visual Morse poem in Deep South2013.

In ‘Streaming Tears III‘ Mayn used reflective thread following an inquiry Kelly made with Mayn about the possibility of using light (Kelly weaves her own handwritten cut-up text) for Kelly’s own weaving and Morse code. Kelly continues to work on this idea, and is something that started to emerge in her practice a number of years ago, and can be seen here in ‘Drip‘ (https://kellymalone.me/2012/08/17/drip).

Note: Michelle Mayn has also used Kelly Malone’s shredded handwriting, and can be seen in her invite ‘Shimmer‘. Kelly approached Mayn about Malone’s idea of weaving a tuigen  – weaving her shredded handwriting is part of Kelly’s pedagogical inquiry around performance writing.  (Kelly subsequently chose to do the weaving herself, focusing on process, rather than product).

In 2012 when Makyla Curtis approached Kelly to be part of her ‘abstract compositions‘. Following the brief, Kelly created a small zine using the materials and words given. In addition Kelly cut and pasted the actual material of the small book to encode the pages with Morse code.

barely covered

sonorous om