Mary Flanagan Featured on Houston Chronicle’s Preview

June 20, 2022

AI meets Emily Dickinson in Mary Flanagan exhibit

Molly Glentzer

Words migrate across time and white space in Mary Flanagan’s “[the Mirror Book: Emily 1],” a mesmerizing “computational collaboration” with Emily Dickinson; or, rather, with poems penned by Dickinson from 1858 to 1865.

Flanagan also writes poetry, but she primarily writes and programs artificial intelligence software, the geeky “material’” required to build works like “[the Mirror Book].” AI is a primary material for all of the works in her first Houston show, which runs through July 9 at Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art.

“[the Mirror Book]” is the second piece in a series that involves projecting text onto the pages of a large, blank, custom-made book, juxtaposing Flanagan’s poetry with verses by another woman who is no longer alive. (For the first one in 2018, Flanagan used poems by the late Dora Maar, the photographer, painter and poet who was one of Picasso’s late muses.)