The Transducer Function: An Introduction to a Theoretical Typology in Electronic Literature and Digital Art

  • Álvaro Seiça MA in Contemporary American Literature, University of Évora. Editor and Curator, BYPASS, Lisbon and Malmö
Keywords: Transduction, Transducer Function, Electronic Literature, Digital Art, Zeitgeber, Data Mining and Visualization, Digital Installation, Net.Art, Digital Kinetic Poetry


In this essay I introduce the notion of transducer function in the fields of electronic literature and digital art. Firstly, I survey the transduction concept throughout its history in such domains as physics, genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, physiology, psychology, philosophy, logic and computer science. Secondly, I discuss the relevance of a transduction theory versus the advantage of a transducer function. I migrate the transduction concept into the fields of electronic literature and digital art, showcasing the contexts of application, and several transfer processes and functions. Finally, I apply the transducer function as a theoretical typology and a recognizable system, highlighting some artworks by R. Luke DuBois, André Sier and Scott Rettberg that can be read within this framework. Thus, it means taking into account a set of transfer and conversion processes: information, patterns and data among mechanisms, technologies, themes, creative and theoretical guidelines. In this sense, I develop a critical framework that operates as a method for analyzing and comprehend further digital artworks.

Author Biography

Álvaro Seiça, MA in Contemporary American Literature, University of Évora. Editor and Curator, BYPASS, Lisbon and Malmö
Álvaro Seiça (1983, Aveiro, Portugal) is a writer, researcher, editor and curator. He holds a MA in Contemporary American Literature, having received a summa cum laude for his thesis “Transduction: Transfer Processes in Digital Literature and Art”. In 2007, with Gaëlle Marques, he founded BYPASS (, a nomadic editorial and curatorial project. He has published several poems and essays on different journals, the most recent being “Anti-Spam: Reinventing Data” (2012), at Parsons Journal for Information Mapping, PIIM/New School, New York. He currently lives in Malmö, Sweden.


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