Project Description


Fireflies  (A Lover, Inverted) is a new media art installation that reverse engineers a poem by Amy Lowell to create a participatory, imagined (or reimagined) world:

“If I could catch the green lantern of the firefly
I could see to write you a letter”

(“A Lover,” Amy Lowell)

Participants are invited to several conversations: First, participants type a letter to someone on a mid-twentieth century green Remington typewriter. In this creative exchange, everything old is new again. When participants type, a group of green, origami fireflies, hanging from a mobile above the Remington, will shine their (LED) lanterns.

The second conversation happens outside of the installation, where participants reflect on the letter they typed (or, if they did not participate, consider the person to whom they may have addressed a letter) in a 90-second survey. An additional activity studies participants’ experiences with the installation to investigate how new media art impacts participant audiences.

The third and ongoing conversation is across disciplines, between an artist and a social scientist. The authors’ conversation meets at the intersection of participatory media art and media psychology to explore the possible worlds, past, present, and future, that sensory input can trigger.

Faculty Credits – xtine burrough, Dale MacDonald

Additional Credits – Kristin Drogos

Additional Information – This installation has been installed in the HASTAC exhibition, The Possible Worlds of Digital Humanities (Orlando, Florida, 2017), at UT Dallas’ eDay (2018), and at Digital Frontiers in Austin, Texas (September 2019). Another set of data was collected, using pre- and post- participation surveys, in Dr. Drogos’ Laboratory of Media Psychology at UT Dallas in fall 2019. The collaborators are currently working on coding the data gathered and studying the results. For more information visit

Project Gallery

Fireflies Gallery 1
Fireflies Gallery 2
Fireflies Gallery 3


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