Slenderman, The Marble Hornets, and Totheark

slenderman-1-708110Remember those chain emails your most obscure contacts would send you during the wee hours of the night that read something like “IF U DON’T FWD DIS A CREEPY CRAWLY GHOST OF A GIRL WILL COME OUT OF DA CLOSET AND KILL U” ?

Well they’re back. And they’re coming to get you for not forwarding all those emails.

Read more…

“Blue Hyacinth” by Pauline Masurel and Jim Andrews

Screen capture of Blue Hyacinth:  M M M M  Blue Hyacinth Pauline Masurel Jim Andrews  V I S P O Stir Frys Tabitha flexes against the collar . I try to sound as though I know what I'm talking about. in the alleyway. I just like the look of the grey mare; the bookie can tell, it was probably obvious from the moment I walked in. the hyacinth itself or secreted  When it happens the noise insists before,  ...it goes on for months  another in the corner is smoking. She's watching the race . Rather, it's a subtle matter of class, . when she can't gain entry, Across the road clubbers spill out on to the pavements - he comes. he goes. she waits  for weeks.  after all.  she picks her way back across the landing  - Do you want this,  I could report it  slowly, sadly who would care? and begins to stroke it through the sticky tangle of her hair.
Open “Blue Hyacinth” by Pauline Masurel and Jim Andrews

Slightly modifying the “cut-up” technique of Dadaist and Modernist writers in her digital work, “Blue Hyacinth,” Pauline Masurel encourages her readers not to destroy the original four poems, but rather jumble them together, stir them up, and weave them in a way that shares in the creative process of generating an individualized text. By presenting “Blue Hyacinth” as a stir-fry work (using Jim Andrews’ “Stir Fry Texts” framework) that allows readers to reflect on the original poems, Masurel is changing the author-reader relationship. Masurel ensures that readers become extensions of herself by encouraging readers to manipulate her writings and fashion a text that becomes less a traditional example of poetry and more a collaborative piece shared between individual reader and writer. With “Blue Hyacinth,” Masurel crafts a space where traditional print culture roles fade and are replaced by their mutable digital counterparts. Never once just a reader or an author, those that encounter “Blue Hyacinth” are able to exercise a semblance of autonomy that is novel to texts within the digital medium.

Read more…

“Zig and Zag” by Sérgio Caparelli and Ana Cláudia Gruszynski.

zigzag1
Open “Zig and Zag” by Sérgio Caparelli and Ana Cláudia Gruszynski.

Zig and Zag” is one of ten ciberpoems created by the writer Sérgio Capparelli and the graphic designer Ana Cláudia Gruszynski for “Ciberpoesia” website that features a series of 28 visual poems created by the Brazilian duo. Like “Bembo’s Zoo,” this is more than just digital versions for visual poems also published in a printed book, the ciberpoems of Capparelli and Gruszynski has an important educational role, it catches the interest of children and youth for digital poetry through creative and stimulating presentation.

Read more…

“Snowclone-a-Minute (@snowcloneminute)” by Bradley Momberger and “Pizza Clones (@pizzaclones)” by Allison Parrish

These two bots are based on the concept of snowclones, which are a linguistic phenomenon best described by Erin O’Connor in her wonderful blog and resource “The Snowclones Database.”

A snowclone is a particular kind of cliche, popularly originated by Geoff Pullum. The name comes from Dr. Pullum’s much-maligned “If Eskimos have N words for snow, X surely have Y words for Z”. An easier example might be “X is the new Y.” The short definition of this neologism might be n. fill-in-the-blank headline.

Fill in the blank mnemonic phrases? This is ripe for a bot treatment.

Read more…

Juxtaposition Bots: @TwoHeadlines, @oneiropoiesis, and @AndNowImagine

The three bots reviewed in this entry all carry out essentially the same technique– they create a tweet based on the juxtaposition of material from two different sources–  yet produce output that feels quite different. The reasons for this are partly thematic, partly due to the data source, and partly because of the way the join the juxtaposed elements.

An important early bot that uses this technique is Ranjit Bhatnagar’s @Pentametron, which retweets iambic pentameter tweets joined by end rhyme and creating surprisingly cohesive and occasionally humorous couplets. Juxtaposition is also a poetic technique that became prominent with Modernism and is a central strategy in Ezra Pound’s poetry and poetics. This entry will analyze “Two Headlines” by Darius Kazemi, “Dreams, juxtaposed” by Allison Parrish, and “And Now Imagine” by Ivy Baumgarten.

Read more…

“Is it Art? (@IsItArtBot)” and “Why Can’t We Date? (@WhyCantWeDate)” by Patrick Rodriguez

These two bots generate responses to questions that have such subjective answers that no number of responses can really satisfy anyone, but do so in thought-provoking and amusing fashion.

 Is it art? @IsItArtBot  Yeah, but is it art?  twitter.com/LightAesthetic
Open “Is it art? (@IsItArtBot)” by Patrick Rodriguez

“Is it art?” explores the challenge to the art world posed by the readymade Dada sculpture “Fountain,” attributed to Marcel Duchamp. His gesture of sending a standard urinal to be displayed in galleries as an art object, with a title and signed “R. Mutt” was very controversial and provoked questions about the nature of art. This bot is on an endless rant on the artistic or not artistic nature of different things, making statement such as:

Read more…

“glitch[META] ~(=^‥^) (@storyofglitch)” by @thricedotted

Tweets Following Followers 2,189 72 68 glitch[META] ~(=^‥^) @storyofglitch follows you (im @thricedotted's twittercat ok) meow meow mew meowww~~ aparrish ghost logic analyzer everyadage Matt Schneider Followed by aparrish, ghost logic analyzer, everyadage and 6 others. glitch[META] ~(=^‥^) ‏@storyofglitch 6m @uncooldana meowwww?? Details glitch[META] ~(=^‥^) ‏@storyofglitch 7m @uncooldana purrrr Details
Open “glitch[META] ~(=^‥^) (@storyofglitch)” by @thricedotted
This bot is “@thricedotted’s twittercat,” a virtual pet that interacts with them and its followers by doing the things cats do. Sometimes it meows or purrs, sometimes it describes actions, such as “*leaves dissected animals on the front step*” and

These tweets occur on a seemingly random timer, but you can always get a reaction by interacting with it. For example, if you follow it on Twitter, it will follow you. If you address it, it responds.

Read more…

“Kenosha Kid (@YouNeverDidThe)” by Darius Kazemi

 Profile summary Kenosha Kid Tweets Following Followers 2,576 1 35 Kenosha Kid @YouNeverDidThe  Brute-forcing an episode from Gravity's Rainbow. Tweets every two hours. By @tinysubversions.  Kenosha · itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagel… Bot Bot BestOf TheBots Matt Schneider Bot Performance  Followed by Bot Bot, BestOf TheBots, Matt Schneider and 4 others.      Kenosha Kid ‏@YouNeverDidThe 39m      You! Never, did the Kenosha Kid...     Details     Kenosha Kid ‏@YouNeverDidThe 3h      You never! Did... The. Kenosha! Kid...     Details  Go to full profile
Open “Kenosha Kid (@YouNeverDidThe)” by Darius Kazemi

This bot is “brute-forcing an episode from [Thomas Pynchon’s novel] Gravity’s Rainbow” by tweeting the words “you never did the Kenosha kid” with different punctuation every two hours. The bot description links to a Language Log entry that explains the episode– basically about a man who, under the effects of sodium amytal, goes on “an obsessive meditation on alternative possible analyses of the six-word sequence ‘you never did the kenosha kid.'” Inspired by the algorithm described here, Darius Kazemi created a bot that seeks all the possible combinations of that word sequence with punctuation (and appropriate capitalization). The result is a tour-de-brute-force of different syntactic structures and meanings that can emerge from this simple string of words. Try reading the following tweets out loud.

Read more…

[Swift File Icon] by Apple Inc.

Swift filetype icon. (Image via TUAW)
Swift filetype icon. Click to enlarge.
(Image via TUAW)

On 2 June, at the annual Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Swift, a new programming language created for the development of Apple software. The new language brought with it a new filetype—the .swift file—which itself came with a new icon. As with all things Apple, the Swift icon was quickly dissected, and it was discovered that the icon for Swift files contained a variant of the text of Apple’s famous Think Different ads, which first aired in 1997. The “Think Different” speech has appeared peppered throughout Apple’s software: as Yoni Heisler notes in his article for The Unofficial Apple Weblog, the text of the speech has appeared in icons for Apple’s TextEdit application and “All My Files” Finder icons.

Read more…

“Jorge Borges (@BabellingBorges)” by Matt Schneider

 Jorge Borges @BabellingBorges  Each book contains four hundred ten pages; each page, forty lines; each line, approximately eighty black letters.
Open “Jorge Borges (@BabellingBorges)” by Matt Schneider

This bot tirelessly carries out a task too large for it to complete within a human lifetime: it explores an idea posed by Jorge Luis Borges in his story “The Library of Babel” of an infinite library full of books that contain a different combination of 23 letters and punctuation marks. “Each book contains four hundred ten pages; each page, forty lines; each line, approximately eighty black letters” (Schneider quotes Borges in the bot’s description). With this bot, Schneider illustrates the concept of this library via Twitter’s own constraints by tweeting 140 characters randomly chosen from 23 alphabetic characters, punctuation marks, and spaces. The result is pure language noise. . . or is it?

Read more…

Share the ♥.