“I AM THAT I AM” (@PERMUTANT)” by Zach Whalen

  Daily permutational poem. Inspired by Brion Gysin. Coded by @zachwhalen.  zachwhalen.net/pg/mute/mute.s…
Open “@PERMUTANT” by Zach Whalen

This bot, inspired by and named after a famous 1960 poem (and concept) by Brion Gysin, publishes a daily permutational poem on Twitter. Each poem consists of 120 lines, derived from permutations of the first line (and title), and tweeted about 5 lines per hour on a semi-random timer, taking a day to publish completely. As of the publication of this entry, it is beginning the third cycle of tweeting its (currently) 65 poems.

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“sc4da1 in new media” by Stuart Moulthrop

titleImagesc4da1 in new media“, a Flash poem/rage-game by Stuart Moulthrop, is as outrageous as it is delightful. The piece is composed of two alternating interfaces: a rage-game remediation of Pong; and a transient text. Every time you beat a level of the remediated Pong, you access a new installment of the transient text. There are six levels to the remediated Pong. The perversity of this rage-game version of Pong makes Chiku’s “Syobon Action” (“Cat Mario”) a piece of cake in comparison. I almost broke a vocal cord when I made it to level 6.

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“A Look Back” by Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook Team

Screen Capture from "A Look Back" by Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook Team. A video player with a centered text in white with the Facebook Logo. Text: "A Look Back".
Open “A Look Back” by Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook Team

On Tuesday, February 4, 2013, Facebook released a generated video titled “A Look Back” to commemorate their 10th anniversary.

A Look Back is an experience that compiles your highlights since joining Facebook. Depending on how long you’ve been on Facebook and how much you’ve shared, you’ll see a movie, a collection of photos or a thank you card (link).

For those who have share plenty, this work assembles images and status updates from your Facebook feed and arranges them to be displayed on a video template that organizes them into several topics, to be described below. One could see this generated movie is a kind of Hallmark ecard from Facebook to you, designed to please you with pretty music and images you’re most likely to enjoy. And at that level, the work is a likeable bauble, as enjoyable and forgettable as a well chosen greeting card or something you’ve “liked” on Facebook. But part of its interest is in how effectively Facebook is able to use its metadata to mine its user’s database and generate a a surprisingly effective customized experience that could be considered an unexpected e-poem.

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“Paperwounds,” by Andy Campbell

Screen capture of “Paperwounds,” by Andy Campbell. Black backround. Picture of a wrinkled paper.
Open “Paper Wounds,” by Andy Campbell

“Paperwounds,” is an intimate look into the sometimes-surreal, often-manic realm of the suicidal and depressed. It is an intense snapshot of the numerous facets that go into the decision of taking one’s own life, each of its disparate parts aligning to form a piecemeal narrative readers may only ever really guess at in its entirety. Presented as a crumpled up piece of paper, readers “unwrap” the suicide note by clicking on the highlighted/pulsating words within its folds. Doing so exhumes other, shorter notes the writer placed within the virtual letter, each one a different illustration of–perhaps–what drove the fictional victim to this ultimate negation of self. The interface, technological sounds, and brief animations when you mouse over certain texts combined with the ruined state of the materials create a forensic tone for the work, casting the reader in the role of an investigator. The poem may be zoomed in on, zoomed out from, flipped, rotated, dimmed, and made completely invisible–though doing any of the aforementioned does not seem to change the nature of the text at first glance.

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“Minicontos Coloridos” by Marcelo Spalding et al.

Screen capture from Minicontos Coloridos 1 by Marcelo Spalding et al. On a white background,the title is "Minicontos Coloridos." "Minicontos" is colored black and "Coloridos" is in multicolor. Smaller text in black follows.
Open “Minicontos Coloridos” by Marcelo Spalding, et. al.

Minicontos Coloridos  is a collaborative project conceived by Brazilian journalist, writer and teacher Marcelo Spalding in 2013. The short tales are structurally and conceptually associated with colors in a playful way. To access the stories, the reader should mix the primary RGB colors through a pull down menu available on the website in HTML which hosts the tales interface. The website offers three blending options for each of the three primary colors, totaling 27 short tales.

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“Memory” by Alckmar Luiz dos Santos and Gilbertto Prado

Screen capture of "Memory" by Alckmar Luiz dos Santos and Gilbertto Prado. Words and numbers are seen through a fisheye lens, distorting the image into circular shapes. Text: "(illegible)"
Open “Memory” by Alckmar Luiz dos Santos and Gilbertto Prado

Memory” is an interactive digital poem composed by kinetic texts and speech sound programmed in Flash by Brazilian researchers and digital poets Alckmar Luiz dos Santos and Gilberto Prado.

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“What Would I Say?” by Pawel, Vicky, Ugne, Daniel, Harvey, Edward, Alex, and Baxter

Sample output generated from my Facebook feed.
Sample output generated from my Facebook feed.

This app uses your Facebook feed as a data set to perform a Markov Chain analysis and generate new status updates from it. In other words, it uses your status updates as a lexicon to assemble a few sentences that echo your style, interests, concerns, and topics. Written in HTML and JavaScript, this little app was created during HackPrinceton 2013, a hackathon that attracted about 500 students this past weekend (November 8-10) to create “real-world projects.” The result is this uninvasive little bot that runs on the user’s browser (client-side scripting), connects to your account with an app via the Facebook API, and posts– with your permission– the status updates it generates. The beauty of this approach is that your privacy is protected because your Facebook data and authentication information aren’t stored anywhere but in your browser and Facebook account. You can also enter a friend’s Facebook username or a celebrity’s page name and it will also generate mock status updates. Here are some examples published in the site:

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“Visualizing I ♥ E-Poetry” by Leonardo Flores

On Monday, August 19, 2013 I presented some of my data visualization work at the Visualizing Electronic Literature seminar and workshop at the University of Bergen. Because I was unable to physically attend, I prepared the following video presentation. For more information, see my entry at leonardoflores.net.

“Dois palitos” (Two matchsticks) by Samir Mesquita

Screen capture from “Dois palitos” (Two matchsticks) by Samir Mesquita. Photograph of an open matchbox standing upright on its side, bearing a logo of two burning matches. A larger box bearing the same logo as the matchbox is visible in the background. Text: "dois palitos, Samir Mesquita"
Open “Dois Palitos” by Samir Mesquita

“Two matchsticks” (2008) is the title of an e-poem by short story writer, Samir Mesquita based on “Two matchsticks,” a popular saying in Brazil. The origins of this Brazilian folk expression are difficult to determine, but its significance indicates the rapid execution of a task. The matchbox is a Brazilian’s old friend. Even with the absence of musical instruments several sambas have been created accompanied only by the cadenced rhythm of these improvised little rattles. Today, in the Internet and microblogging age, the matchboxes inspires new literary genres.

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“Fuck You” by Cee-Lo Green, et al.

Still from "Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green
Open “Fuck You” by Cee-Lo Green

This video for Cee-Lo Green’s 2010 hit song “Fuck You” uses kinetic typography to deliver and emphasize its lyrics in perfect synchronization with the song.

Kinetic typography has a rich tradition in film and television, particularly title sequences (as discussed recently in this entry), as well as in electronic literature (there are currently 288 entries of works categorized as kinetic in I ♥ E-Poetry). Different digital technologies have allowed writers to animate language, going back as far as bp Nichol’s “First Screening” (1984) using Applesoft Basic. In addition to programming or creating animated GIFs, authoring programs like Macromedia (now Adobe) Director, Flash, and Adobe After Effects placed sophisticated animation tools for writers to make words dance during the 1990s until the present. Adobe After Effects has long been used for video compositing and kinetic typography, producing video output that was delivered primarily through television, cable, and film. These rise of streaming video services, such as YouTube and Vimeo in 2005 and their integration with social media (or development as social media) have brought this genre to the masses, who are now developing abundant works and communities, and catching the attention of mainstream media.

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