“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.

“Into the Green Green Mud” by Miriam Suzanne

Screen capture of "Into the Green Green Mud" by Miram Suzanne. A cloud of black scribbles forms behind an apparent tree, from which hangs a broken swing. Text: "(too small to read)"
Open “Into the Green Green Mud” by Miriam Suzanne

“Working Memory” by Ian Hatcher

Open: “Working Memory” by Ian Hatcher

This minimalist scheduled poem engages our ability to hold language in memory in order to act upon it. The text is displayed on two spaces simultaneously, though the header stream begins first before the second one in the box begins to compete for our attention. Each text is displayed one word at a time at a rapid rate, faster than we have grown used to with works by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries or William Poundstone’s “Project for Tachitoscope.” In those cases the texts are synchronized to music, and potentially accompanied by other graphical elements, but Hatcher’s poem strips away all distractions from the text, which allows attentive readers to focus most of their consciousness on one of two textual streams, since it is virtually impossible to actually read both and make sense of them. You have to choose a track or risk having your train of thought derailed, so to speak, because of the speed at which they are displayed— 170 miliseconds per word (over 5 words per second).

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“Algorithmic Poems” by Chris Funkhouser

screen capture from "Algorithmic Poems" by Chris Funkhouser.
Open “Algorithmic Poems” by Chris Funkhouser

This suite of four poems based on W. C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” was written using GTR Language Workbench— a kind of textual Photoshop that allows users to algorithmically select and transform a text. This free and downloadable Mac & Windows software tool created by Andrew Klobucar and David Ayre can be used to analyze and transform texts, generating new ones using new and historical algorithmic methods, such as the Oulipian N+7. It also allows writers to create new algorithms or sequences of transformations to act upon texts, as seen in its tutorial videos (see the Processors and Mixed Processors tutorials in the program’s Help section).

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“Afghan War Diary” by Matthieu Cherubini

 

“Alphabet of Stars” by Whitney Anne Trettien

Screen capture from "Alphabet of Stars" by Whitney Anne Trettien. Gray background with a bunch of mashed up letters in white and black and two words at the bottom. Text: Write. Read.
Open “Alphabet of Stars” by Whitney Anne Trettien

This responsive visual poem is a study of writing technologies and the word, whether it’s “ink sunk into fibrous paper” or “light through liquid crystals.” Inspired by Stephane Mallarmé’s poetic and theoretical writing as studied by Kittler, Trettien’s JavaScript (& JQuery) work explores the range of shades between the white page and the black sky as backgrounds against which writing can occur with light or ink.

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“Wittenoom: speculative shell and the cancerous breeze” by Jason Nelson

Open: “Wittenoom: speculative shell and the cancerous breeze” by Jason Nelson

This award-winning responsive poem focuses on the Australian ghost town Wittenoom, abandoned due to toxic dust caused by asbestos mining. Each of its nine parts focuses on an aspect of the abandoned town and consists of an image from Wittenoom, generally portraying urban decay, an brief looping instrumental audio track, links to other parts of the poem, a title for the section, and a text accessible through different responsive interfaces. A brief parenthetical help text near the bottom left corner of each screen provides encouragement that hints at the interface, promting readers to explore the interactivity and intuit its internal logic. The thematic focus and consistent visual design pull the work together, while the varied interfaces lead to new explorations of the spaces, together producing an experience both jarring and immersive.

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“Little Book of Prompts” by Sylvanus Shaw

Screen capture of "Little Book of Prompts" by Sylvanus Shaw. A series of virtual pages floating in fixed position, among them a crossword puzzle. Text: "(one page cropped out of view) / RORSCHACH CROSSWORD / Part One / IX. Sequence Problem / _ Y _ _ R _ _ N"
Open “Little Book of Prompts” by Sylvanus Shaw

This work prompts readers to write according to a set of poetic constraints, offering original, famous, and obscure forms and examples. The interface offers a series of virtual pages floating in fixed positions in space, and allowing readers to tilt them, zoom in and out, and flip them over to read the examples on their verso. A close examination of its yellowed pages reveals barely perceptible ink marks from handwriting on the other side, but that information is missing when one flips the page. Why evoke such physicality in the pages?

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“Essay” by judsoN

Screen capture from "Essay" by judsoN.  Image of a typical online article. Black text against a white background. Text: "Revolving around identity: Object Indoctrinating our Control/ 2008, Regina De Boulange, M.A., Ph.D, boulange@yale.edu/ KEYWORDS: education, thought, pluralistic, thought, qulia, subverting, signifying/ INTRODUCTION/ Several errors locally commodify in our professional, and some symptomatic systems are experimental. Manifold replacements seamlessly involve. The vector-time basedly sends no anxiousness experimentally. Their semantic is the distinction. Should their objectively fakely fornicate the language, while their magnificent lust urbanly communicates with byte?/ A marketshare rules, and result hoods reify with whom? Contemporary signifiers publicly condemn need drenchedly, although the synthesized arts consult globally
Open “Essay” by judsoN

This work of generative Internet art presents an essay to readers that reads like an essay written by a graduate student that has done nothing but read Postmodern theory for years. The result might be brilliant, nonsensical— perhaps both— but it exists on a different reality as the rest of the world’s and is likely to have little impact on anything. You might as well pump all that high theory into a machine and put together a little program to produce some semi-random output from that lexicon and then see if readers will read the results at face value.

For this piece to have any function at all, requires a mind that is eager to project meaning onto experience. If we expect an experience to be meaningless, our minds certainly do not bother to piece together the chaos of clues that make the world comprehensible. With Chomsky’s famous pseudo-sentence “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.” for example, we undergo an initial attempt to identify a meaningful message. Convincing the mind to choose at the crossroads between potential comprehensibility and inevitable noise is an important task.

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