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cheon’s revenge (compressed 1)

April 17, 2012

 

4/17/12 – alternating characters from lines of concatenated codework pseudohaiku from wikinews stories, with codework insertions using words from Conrad Heart of Darkness and Gibbons Decline and Fall, with all punctuation removed.

The idea is to pack it up, compress it, to increase the ratio of readings per character.

“poets today just have SO no brains.” – my kid, after reading my stuff

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2012 1:43 pm

    >The idea is to pack it up, compress it, to increase the ratio of readings per character.

    Hrm. That sounds familiar…..

    What tools are you using to generate the images?

  2. April 21, 2012 1:52 am

    >The idea is to pack it up, compress it, to increase the ratio of readings per character.

    Hrm. That sounds familiar…..

    Does it? Where from? This whole idea sounds vaguely familiar to me too, but I don’t remember from where. Maybe some Oulipo people?

    What tools are you using to generate the images?

    I’m just doing this in OpenOffice and trimming a screen capture. Once I figure out the right affordances I’m going to automate it more. For example, i could have a program search through the square (i.e. looking at vertical and diagonal words, crossword-like) and selecting those with greater words readable that way. And, of course, I should look for better sets of words. I’m still trying to figure out what works. Originally I thought the interleaved chains of codework pseudohaiku would drive narration, but you really have to look to read those; instead the eye is naturally drawn to adjacent sets of characters. (though it’s nice to have those “hidden” readings for those who trace the bold and plaintext strings.) It’d be good to keep those harder readings while improving the easier readings, I’m currently thinking.

    • April 24, 2012 3:57 pm

      The idea is to pack it up, compress it, to increase the ratio of readings per character. [….] Does it? Where from?

      I think that describes half of my approach to writing since 1990. Certainly with XraysMonaLisa. Either my mixing intended meanings with semi-random words (causing the intentionality to become suspect, and the random to be viewed as intention), or the attempts with planar texts to have letters above or below (or intersperesed) suggest alternate/simultaneous readings.

      I’m just doing this in OpenOffice and trimming a screen capture.

      Do the simplest thing that will work.

      And I thought you were automating ImageMagick, or something…..

      I’ve been thinking about outputting TextMunger into some overlayed images…. but that’s more of a musing. Around 2000, I was printing punctuation-stripped, large-fonts excerpts from XraysMonaLisa onto found book pages via laser printer.

      • April 26, 2012 12:55 am

        I think that describes half of my approach to writing since 1990.

        OK… I must have internalized that from your wiki and forgotten where I got it from. (er… I mean I uncreatively plagiarized it as a conceptual ‘new aesthetic’ appropriation! lolz) either way, I recommend everyone check out your xradiograph wiki for more quality ideas.

        And I thought you were automating ImageMagick, or something…..

        If I end up automating it, I’m thinking of using cascading style sheets, though ImageMagick is a good option too.

      • April 26, 2012 11:39 am

        People have been consciously doing this since William Carlos Williams. I’ve written entire papers on this point alone. Freaken Hemingway was know for this technique for Christ’s sake. My god. The impudence!

      • April 26, 2012 5:24 pm

        People have been consciously doing this since William Carlos Williams.

        Yeah, if you think of it that generally, even the greeks and latins probably did something similar. I guess we all do our own takes on it.

      • April 26, 2012 6:16 pm

        Actually, I don’t think they did. In Minimalism, the idea is to pack as much meaning into as few words as possible. Greeks and Latins read differently than we do. They read aloud, actually, and more likely than not, there were other people around listening to them do it. Most of their poetry was in a fixed meter.

      • April 26, 2012 6:36 pm

        Greeks and Latins read differently than we do.

        Correction, I was thinking of those ancient Semitic languages that lacked written vowels, and in which readings could be ambiguous (until notation was developed to handle this.) I don’t know that this was ever exploited by poets, though.

      • April 27, 2012 8:40 pm

        Exactly.

  3. April 21, 2012 12:15 pm

    Lossy compression! (btw I love this)

    • April 24, 2012 3:58 pm

      Even better — gainful compression! It expands to a size greater than the original, uncompressed version!

    • April 26, 2012 12:57 am

      Lossy compression! (btw I love this)

      Thanks, JYNX! It reminds me a bit of Wordles, being a visualization. (though lingwedge is right, it kinda becomes generative too.)

  4. eRoGK7 permalink*
    April 21, 2012 8:09 pm

    Yeah, this is fascinating stuff. Visually appealing, and figuring out an approach to reading it is an interesting challenge as well, sort of like solving a puzzle which has no correct answers and no set path through it.

    And poets do have brains. We just choose not to let them get in the way of the poetry sometimes.

  5. April 26, 2012 1:02 am

    Yeah, this is fascinating stuff.

    Thanks, eRoGK7! I was explicitly inspired by the grOnk concrete poetry that Lori Emerson has been scanning, along with some of your typographical poems, and obviously codework. (as well as lingwedge’s work as described above.)

  6. April 30, 2012 1:18 pm

    >In Minimalism, the idea is to pack as much meaning into as few words as possible.

    I don’t know if I’d agree with that. Not so much the packing, as the meaning. But perhaps we’re working with different definitions of “Minimalism” ? I’m not working with a solely-textual definition, so I’m thinking about math and music, and think of minimalism from the approach of information theory, and getting maximal output from minimal inputs.

    A great example is Ligetti’s Poeme Symponique, for 100 metronomes. Each metronome is wound slightly differently, set to different speed. But the instructions are simple. Once started, it’s a mass of synchronous tocking, that slowly gets out of phase, and lasts for — twenty minutes? — of continuously changing (non-tonal) texture.

    Or Terry Riley’s In C, with a simple score performed by all players, that virtually guarantees no two performances are the same (outside of standard performance variations), while still remaining tonal.

    Obtaining maximal (meaningful) output from the text above does not rely upon meaning having been emplaced, but the method of construction certainly encourages a multiplicity of meaningful (or otherwise) extractions.

  7. April 30, 2012 3:34 pm

    I’m not certain that meaning can be “emplaced” – at least by the author. The “meaning” is (to my estimation) the “output”, whereas the text itself is the “input”. Embedded within the poem is a secondary level of the transformation from input into output, which edde speaks of in his post, along with the main idea, which is to “increase the number of readings per character.” I read your original post “Hrm. That sounds familiar…..” as thinking you are somehow the progenitor of such notions, and this is your attempt to defend that supposition?

  8. April 30, 2012 9:51 pm

    I am a pro-genitor of such notions, inasmuch as I am pro- for such notions, amongst many other genitors, like Edde Addad. I did not mean to imply that Edde Addad was mis-attributing his impulses, or even that he had elided our brief exchanges from his memory; it was more along a lines of “oh, hey! yeah! that’s cool stuff! I’ve tried to do it to, only I wish I had more stick-to-it-iveness than you have” or something like that.

    I do believe meaning can be emplaced. I am attempting to do so right now. I believe you were attempting to do so around 3:34 pm today. Whether or not either of us succeeded, is up for grabs. Whether or not anybody cares is up for grabs. That’s good old fashioned authorial intent. It’s a great thing — but it’s not the be-all end-all. It’s the tip of a diving board, the pool is a long ways down, olympic*-sized, and it looksto be filled with alphabet soup. CANNONBALL!

    * this lower-case occurrence in no way implies that this comment is an official comment of the 2012 upper-case Olympic Games “Inspire a Generation” nor an endorsement of the policies, procedures, city selections, logotypes, or marketing plans of the International upper-case Olympic Committee.

    [the previous comment attributed to othermichael was by me, as we are pretty much the same].

  9. April 30, 2012 10:08 pm

    edde’s genitors are roiling with fecundity.

  10. May 1, 2012 10:25 am

    edde’s genitors are roiling with fecundity.

    Ha !!!

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