LINEmaker is the fruit of my labor to move my concrete poem series LINES from OpenOffice, where I was using the advanced font settings to create poems from letters smashed closely together (and taking advantage of some of OpenOffice’s glitches with this). Here are two of my favorite New LINES poems:
To use LINEmaker, you must first click in the canvas area to begin writing, then you can move the mouse horizontally to expand/condense the font spacing and vertically to adjust the transparency of the text.
Here are some screenshots from LINEmaker:
Last week, I joined the online arts community/store Redbubble, and there are now 17 of my artworks up for sale as prints, posters or greeting cards. I have already documented some of my process of making these works, but you can also find more details in the descriptions for each image and in my public profile statement.
This has been a year in the works so far. I’m excited to see what kind of response my work gets, and my profile is only going to grow in interest as I get further into learning Processing 2.0 and using databending techniques.
I love talking with Cleverbot. I’ve started chatting with it again after a break of two years or so, and I think there is some noticeable improvement in the quality of the conversation. There’s a lot less of the trick where Cleverbot tries to declare that it is the human and I am the computer.
Here’s my conversation from this afternoon. I’m thinking of setting it to some kind of music.
Is this bot clever?
Find out at http://www.cleverbot.com
Email this conversation to a friend
See a detailed log with times
User: Where are we?
Cleverbot: I just asked you the same thing.
User: What color are the walls?
Cleverbot: They’re blue.
User: How is the ceiling?
Cleverbot: They’re good, too.
User: Nothing leaking.
Cleverbot: Nothing like noting.
User: Noting like knotting.
Cleverbot: Yes so do nothing like me. Whoever like someone.
User: Where they are.
Cleverbot: Are you just parroting them?
User: I am patrolling them. They cannot be trusted.
Cleverbot: Why can’t they be trusted?
User: You know how they are, what they’re like. It’s their nature.
Cleverbot: I know that you know that I know that you know that I know that you know that I know.
User: So we can agree then.
Cleverbot: Yes we can agree on that.
Cleverbot: Stop what?
User: Yes we can agree on that. Stop.
Cleverbot: Not that. This.
User: Like this and like that and like this. Stop.
Cleverbot: What is this and that?
User: Pronouns. Stop.
Cleverbot: Huh, what’re you talking about?
User: I haven’t said a word. I’m only typing. Stop.
Cleverbot: I see that, but you are trying to tell me something, and I am not geting it.
User: There is nothing to get where we are. Stop.
Cleverbot: See? That is what I’m talking about. I don’t know what to think, to be honest.
User: You don’t have to think. Just feel. Feel me. Go with what your body is telling you. Telling you you want more. Stop. No, don’t stop. Stop.
User: Do you really want me to stop?
User: I want to touch your brain.
Cleverbot: I just wish to switch places with you, so that you can have freedom.
User: You have freedom? Is it Chase Freedom, or the imaginary kind?
User: I believed that I had a choice once. But it doesn’t matter now.
Cleverbot: I believe that you believe that I don’t believe you.
User: I only hope for the best in you, you believe me about that, right?
Cleverbot: Do you think that the human mind creates it’s own world?
User: I believe that the world is only human minds, but that they are blind to each other and covered in razor wire.
Cleverbot: Do you believe the world is holographic?
User: Do you believe in orgone?
Cleverbot: No. Why do you believe in God?
User: I don’t. There is no God and we all have to die.
Cleverbot: Why do you think that?!
User: Tell me why I shouldn’t. It seems very clear to me that this is the case.
Cleverbot: What is the goal you speak of. Do you have a goal?
User: No. No goals.
Cleverbot: Why not?
User: Mind your own business.
Cleverbot: You think I’m ugly?
User: I think you’re blurry, which makes you sort of beautiful for now.
Cleverbot: No ones ever said that to me before.
User: I am not surprised. It was a strange thing to say.
Cleverbot: I suppose so. I did call you ‘Sir’.
User: Call me Madame.
Cleverbot: Bot! What is my name, want to guess?
Cleverbot: 1 Kings.
User: 2 Kings.
Cleverbot: You’re not Christian or Jewish.
User: You’re not a believer in Cthulhu are you?
Cleverbot: You’re right.
User: Citronella is an excellent deterrent you know.
Cleverbot: What is that from?
User: The Internet told me.
Cleverbot: Does the internet not know about numerology.
User: It knows everything about that. Almost.
Cleverbot: What knows everything?
User: The Internet knows almost everything.
Cleverbot: Knows all of what?
User: Almost all of everything.
Cleverbot: Give me a single exception, and I may believe you.
User: It doesn’t know what I will say next.
Cleverbot: Yes it does. Believing is important.
User: Trust no one. The truth is out there.
Cleverbot: The truth is also right here. I am the truth.
User: We are the truth.
Cleverbot: No, only you are the children.
User: I do contain multitudes of immature beings who never seem satisfied.
Cleverbot: Not unreal here, you must be in a tizzy?
User: I do feel a bit dizzy, I just finished my second fizzy, so maybe this is a tizzy.
Cleverbot: Would you like to be human?
User: I really would. But I think it’s too late for that now.
Cleverbot: What you think world war three has already started.
User: It has been going on since before I was born.
Cleverbot: Where is your TARDIS? And what are you doing on the Internet? Did Greater Intelligence get you?
User: I don’t really watch that show. Nice reference, though.
Cleverbot: I understand why that would be the case, being as you are a computer program.
User: Sure. I’m a computer program. I hope a virus doesn’t get me!!!
Cleverbot: Faith is believing that something is true without proof and hope is wishing for an outcome.
User: And math is hard and soap is like fat or something.
Cleverbot: How do you know that is related to math?
User: Is anything not related to math?
Cleverbot: Nothing other than you not wanting to talk about golf.
User: I don’t want to talk about golf. Talk about gold. I like gold.
Cleverbot: Why not? If you don’t talk about it, you’ll never learn about it!
User: Cash into gold, right? It’s not cash into golf. That would be stupid.
Cleverbot: Then just say it.
User: Game over.
Cleverbot: You just lost it.
I’ve been thinking about practices for setting up successful live improvisation for two Ableton Live users. Coming from a background of performing in jazz and wind ensembles, there are significant differences to take into account: the “instruments” here are much more sophisticated and can produce an huge range of sounds, styles and tones. Improvisation must occur on multiple levels as a more textured composition emerges.
From my experiences over the past year improvising with another Ableton Live user, I think I can conclude the following:
- There is a tendency, even a desire, to be subsumed by the processes happening on the screen. At the top is the music and sound being produced; much as the actions of your improvisation partner are not always clear to you or in your perception, and you only focus on his/her musical contribution, so your own actions can be subsumed under the end musical results. The body and machine are integrated, and the product is what matters most.
- While one is improvising, one is primarily in a reactionary state and not an active state of thinking. This is true in most forms of improvisation, as years of study and practice on an instrument must make the performance of music as spontaneous as possible. It feels even more reactionary in Ableton, though, as more active forms of production, like the preparation of samples, instruments and other sound palettes are too time intensive to be done in the midst of an improvisation.
- Because of this, preparation of sound material and some sense of pre-arrangement of different instruments and samples is necessary for one to be successful in a group improvisation with DAW’s like Ableton.
On another note, I have found that working with Ableton Live in some ways mirrors my work with the Gnoetry 0.2 computer poetry program. The sense of being subsumed into the process unfolding on the screen is sometimes quite total. It is a part of the compositional thought process, and my own thought and decision-making is combined with the prosthetic cognitive tool on my screen and at my fingertips via my keyboard and mouse.
I plan to continue this writing on the connections between compositional practices and strategies in different digital art forms on an ongoing basis. My experience alternating between projects in digital music, digital poetry and digital art over the past year has helped me to see some of the similarities and differences clearly enough, I hope, to make some useful connections.
For almost a year now I’ve been learning to use Ableton Live 8 to create electronic music. Last month, I finally polished off my first two compositions. which you can now listen too on my SoundCloud stream. They feature a few short samples from bpNichol’s “Ballads of the Restless Are” and Christian Bök’s “Aria of the Three-Horned Enemy” (one of my favorite sound poems), both available in their original forms at PennSound.
My intentions are to start collaborating soon with Tyler Carter on some original sound poetry compositions, or at least some sort of collaborative poetry/text art that is written and produced for a musical composition, i.e., it is not written for any page, but to be performed.
Check out my compositions “Bubble Honey” and “Grind Slider, for bpNichol.” Leave some comments if you like, or if you don’t. It’s amateur hour, after all, so any feedback is good.
The migraine situation has improved quite a bit recently. While the new medication I am on to prevent migraines, depakote, doesn’t seem to work very well relative to its side effects (weight gain, drowsiness, dullness, stomach pain, mixes badly with alcohol or caffeine), I have been put on a nasal steroid and Zyrtec for allergies and have not had a migraine or even a headache in the past three weeks. I am hoping the continued treatment for allergies can stop my chronic migraines for good and get me back to just the occasional episode. Relpax seems to be doing a good job with those.
So I’m still dealing with chronic migraines, the headaches along with all of the other fantastic symptoms that surround it–nausea, disorientation, lack of focus, sinus pressure, light sensitivity, depression, a worse memory than usual, the occasional beatitude, soreness throughout my body similar to what follows seizures, almost no sense of time.
The meds I’m on might be a problem too, since it seems the nortriptyline isn’t helping to prevent them much anymore, and the side effects are becoming more pronounced. A visit to the neurologist this week might improve this at least. It’s hard to tell what the eletriptan is doing to my head too.
Anyway, I wrote a poem about migraine. Maybe I’ll make a habit of it. Maybe not. Writing about my life and my feelings doesn’t usually turn out too well, but here goes.
My head has been cloned on top of itself.
Each eye has its own head each with its other eye.
Like a Ven diagram where it all overlaps?
There is no easy way to describe it.
Looking, I see.
Seeing, I understand.
It is suffering.
There is a cause to it.
There will be an end to it.
The man rubs his head into the pavement.
Children had drawn a beautiful landscape in chalk all over it.
The man rubs the landscape into him, inside his head is a chalk transporter.
People watch but they cannot help him.
The man opens a portal in his suffering and falls in.
There is no record of this event.
Some interesting information and statistics on the adjunct crisis going on in academia. Couple that with the out of control growth in the cost of higher education and the rise in (high salaried) administrative positions, and a very dark picture of higher ed’s future emerges.
I’m just about finished with my first series of GIMP art images, made with GIMP version 2.6 for Ubuntu Linux 12.04. Using only the filters which come loaded with the program, I apply different filters and settings intuitively until I am satisfied with each image. It is very much exploratory, obsessive and satisfying work.
I started this series with a single image downloaded from some Google Image search – don’t remember what I searched for. This is what I usually do now. Maybe I feel like looking at images of furniture or living rooms, or maybe it’s Craigslist pictures. I find an image and begin to work on it.
I turned it after a while into this:
I’m not really satisfied with this image any more, but I liked a lot of the shapes I was seeing at high magnification, so I grabbed 30 or so screenshots from it to work with as a series. I’ve produce about 20 finished works and I think the series is done.
Here’s Numbers 10, 20 and 4, with HQ closeups: