Sunday, July 17, 2016

Computer-Generated Poetry and Fractals

Here's an entirely different post for today. Since you are here, you know I'm a photographer. Perhaps you wouldn't find it too surprising to hear I'm also interested in all kinds of graphics and visual designs. But very few of you probably know I also have a degree in Literature, and computer programming is one of my hobbies. Combining all of the above, something like this eBook happened:

It began as a joke, but as it acquired more and more... flesh, I decided to let it loose out in the wild and see what happens. I created a small program (written in Python) that allows a computer to "compose" poetry. Basically, it takes random words from the English language (following certain linguistic rules I have given it) and puts them together in verses.

For the graphic part, I simply used some of the many fractal-generating tools out there, to draw patterns based on mathematical equations.

So, when all is said and done, you have a machine that "composes" poetry and "draws" designs. What does it mean for art? And for meaning? More importantly, where is the role of the viewer (that's you!) in all this?

You can read a free sample here, without leaving this page:

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