Wed 20 Apr 2011
Thu 28 Jan 2010
An algorithmic poem/painting by Brian Kim Stefans
Music by Leo Ornstein
Played by Marc Andre Hamellin
Text derived from the New York Times
Depending on your OS, please click the application “Suicide on an Airplane 1919″ to start. The piece should run for three and a half minutes.
This piece is best viewed on a monitor with a 16:10 aspect ratio. If your monitor does not have this aspect ratio, then it is not advised that you go to full screen mode. Adjust the viewing window accordingly to approximate this ratio.
I recommend the downloaded version only because I haven’t debugged this on a lot of different computers, and so have no idea how the different browser versions look.
Tue 11 Aug 2009
One of my old pieces that collaged New York Times articles and the writings of Situationist Raoul Vaneigem has found its way into a journal called International Peacekeeping. The authors cite the article, authored by one “R. Vaneigem,” as describing “the views of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government on Iraqi possession of WMD’s.”
I can’t say that I’m proud of misleading a group of well-intentioned scholars about details of this most recent Iraq war, but then again, they should have read the article and noted its context on arras.net. They didn’t, in fact, quote from the text, and so Vaneigem’s impact on future historians’ views of the war will be quite minimal.
You can see the citation in footnote 45 (on the second page).
View pages on Google Books.
Or you could look at my screencaps. Click to enlarge:
Tue 11 Aug 2009
I was throwing a party in my very unstable house in Philadelphia and wanted to strongly recommend, in fact command, my guests not to flush anything down the second-floor toilet that might clog it. So I created a simple “Uncle George Says…” poster in Photoshop that stated just that, but had so much fun doing it that I had to create more and hang them around the house.
In hindsight, the writing’s not all that good, but I think the concept of crafting an extended, largely paratactic George Carlin rant about things plummeting into the void, and that veers off into the political and surreal, is still interesting.
Mon 27 Jul 2009
More or less done with this first version of the Letter Builder. It doesn’t do much for a user on the web since you can’t actually save a file (for security reasons having to do with Java). I’m looking for a work-around.
If you open the program up and press “l” (lower-case L), the image above will be loaded, but in its animated form. I’ve also created a short instruction manual for the tool, in case you decide to take your letter builder seriously.
Pressing the 9 key will load an image of David Lynch. You can begin to trace his face by changing to TRACE mode (by pressing M). Changing the opacity of the image by using the number keys will make tracing easier. That’s a fun way to waste an afternoon.
The Lynch image is just a proof of concept. My hope is to be able to trace letterforms and other pictures, but I don’t have a proper loader designed yet.
Wed 22 Jul 2009
I’ve been developing this little software application in Processing for creating letterforms and doodles for future versions of the “Scriptor” (here and here) series of digital projections. In fact, I’m moving the whole project from Actionscript to Processing, if for no other reason than that Processing was invented by one of my peers at UCLA, Casey Reas, along with Ben Fry. Processing is also built on Java, which I’m guessing runs a little bit faster than Actionscript, but of this I can’t be sure. (more…)
Sun 17 May 2009
Sun 17 May 2009
Sample footage of algorithmic poem/painting digital projection Scriptor, version 1, captured from the computer screen by CamStudio.
“The Scriptor series is meant to bring some of that free form doodling into the digital world. For the project, I created my own letterform creation program that, purposefully, lacks many of the elements of professional graphics programs such as Illustrator and Flash that encourage symmetry, cut-and-paste, and the mathematically precise placement of objects that we associate with digital design, not to mention much digital art. These letterforms and doodles are all by hand, and by eye — they are a version of penmanship for the screen, but one in which each line or stroke of the letterform can be animated algorithmically (something you can’t do with standard fonts). The words themselves are parsed from news articles interesting phrases are randomly picked out, given randomly generated sizes, placements and trajectories, as well as a crazy level (that’s the name of the variable in the program) that determines their legibility. This crazy level can grow or shrink — once the crazy level reaches a certain pitch, the letter explodes, but in some instances letters can be brought back from the brink of disaster to reach a stable state again.”
Wed 12 Nov 2008
Some time ago, when I posted a .pdf version of “Name: A Novel” on /ubu editions, I noted that there were exactly 4 Google hits for the author of the book, Toadex Hobogrammathon. Memory being what it is, I can’t remember what those links were, but I gave it another shot recently to see if I could dig up something about this mysterious personage. To date, I know of only the following which can be directly attributed to him/her, or at least to this pseudonym — there might be others out there. Two are weird blogs, one is the novel.
The primo blog to read by Toadex H. is Dagmar Chili Pitas. I’ve already linked to this blog from FSC, but haven’t as yet done any serious writing about it. The real title might just be “Dagmar Chili,” “Pitas” being simply the name of the service provider. But like Kleenex and Xerox, the name seems to have stuck.
What appears to be a test run up to Dagmar Chili Pitas is Doxo Wox. I found out about it on a blog that seemed to be following Toadex H. back in the day. I haven’t seen proof, other than a similarity of style, that this is by Toadex H., but the similarities are strong (or more particularly, with the early part of Name, the next link).
And then there is Name: A Novel, which I describe in some detail on the following page.
I can’t find the original page on which “Name” first appeared. I don’t remember who among us (mostly like one of the ubuweb folks) discovered it. But I do remember exchanging an email or two with Toadex about putting it up, all lost in one of several crashed or stolen hard drives.
In any case, I’m trying to, uh, research Toadex Hobogrammathon for some writing I hope to do on digital poetry and the whatnot. Below are the only links (not including links to the ubu page, of which there are several) that come up with “Toadex Hobogrammathon.” Appears that, at some time, he/she occasionally dropped a note on some blogs regarding some issue (Zukofsky one time) that needed addressing, though in typically off-beat fashion.
One poster writes that “Mr. Toadex is a friend” of his/hers, that person being listed only as “a” (with no email address). So I’m hardly hot on the trail. But if any of you out there (does anyone read this blog anymore? If not, I understand, it’s sucked for so long) know anything about Toadex, drop me a line.
It’s at this website that Toadex asks about Zukfosky:
thro yr Ardent urgency, have I can come to Z;
accidental Ctrl-b, close window, I wrote a something to Ray, … ;;;; What may I be writing an Rutgersial anthological comment on Zukofsky, do yo have any bookings to recomment,?? Or articles?? Are you attributed to him?
I mean, I’m drafted by class, to write by an anthology of Rutgers, what Z did and said, and so forth. I got a goddamn refridgerator the last guy had to assault me with some whirr less than buzzing, when one dranks enough to listen.
And before a four days ago, I didnaot know tha te emoeuseic of A24 is H via C, so enough of tracking up and through the left,
good days to you and thakn yuo of all the
Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast
(It’s in this one that one of the commentors mentions that Mr. Toadex is a friend, in the same sentence as recommending Kenneth Goldsmith’s Fidget for a conceptual audio project.)
[Postscript: the word "Toadex" brings up several more hits that are relevant, but I don't have the time right now to post them. Will soon.]
Sat 24 May 2008