“How They Brought the News from Paradise” by Alan Bigelow

Screen capture from "How They Brought the News from Paradise" by Alan Bigelow. A dark, stormy night on the open sea where the ships are being violently rocked by the waves, and palm trees and hills can be seen in the far distance. Text: "A skull and crossbones fluttered / over a long, wooden plank / - the bar - / with its beer taps, shot glasses / and alcoholic ballast."
Open “How They Brought the News from Paradise” by Alan Bigelow

This narrative poem tells the mock-heroic adventures of an unlikely antihero on an imaginary quest. As Bigelow describes the piece,

In “How They Brought the News from Paradise to Paterson,” a first-person speaker narrates his story (in heroic verse) as he swims from one end of a resort pool complex to another in search of what he thinks is more alcohol, but is in fact a journey to find his marriage
and himself. The poem plays with the epic and tragic within a setting stifled with consumerism and class separation.

The poem is structured as the monomyth, in which the speaker, while lounging at the Paradise pool bar in a 5-star resort in Barbados, overhears what he interprets as a call to adventure: the bar has run out of rum. Taking upon himself to embark upon a journey through the pool complex to find the god-like Concierge at the far end, whose “sage advice / and quick, imperious commands” would restore the flow of rum in Paradise.

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“@crashtxt / exq=.s.te =n.c&de/s” by Jim Punk

“Tweet Haikus” by Brandon Wood

“@DeleuzeGuattari” “Rhiz-o-Mat” and “PoMoBot” by Anonymous

Screen capture from the “@DeleuzeGuattari” “Rhiz-o-Mat” and “PoMoBot” twitter accounts created by Anonymous. Text: Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd/Bot without Organs/ Tweet 1: Mountains, forests, water, vegetation. "18 the forces of air and water, bird and fish, thus become forces of the earth."
Open “@DeleuzeGuattari” “Rhiz-o-Mat” and “PoMoBot” by Anonymous

This “bot without organs” tweets quotes on an indeterminate schedule and frequency randomly chosen from Deleuze and Guattari’s writings. The generator occasionally punctuates the quotes with a short phrase in slang like “True dat!” This may not even be a bot, but a human being who tweets the results of a random quote search engine focused on their published texts.

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“Pentametron” by Ranjit Bhatnagar

Open “Pentametron” by Ranjit Bhatnagar

This bot generates poetry by sifting through 10% of all Tweets, parsing them with a dictionary for the pronunciation data, and identifying the ones that happen to scan as iambic pentameter. It then organizes the tweets into rhyming couplets and publishes them in Twitter by retweeting the original postings. Finally, it aggregates them into the shape of a Shakespearean sonnet in a website (Pentametron.com) that offers a sequence of 14 sonnets. Every hour, a new couplet is posted, changing all 14 sonnets as one couplet enters the sequence of 98 couplets and the oldest couplet, the final volta, exits the collection.

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“Rapbot” by Darius Kazemi

“Metaphor-a-Minute!” by Darius Kazemi

Screen capture of "Metaphor-a-Minute!" by Darius Kazemi. Twitter profile for @metaphoraminute showing its last two tweets. Text: "Uh, blame @tinysubversions for this one. (Actually one metaphor every two minutes. Twitter rate limits.) / a looper is a ruination: agonistic, alkynyl / a driver is a ninepin: drummer, not recursive"
Open “Metaphor-a-Minute!” by Darius Kazemi

This Twitter bot generates a metaphor every two minutes (in spite of its name, since Twitter places limits on automated posting), and it is more than sufficient. The constraint provides a little breathing room to consider the metaphor before facing a new one. How does one approach this steady stream of conceptually challenging metaphors?

According to George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s cognitive linguistic metaphor theory, a metaphor is a mental process of thinking of one conceptual domain in terms of another. Their method to study metaphor was to identify the source and target domains and map the linguistic expression of the metaphor across both. The poetic practice of the conceit or extended metaphor lends itself well to this kind of analysis, because it overtly explores the connection across both.

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“Walt FML Whitman” by Mark Sample

Screen capture from "Walt FML Whitman" by Mark Sample. Walt FML Whitman home twitter page with two tweets at the bottom. Text: "The young sister holds out the skein, the elder sister winds it off in a ball and / sent them a request on accident #FML" "Well I was supposed to compete at Del Oro tomorrow, but thanks to stupid / shin splints and the plank is thrown for the shoregoing passengers"
Open “Walt FML Whitman” by Mark Sample

This poetic mashup Twitter bot places Walt Whitman in conversation with contemporary people expressing their frustrations in social networks. To be precise, he repurposes Darius Kazemi’s “Latour Swag” code to remix two different Twitter sources: @TweetsOfGrass and original tweets with the #fml hashtag.

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“Latour Swag” by Darius Kazemi

Screen capture of "Latour Swag" by Darius Kazemi. A picture of the @LatourSwag twitter profile showing its most recent tweets. Text: "@latourbot + #swag: an attempt to approximate @10rdben in bot form. Tweets every 15 minutes. By @tinysubversions. It's another ploy by the Finance Ministry and you too will have swag. #SWAG. Since they are able to interrupt, these people must be tied to new interests and boylieber happy JB! #teambieber #ilovejb #SWAG #MyLife"
Open “Latour Swag” by Darius Kazemi

This Twitter bot produces a mashup of the “Bruno Latourbot” and original tweets that use the #swag hashtag. Kazemi describes the selection algorithm in detail in this excerpt from his blog posting about the creation of this bot.

Basically how it works is I get the last 100 Twitter search results for “#swag” that also contain the word “and”. Then I grab the last 100 tweets from @LatourBot. I take every #swag tweet that’s not an RT and push it to an array. I take every @latourbot tweet that has “and” or “,” in it, and push it to an array. Then I say there’s a 50% chance it will be latour-then-swag, and 50% that it will be swag-then-latour. If Latour comes first, I take a random Latour tweet from the array and take all the text up to the “and” or the “,”. Then I take a random swag tweet and take the text after the “and” in it. Then I do latour + ” and ” + swag. There you go.

Here’s a link to the source code.

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“217 Views of the Tokaido Line” by Will Luers

Screenc apture from “217 Views of the Tokaido Line” by Will Luers. White background with a set of three pictures. Text: "his life now / a stationary shop / pilgrims".
Open “217 Views of the Tokaido Line” by Will Luers

This mesmerizing work of observational poetry juxtaposes a generative haiku with a split-screen 6 minute looping video composed of short clips captured along the Tokaido line. Luers’ statement explains the concept in detail in the “About” page.

With our small cameras, smartphones and apps we document our travels. We capture and collect “haiku” moments, tokens of time and space, just as we always have, whether with pen and paper or the bulky camcorder. But with digital technology, we now store these moments as files in searchable databases. How do we use them? Do we try to find the narratives in the fragments or hunt for the suprising incongruities? Perhaps we only care about the isolated moment,the singular shot or sequence, which we “share” as soon as it has rendered. However we narrate experience, our devices and their databases remind us that there are always moments lost in any narrative retelling, always a different path through the data.

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