“Automatype” by Daniel C. Howe

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“Automatype” by Daniel Howe

Daniel Howe offers various possibilities for describing Automatype, as “either ambient text art, a weird game of solitaire for the computer, or an absorbing ongoing puzzle for a human viewer.” The installation has nine screens with one word each. The piece uses the RiTa Toolkit , which was specifically developed for the creation of language experiments and generative literature.
Each of the words “evolves” by changing one letter at the time, much like the Word Morph game, but they all work independently of one another.

One might be drawn to read the text in a traditional way, from left to right, from top to bottom, but the changing background color suggests that there are almost infinite ways to read the nine screens:top to bottom; diagonally; center, out and around or with a knight movement. Depending on time, one might find images that Howe describes as “minimal poetry.” Just within a few seconds one might find a phrase like “fate that brew bile mass” written across the screens. But what is fascinating about it is the added dimension of time. Given the succession of words in a screen which offers “thaw that hat,” one could potentially read “fate ate awe.” Perhaps if we watch it long enough, it will.

Note: This work was previously reviewed in I ♥ E-Poetry on May 24, 2012.

Featured in ELO 2012 Media Art Show