Juxtaposition Bots: @TwoHeadlines, @oneiropoiesis, and @AndNowImagine

The three bots reviewed in this entry all carry out essentially the same technique– they create a tweet based on the juxtaposition of material from two different sources–  yet produce output that feels quite different. The reasons for this are partly thematic, partly due to the data source, and partly because of the way the … Read more

“Dois palitos” (Two matchsticks) by Samir Mesquita

“Dois Palitos” (“Two matchsticks”) (2008) is the title of an e-poem by short story writer, Samir Mesquita based on “Two matchsticks,” a popular saying in Brazil. The origins of this Brazilian folk expression are difficult to determine, but its significance indicates the rapid execution of a task. The matchbox is a Brazilian’s old friend. Even with … Read more

Genre: Bot

The bot is an e-lit genre that goes as far back as 1966 with Joseph Weizenbaum’s ELIZA, a chatterbot that engaged users in conversation through text entered and displayed in a computer terminal. This concept informed interactive fiction from the 1980s and has breathed life into video game characters ever since. Poetically, bots are also … Read more

“Memory” by Pedro Valle Javier

This cleverly conceptualized poem engages the social media meme as an canvas, cultural construct, and writing constraint. Using a meme generating service to write the texts on the memes and publish them as images, arranging them in the page. As co-author of the webcomic The World According to Geek, Valle Javier could’ve easily arranged the … Read more

“@Tempspence” & “#tempspencepoets” by Mark Marino, Rob Wittig, et. al.

This Twitter character came to life in the “Reality: Being @spenserpratt” netprov, was christened “Tempspence” by Pratt’s followers (as a “temporary” Spencer), and lives on in this Twitter account, along with a community called The Tempspence poets. Their symbiotic existence was sustained by social media interactions of a group of people that came together through … Read more

“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 … Read more

“Rapbot” by Darius Kazemi

This poetry generator uses the Wordnik library’s recent rhyming functionality as dataset suitable for creating rhyming couplets in the ’80s freestyle rap tradition. Examining the source code reveals that the generating algorithm method is simple, but it’s nuanced enough to produce grammatical lines in that tradition. Kazemi wrote 57 line templates each of which was … Read more

@bogost_ebooks, @bogost_ebooks_ebooks, and More

This set of Twitter accounts have a little literary and other kinds of fun with, around, and in spite of Ian Bogost’s Twitter account: @ibogost (depicted below). A leading scholar and creator of video games, he has garnered a large Twitter following by voicing his opinions on his areas of expertise and interest, as well … Read more

“Frequency [Terza Rima and Sonnets]” by Scott Rettberg and the Machine (part 3 of 5)

This is part 3 of a series of 5 postings on poems generated by the “Frequency” program. For an overview of the series, visit the first entry. The terza rima and sonnets generated by the “Frequency” program have two main challenges: coherence over a greater number of lines and the rhetorical expectations that come with … Read more