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David Link «Poetry Machine 1.0»
David Link, «Poetry Machine 1.0», 2001 – 2002
© David Link

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Keywords: Montage | Found Footage

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icon: authorRudolf Frieling «The Archive, the Media, the Map and the Text»


Germany | Concept: David Link | Participants: Doepner, Stefan; Vaupel, Lars (f18); O'Kane, Robert [technical support] | Edition / Production: ZKM, Karlsruhe; Neue Galerie, Graz; KHM, Köln | Internet-installation

 David Link
«Poetry Machine 1.0»

The interactive installation operates with a keyboard as interface, an Internet connection and two video displays. «Poetry Machine» is a word processor that extracts associations. The sources of information for this self-composing poetry machine are the gigantic pools of information on the Internet. When a word is typed that is as yet unknown to the poetry machine, the program will send out autonomous ‹bots› to the Internet to collect texts in which the word in question occurs. This action of the bots, searching sites and documents, can be watched on a plasma screen by the side of the installation. In this interaction of machine words and human text, «Poetry Machine» creates a new écriture automatique, where language is no longer the exclusive domain of human thought but also that of the internal logic of computers.
«The visitor enters a dimly lit room. On a projection screen runs the text that is written by nobody. The keys of the keyboard move as if by a ghost's hand. A monotone, mechanical voice reads out the generated text, sentence by sentence.
Without the public nearby, the system writes quickly and fluently. Thunderstorm of letters. Incessantly, one word follows the other. When visitors approach, the text generator staggers, hesitates, at times grows completely silent. The system leaves the scene to the observer and invites him to strike the keys himself. If he enters text, it appears on the screen like the machine's. Poetry Machine takes up his text and associates starting with his words. The flow of texts in the interplay between the human and the machine doesn't cease.»