A data visualization project created by Fernanda Duarte, Brent Simoneaux and Samara Mouvery that consists of a recreation of bpNichol’s programmed poem “Self Reflexive No. 1”.
This project was first exhibited at the Computers and Writing Conference (Architexture: Composing and Constructing in Digital Spaces), at North Carolina State University in 2012. Originally designed in Apple II language, the poem consists of the sentences, “Dream you Lost”, and “Toss all Night”, blinking and scrolling down the screen. We recreated the poem by reprogramming it in its processing. The foreground of the screen displayed the sentences perpendicularly crossing each other. In intervals of a few seconds they would toss around the screen and replicate themselves. The background of the screen displayed a “wallpaper” of tweets as . the program interfaced with Twitter to find tweets about insomnia and display them, line by line, in real time. In this way, the code breaks away from the self-containment of the original poem and seeks public manifestations of self-disclosure regarding lack of sleep. The level of personal disclosure in bpNichol’s poem and the common use of social media to publicize private information prompted us to think about physical spaces that could be analogous to the sense of great privacy and secrecy. This is how the metaphor of the psychiatrist’s office and the practice of therapy as a technique to exercise self-disclosure came into play for the Sentient Room Project.