Self-Reflexive no.1 : A recreation of bP Nichol’s poem
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A data visualization project created by Fernanda Duarte, Brent Simoneaux and Samara Mouvery. It was first exhibited at the Computers and Writing Conference (Architexture: Composing and Constructing in Digital Spaces), at North Carolina State University in 2012. It consists of a recreation of bpNichol’s programmed poem ‘Self Reflexive No. 1.’ Originally designed in Apple II language, the poem consisted of the sentences ‘Dream you Lost,’ ‘Toss all Night’ blinking and moving down the screen. Our recreation of the poem consisted of reprogramming the poem in processing. In the foreground of the screen, the sentences were drawn perpendicularly, crossing each other. In an interval of a few seconds they would toss around each other and replicate themselves. In the background of the screen, a ‘wallpaper’ of tweets, was brought together. The program, in interface with Twitter, searches for tweets about insomnia and draw them, line by line, in real time. In this way, the code breaks down with the self-containment of the original version of the poem and reaches out to public manifestations of self-disclosure about 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.