with algorithms subtle and discreet / i seek iambic writings to retweet

Pentametron, my twitter poetry engine, is now online! An experiment in finding inadvertent art in the internet’s endless outpouring of language, pentametron automatically collects twitter posts that happen to be in iambic pentameter. It processes about five million tweets per day, and finds a few dozen iambic lines in that time.

You can follow pentametron’s work in realtime at the twitter feed – @pentametron – or read the collected sonnets at pentametron.com, updated several times per hour.

RT @ginafbabey    Thanks for the love and Karma is a bitch.
RT @Lweeeeeezy    I try and find the good in everyone.
RT @ItsMe_Shay_P  Some females really get beside themselves
RT @6thRosePetals So super disappointed with myself.

RT @mordemmy      It doesn't really matter anymore.
RT @nisaeee       This drama motivated me a lot! 안구정화 짱!!
RT @jayylyrics    she always gotta ruin something good
RT @Teeyaanur     wow gonna do the #lin tonight again..

RT @TerrySupplyCo I really wanna skate a empty pool.
RT @J18mcevoy     I wanna see the hunger games tonight
RT @valerieward95 Wait, does The Hunger Games premiere tonight?

RT @_SyMoan       Not Even Gonna Entertain The Thought
RT @breeannie     Last practice of the season. #bittersweet

This isn’t my first effort at crowd-sourcing sonnets through the internet: I organized the Exquisite Sonnet Project almost 20 years ago (!) and did a similar project through twitter for the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2009. But this is the first one that’s entirely automated — and in which the contributors don’t even know they’re participating.

instrument-a-day 19: tromba marina

(video link)
I made a trumpet marine, or tromba marina from a maple beam, a cello string, a leftover bridge from the 8-bit violin, and a styrofoam cooler as the resonating body. This one’s a bit fancier than the one I made during instrument-a-day 2008.

The tromba marina is fingered below the bow, creating harmonics by lightly touching the string at the nodes. (I tied little bits of thread at the nodal points to make it easier for me to find them.) The bridge is unbalanced so that it vibrates and rattles against the body, making a buzzing sound. It’s an amazingly weird instrument. I love it, but I can’t really play it.

(Here’s a youtube video of a performance with a real Tromba Marina.)

busy summer!

Last month I went to the Lightning Field, brought Sketching Device #1 to the Peabody Essex Museum, and spoke at the Sketching in Hardware conference. Now I really have to get to work.

In September, I’ll be making a wave-powered sound sculpture for the Dumbo Arts Festival (September 23-25). Also showing a bunch of big prints from my produce scan series in the show “(Un)Still Life” at the lobby gallery at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch (September-December). And going to New Orleans to install a sound sculpture in Swoon’s musical house project (opening October 15th). Hopefully I’ll have time for Maker Faire in there somewhere (September 17-18). And I’ll be sending good vibes (and probably laser whistles) to the Festival of Music for People and Thingamajigs in the Bay Area (September 22-25). Then in October, I’ll be going to the Netherlands to speak at VU University Amsterdam and to show a piece at Artbots Gent (October 7-9), and in December, I’ll have a couple of pieces and maybe an installation in Phyllis Chen’s Uncaged Toy Piano Festival in NYC.

So now I’d better get some rest.