December 21, 2014 11:38 PM   Subscribe

There's a kind of randomness with a generative text project that seems hollow -- as though there are no overarching, intentional interpretations that its creator meant the viewer to "get", which is often the case with other electronic writing/art projects.

The Lost Property Report generator is pretty neat -- I'd love to find a tattered suitcase full of krill.
posted by pterodactylichexameter at 11:40 AM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Love this. Thanks.
posted by threeants at 7:06 PM on December 22, 2014

It keeps crashing on me.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:31 PM on December 22, 2014

I do understand the "hollowness" feeling mentioned above, and I have often felt that way about this sort of thing. I've tried and experimented with generated text and images in the past, and I drifted away from it precisely for that reason. Nothing I made ever seemed "human" to me, and I always hated it when I could easily discern the patterns.

But I really don't get that feeling with this. It feels like a complete work to me; it's full of lots of different content that complements all the rest. I think it works as a whole. And the presentation is just lovely.

I like to think of this sort of randomness in the same way as a poetic constraint or fixed rhyming structure, at least when it comes to the person writing the algorithms. You need to have a certain amount of random diversity, but you want to put a certain point across. The artistry becomes about the number of ways you can tell the same sort of story or convey a particular message. When you consider it as a constraint, I think it becomes even more beautiful when a work is able to use and benefit from procedural generation.

I'm so glad I went back through the Metafilter archives that I missed due to Christmas time, or I wouldn't have discovered this. I really like it a lot.
posted by Nossidge at 2:11 PM on January 20, 2015

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