ICM Final Project
Here's the Processing applet so far. The five gauges along the bottom of the screen represent the applet's current state, and can be controlled using the following keys:
|Gauge 1||q||a||Word order randomness|
|Gauge 2||w||s||Randomness of letters within words|
|Gauge 3||e||d||Causes words to randomly disappear|
|Gauge 4||r||f||Causes letters to randomly disappear|
|Gauge 5||t||y||All vowels progressively replaced with 'e'|
(These five dimensions are only the first of ten to twelve that I plan to implement.)
The program allows the user to make incremental adjustments to the level of randomness applied to certain features of a text. These features include:
- visibility: whether a unit appears or not;
- order in sequence, such as the order of letters within a word;
- identity: whether a unit is expressed by itself or by a related stand-in, such as a synonym or a letter that represents a sound similar to the original.
The units of text susceptible to these changes are letters, words, and lines.
The program is primarily a creative vehicle for uncovering, by random juxtaposition, previously unseen relationships between elements in a text. The use of analog controls facilitates the fine-grained adjustment of randomness, allowing the user to explore the line between meaning and unintelligibility. The program is, in essence, a means of exploring the following question: Is there a "perceptual threshold" for meaning in written texts? At what point does a text stop being unintelligible and start being meaningful?
(It should also be kind of fun to play with.)
In its final form, the program will be controlled not by the keyboard but by a control panel. I believe that this will be a more seamless and intuitive interface for the program. The panel will consist of ten to twelve potentiometers hooked up through a multiplexer and an Arduino, whose values are routed to Processing over a serial connection. My current idea for the panel's interface design is after the jump.
Click the image to see the full-size version.
The interface design reflects one of the original ideas behind this project, which was to create a "mixer" for text ("mixer" in the music production sense). I'm not sure what's going to go in that lower-right hand square. I'm considering a button for "save" that saves the current text and uploads it to a website for all to see, or sends the current text to a printer.