A2Z: Text Drum (Midterm idea)
For my A2Z midterm, I'm going to implement a portion of my thesis. I'm calling my thesis New Interfaces for Textual Expression; it consists of a series of devices and interfaces intended to make the act of creating text more like a performance. These devices augment or replace the keyboard (and other literal means of input); they're designed to be intuitive (for both the user and the observer) yet still create unique (baffling, nonsensical, even touching) and readable texts.
My midterm project will be one of the devices I need to prototype for my thesis. I call this one the Text Drum:
Here's how it's supposed to work. The Text Drum allows you to "play" a source text. Playing a perfectly steady rhythm will output the source text (word by word) in its original order. As you syncopate the beat, however, the words will be scrambled, with an amount of entropy proportional to your distance from the beat.
The implementation will consist of a hardware component and a software component. The hardware presents the main technical stumbling block, since I have no idea how to build something like this. Piezos may be involved. The software will consist of some kind of receiver for reading data from the controller, which will send the data to my Semantic Anomalizer—a WebKit-based text editor that responds to OSC (more details here).
Depending on time, I may end up presenting a prototype that includes only the software portion, with the drum emulated by key strokes. We'll see.