The MicroPoet 200 is a creative tool for transforming texts. The applet, source code, and instructions for use are available here.
Example output (click for full-size images):
This video shows the screen-based component MicroPoet 200 in action (512x384 QuickTime, ~2MB).
What relationships lie hidden in a text? At what point does a text stop being unintelligible and begin being meaningful? Is it possible to create abstract, illegible text that nonetheless have a means of mediation with the reader? The MicroPoet 200 is designed to explore these questions.
The MicroPoet 200 parses a given text into three kinds of units: lines, words, and letters within a word. These units are individually susceptible to three types of transformation:
- 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 another word or letter with the same width (in pixels)
These transformations are applied randomly across the text. The MicroPoet 200's interface controls the extent to which the transformation applies. For example, if the "letter visibility" control is set to 0, all letters will be visible; at 50%, each letter has 50% chance of appearing; at 100%, all letters are invisible.