Coursework, notes, and progress while attending NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)

First computational poem

For Temporary Expert I’m currently researching the concept “Limits to Growth,” which led me down the path of researching Phosphorus depletion, something I didn’t really know anything about. I decided to use source text from Phosphorus Futures, a research group.

I liked the alliteration I noticed on the website and thought this might be fun to play with more. My first problem was that the paragraph-style structure of my source text didn’t allow me to easily manipulate lines. I created new lines with commas as the delimiter. Then, to maximize alliterative capacity (? sure) I pulled out all the lines that included phos*, or any other word that started with an F. I stuck these lines back together and used the short python program included in the notes to randomize them.

The use of many non-renewable resources is growing exponentially–in the case of Phosphorus, because of its use as a fertilizer. I wanted to play with this idea of exponential growth as well, so I actually created 5 mini poems, each one grabbing exponentially more words/space than the previous one. I ran into a problem sticking them back together because I didn’t know how to insert my own text in between each mini-poem (I would have liked to somehow designate each new generation). As it is now, each one just follows the preceding one with no particular marker.

My source text

Unix commands that would recreate the poem from the source text, excluding all of my experiments

Final poem: P (P being Phosphorus’ chemical element symbol)

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