Cut-up Codework Meow Mix

Wednesday 1 February 2012, 9:37 pm   ////  

“A 1700 line text generated using a string of unix commands to process a short text file describing an encounter with a cat.”

This is all thanks to James W. Morris. He is the author and artist – not the cat.

5 Comments »

  1. I have a bold and provocative question about this work; I hope it won’t be taken as being unnecessarily offensive or unkind. Nonetheless:

    Why is this… good?

    Comment by Chris — 2012-02-01 @ 9:41 pm
  2. I don’t understand what’s happening here which usually isn’t a problem but, like the comment above, I’m not feeling it which is rare for a Grand Text Auto post

    maybe a little context or explanation in the post would help?

    Comment by Simon — 2012-02-02 @ 3:05 am
  3. I don’t have a heavy interpretation of this one, but I can offer some things about it that I find interesting.

    To me, it’s a visually pleasing arrangement; I like scrolling up and down and looking at the pattern for a while. I don’t feel right now like I want to study it deeply or, certainly, like I want to try to read it all, but I do want to return and look at it further, so I “bookmarked” the image for myself by posting about it — and for others in case they like the way this looks, too.

    The piece has some elements of glitch, codework, and retro-styled work that I’ve seen without falling easily into any of those categories. You can read it, but the context of Morris’s work (see the links on the left side) is more of a visual art context, with code playing a role in a great deal of it. It looks to me like the output text is generated from the generating string of Unix commands as well as from an existing text. That means I could at least imagine trying to figure out and recover how it was created by looking at the output. So the piece suggests things about how digital and computational objects bear different sorts of traces of their making.

    It’s definitely a grand (as in large) text that was automatically generated.

    And it’s about cats, which is classic for a media object on the Internet.

    Sigh. Now I’ve given all of this away and neither Post Position readers, Grand Text Auto readers, or my students will be able to enjoy developing a perspective like this. But I’m sure there are other productive takes on this.

    Comment by Nick Montfort — 2012-02-02 @ 9:47 am
  4. Thanks Nick for taking the time to reply, before I made my comment, I did zoom in and out of the page and found the layout pleasing on zooming out so far the text was unreadable and only the shape remained.

    Oh and your last paragraph sounds so disappointed, I will take a demerit and promise to work harder in future :-)

    Comment by Simon — 2012-02-03 @ 8:09 am
  5. I can’t find it right now, but this looks a lot like an exercise from one of Oliver Selfridge’s programming books — I think the FORTRAN IV Primer — circa 1970.

    Comment by Mark Bernstein — 2012-02-08 @ 11:37 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
(c) 2014 Post Position | Barecity theme