Die is the answer!
For this meditation I chose to play with the idea of automatic writing, the concept of the authorship, and also with the idea of randomness as a topic. I took the given example using the Markov chain, provided in class, to make a ready made of this code, in order to make an automatic writing program that creates enigmatic phrases about randomness in a very intriguing, and if we want to use the words poetic and funny way. I was struck by the idea of how the authorship is a very flexible and questionable concept since modern times, and since postmodern philosophy. We do we start building something? Where do we stop? What happens with the legacy of the many people in the contribution chain that led to the achievements? Is their authorship dead? I prefer to think that this contributions and achievements are a way of immortality of the authors. These legacies will be modified and affected by the actions of the next contributors. In this particular case, the idea was to give way to a random speech about randomness, while also putting into dialogue different voices of authors who wrote about randomness. A selection of texts from song lyrics, quotes and a paper about science, and some Dadaist poetry are part of the “subconscious” of Mr Die. Some other point I want to talk about is the weird feeling I sometimes have when reading a book or listening to a song. I always feel as if the author where ghosts, but not in a creepy way. I feel like they are sending messages from another time and place. So I feel that this is a nostalgic way of invoking their voices and inviting them “back to life” to continue playing, collaborating and “creating” as they did before.
So what is randomness? I still don’t know, you can read some books about it. You can also talk to professors from different areas of knowledge like Physic’s, Math’s, Philosophy, Art’s, Theology, Chemistry, Literature and others. If you are still not satisfied, I will definitely advice you to Ask Mr Die for his current thoughts about it’s nature. I cant say he is right, but I can assure you his replies will be as valid as all the rest that you are going to find anywhere else!
Once the speech was fed with the proper material to create the proper language to reflect the topic of chance in a not so narrow way, then the design problem arise. I wanted to create a very fluid interaction between the user and Mr Dice. I want to have the possibility to make Mr dice relate his speech to a random author form the list of people from which the text was fed to the Markov chain model. So far I have struggled with P5 and haven’t still got to the point of being able o create a very satisfying and beautiful and fully functional interface. I can’t say how frustrating this process have been, and how I have been crashing against the walls over and over again (but that’s a different story). Something I would like to have is the possibility to tweet these phrases to create a memory of this hilarious, beautiful, and sometimes “pretentious-like” voice.
An important improvement I would like to ad, is including part of the users input in the quotes provided by Mr Die. That would probably give the quotes a little bit of more interest and “sense” for the user, making them feel as their existence and presence is key, and also giving Mr Die more credibility and authority as a Random Guru, “Thast’s my Moto”.
A design aspect I would like to have would be also “rolling” this dice every time, so you can also get a “true random fact” if you can say that exist.
The code reference written by Allisson Parrish example used for this sketch is the following: http://alpha.editor.p5js.org/allison.parrish/sketches/S1Eangfax