Strange Loop

Experimental Creative Writing with the Vectorized Word

Vector representations of language, from tf-idf to word2vec, have fundamentally changed the way engineers and scholars approach the analysis of the written word. In this talk, I show my evolving practice using these representations not for analysis but instead as raw material for manipulation and generation of textual output. Starting with the analogy of audio/visual signal processing, I explore the affordances of this kind of manipulation for creating unique semantic, syntactic and phonological effects, working toward an experimental poetics of "textual waveforms." The talk includes an attempt to situate this practice in the context of the history and current practice of experimental poetry, alongside contemporary advances in language-oriented computational creativity.

Allison Parrish

Allison Parrish

New York University

Allison Parrish is a computer programmer, poet and game designer whose teaching and practice address the unusual phenomena that blossom when language and computers meet. She has recently given talks on computer-generated poetry at the Electronic Literature Organization conference, !!Con, Alt-AI, SXSW Interactive and Eyeo. From 2014 to 2016, Allison was the Digital Creative Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University, and has recently been a research resident at DBRS Innovation Labs, a Processing Foundation fellow, and a visiting artist at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at CMU. Allison holds a master's degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she is currently a member of the full-time faculty.