Banana Poetry, work in progress

collaborator: Tomislav Pokrajčić
technical support: Vedran Relja
production: projekt uradisamARTLAB

Banana Poetry is a platform for experimentation in creating a mechanism/organism that could generate new poetry and new linguistic creations. It is total poetry in the unlimited field of experimentation which leads us to break with the conventional ways of thinking and to 'destruct' language. The consequences of computer poetry should be a poetry that is still poetry for humans, but a poetry made without humans – as poetry of artificial intelligence.

The work Banana Poetry is in its structure an interactive installation powered by an alternative energy source – fruits and vegetables. Poetry generated by electronic environment is available for visitors in audio format - they can plug their headphones directly into one of the ten fruit or vegetable cells. The ultimate form this work might adopt is to walk around in nature with a mobile form of the installation in a backpack which can be directly plugged into an orchard, so that the natural environment, serving as an energy source, could be converted into an electronic environment, which is a new space of creation in the digital realm. Is this a concrete, a visual, a sound, a kinetic computer poetry? It's Banana Poetry, a product of collaboration of at least two persons: an artist and a programmer.


I wondered if it would be possible to use a statistical analysis of a text, without defining any rules beforehand, to create new, grammatically correct sentences.

Scribbler is a program browsing the internet, reading and analyzing texts, and trying to imitate them. It can be interactively told what to read, and things that it speaks in return sound like schizophrenic babbling or trash poetry. It works on the principle of Markov chains, which is a way of predicting probability of an event recurring in the future based on the past. In this case, the events are words. The sentence is viewed as a chain of events, and while reading text, these chains intersect and form a huge network of possibilities. It's speech is actually made up of hopping across that network.

I don't know how to make a genuinely conscious machine, whatever that might mean, but a computer can always analyze and imitate what it sees. In this case badly, and this is what makes it so entertaining.

I don't know how far this imitation can develop without comprehension, if a computer program using simple logic could find its way through standard conversations?

Anyhow, it could certainly learn to have small talk about the weather and about school. Probably the outcome of those conversations would matter to the program just as it matters to real interlocutors, and by learning through trial and error, just as people often do, it would become more skillful and funnier than the average speaker.

Example: Dragutin Tadijanović (from Wikipedia) + Voćka poslije kiše

Started writing at the age of 13.
He publishes the poem 7 years later under a pseudonym.
Under the pseudonym Margan Tadeon.
He published.
Plain, poor little tree.
He started writing poems, received raindrops and now sways them.
He published raindrops and now sways them.
Look at the little fruit tree after rain.
And it glistens in the sun, this little, little, little, as initially, poor tree.


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