[ OSX ] [ LINUX debian / raspbian ] install wordnet for processing + RiTa

“Wordnet is definitely not written for use by humans.” – a helpful friend

I work with language as a poet. I write “poems for paper” as well as “poems for spoken-word performance”. In both, often, fragments of narrative appear as images.

In video, I’m exploring what I call the ‘variable narrative’, iterating tiny moments of story.

 

the-gravediggers-meditation

untitled video still [ the gravedigger’s meditation, 2014 : hybrid literary project ] spiral text composite layer created in Processing

Playing with ‘text as mark’ in Processing is pretty fun & relatively simple. Text added as strings can be expressed glyphs of this or that font. Strings of text can take particular shapes or be used as brushstrokes. In the image above, the entire text of Gogol’s short story The Overcoat becomes a shifting textured layer composited into an animated short film. The spiral text composite layer was made using math and one loooooong string of text.

~ RiTa : extends Processing’s use of language by referencing text’s meaning ~

RiTa, a Java-based coding toolkit that can be added to Processing, allows artists to work with meaning / words by role in language / rather than just text as mark.

example one : Automatype by Daniel C. Howe

example two : Spin State by Michael Coppola

~ installing RiTA inside Processing ~

With Processing open, go to the menubar: Sketch > Import Library > Add library

The library installer will open. Scroll down to RiTa.

  • If it is pickable, pick it & install!
  • If it is greyed out [ as it was for me ] one must instead go to rednoise.org and download the dependancy, unzip it, and stick the folder in the library directory your installation of Processing uses. If you have not customized your setup,the directory order [ on Mac ] : ~/Documents/Processing/libraries. Stick the folder that happens when you unzip the download into the /libraries folder. Relaunch Processing and you’ll find it. RiTa’s examples will also show up in the examples, under contributed libraries.

The RiTa reference guides the coder through toolset’s functionality & what it can do to explore art-related ideas on the meaning/language tip.

~ Word Net : high level text analysis with ‘parts of speech’ tagging and dictionary definitions ~

To further dig into meaning, to access markov language part-of-speech tagging, the necessary dependancy? wordnet“its primary use is in automatic text analysis and artificial intelligence applications.” ~ wikipedia

RiTa’s toolkit allows me to plug in wordnet analysis & execution functionality into Processing sketches. To do that, I needed a local installation. I tried to use the documentation provided by Princeton to create a local wordnet installation, and fell down several successive rabbitholes, each of which ended on ‘nope’.

Wordnet can be used with many coding languages – PERL, Python, SQL, and PHP etc etc.

Processing and Python use different operational approaches to installing dependancies. It was a head-turner to shift to the Python-like approach – using [ on Mac ] terminal, with sudo pip commands.

There’s this other thing one can add to Mac which provides “one terminal command installation power for many many dependancies”. It’s a  kit called Homebrew, built with the Ruby programming language.

~ an aside on art and technology, transparency of process, and meaning ~

Have your eyes glazed over yet? The mind-numbing list of tasks above this moment in the blog post is not, in itself, an interesting thing. I know that ‘the rest of the art world’ doesn’t know how the ‘studio inside of the computer’ works. I’ve been directly treated with contempt over the digital creative process by painters, in the past*.

I’d love it if my attempts at process transparency help encourage the conversation about meaning, to discover the metaphorical power of what artists can and are doing with computers, and relate to them . . . More directly, I think it would be awesome if more ppl were using these tools in their own work. So lets get back to that to-do list.

~ to install Wordnet locally, install Homebrew. To install Homebrew, install Xcode. ~

Homebrew can install a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff for me, besides wordnet, when attempting to sudo pip3 install various dependancies for Python and something doesn’t internally link. Fantastic! OK, time to install Homebrew.

Aaand I need to install a 4.5 gb thingy from Apple called Xcode wha-  ?

OK so most of the coding things discussed in this post are script-related single-tasking things. XCode is the Mac-based development environment for building OSX software & iOS apps. Its filled with tools, testing environments, and more.

One must install xcode in order to ‘unlock’ the bash commands [ for terminal ] that one needs to install Homebrew. Randomly, you will also now have a C compiler on your Mac. You can delete it once you’re done getting the bash commands you need.

Go over to the coolest guide on the planet, and follow their step-by-step instructions to install first xcode and then homebrew. Then come back here to finish up and see how cool wordnet really can be.

~ use a terminal command to tell homebrew to install wordnet ~

Open terminal. Next to the dollarsign prompt type

brew install wordnet 

Terminal may prompt you to add several other things.

When it finishes, don’t close terminal just yet. Jot down the directory location of your wordnet installation. You’ll use it in the next step.

Go back to Processing.

File > Examples. In the pop-up : RiTa > ReplaceableWriting.

Updating the sketch to include the local directory url for wordnet. Press play.

BLAM. Now you can see what it does.

Here’s to less maddening ‘getting going’ on ideas you’re interested in . . .

~ footnotes ~

*“Oh you just push a button – ” and a some other disparaging remarks

On a Windows machine? Try Scoop instead of Homebrew; here’s a list of terminal-like command line editors for Windows systems. Processing installs for PC, and the RiTa installation workflow should hold there as well. I have no idea if Wordnet can be installed on Windows in this way, but its a starting point.

If you’re on Linux you’ve got the work ethic to figure it out yourself 💗 and that Linux installation is on a raspberry pi, all you have to do is open terminal and type this:

$ sudo apt-get install wordnet

answer a few questions and you’re set.

??? !!!

The Raspbian install of Linux is a child iteration of Debian; it includes a compiler and you don’t need to “unlock” other OS features in order to get it to work. . .

‘guns & consequences’ cancelled by bomb threat at NIU campus last night

Guns And Consequences was a spoken word event I organized in conjunction with the exhibition UNLOADED, which is on view at Northern Illinois University’s Art Gallery through October 24. Sponsored by the Center for Black Studies, the event was scheduled for October 8, 2015. It was cancelled by an all-campus bomb threat.

Yesterday I travelled from Milwaukee to Chicago and from Chicago to DeKalb. Josephine Burke, the musuem director who had programmed the show, picked me up at the Elburn Metra station. Elburn’s like a big taxi stand with adjacent parking lot, in the middle of cornfields.

Jo apologized for being late, she’d gotten caught behind a harvester on her drive to the station, its bits and pieces of corn and hay or whatever scattering across the road. I asked how the show UNLOADED had been received. She talked about how some people had seen the show, some of the talks had been very well attended, and how some of the campus who live with PTSD from the 2008 shooting incident could not walk into the show yet.

She mentioned offhand how she designed the installation, how she pulled walls from the gallery so visitors could find the exit if they had a panic attack. Then she realized that “a person could walk in and strafe the whole show.”

There it is, that fear that comes up, again. While designing fliers to support my own appearances – the artist talk for ungun, the flier announcing the performance-basd installation where I listen to visitors tell me their stories about guns – the tension slick with fear. Make sure the send and receive flier is deeply inclusive. I want to hear their experiences. All of their experiences. I am not collecting stories to make an argument. This is art, not argument.

Later I was setting up cameras to document spoken word performances by Nikki Patin , Tara Betts, Reginald Eldridge, Billy Tuggle, Mojdeh Stoakley. A three-camera shoot, for once! With good tripods. Art people know what I mean, the luxury of time to set up documentation, to pick your shots. I was goofing with Reggie, who was going to use this amazing AV setup to do something with images and words together. The trustee’s boardroom includes a remote like a garage door opener that lifts a screen out of the furniture . . . And the security guard came in and asked us to leave, all the buildings are being evacuated.

Nikki arrived at the room as the security guard mentioned “bomb threat”. Really? Really? Later when we’re all huddled under a little cement hutch-thing we joked about how a group that’s majority brown people go to a mostly-white college campus to talk about gun violence and there’s a bomb threat.

Stephen, the gallery manager, snapped photos with his iPhone, risking water damage – the sky had opened up as well with a pounding rain. And as we puzzled it out, as we thought about Jo’s statement that NIU closed some smaller campuses over the summer and it’s probably someone who lost a job – the threat was directed at all the buildings on the NIU campus, it’s not about us – I thought about the white guy who called in bomb threats almost once a week to my high school. This was fall of my Senior Year. Is it bad that I remember his name? Or compassionate? He had so much hatred. He would smile and fake his niceness but the poison was there, controlling 1,000 high school kids from a distance, with his phone.

Eventually the bus bringing Billy Tuggle and one audience member from the Metra mades it. And Mojdeh drove in. She talked about the strangeness of driving to a place every car was fleeing from.

I had to get back into the building to collect my suitcase; Jo needed to lock up the camera equipment. I did the fastest teardown I could. Jo inadvertently alerted security to us being in the building by pulling down a shade in the window.

We were asked to leave again, this time by a gentle Hispanic security guard who said “We chose not to hit the alarms. That would be too much.” Instead they walked through every floor of every building. This is what you do when you have a bomb threat on a college campus that survived a thing.

I thanked him for that, profusely; the evacuation was triggering enough. He said, “I’m just glad I found you in there before the dogs came through. They wouldn’t have liked finding you.” He had a long night ahead. Bomb-sniffing dogs had to visit every building on campus.

[ comfort food ] on poet at the end of the world

No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existance. ~ St Francis of Assissi

My contribution to Rob Hendler & co’s Chicago-based poetry podcast, Poet at the End of the World, comes third. I follow Mojdeh Stoakley and Greg Curry;  Andy Karol closes the show for us  . . .

My contribution, Comfort Food, is on surviving the media’s mindless re-presentation of gun violence in America.

 

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[ audio ] We Miss You, Ana Mendieta [ spoken word ]

The body does and means so many things. 

Perhaps the simple acknowledgement of relational violence as human experience can help us celebrate those lost to it. Should or should not, it is what is, for a lot of people. How do we witness it? The taboo needs to go.

Let’s put our mind on who she was, who she remains. A whole woman who made her own choices, who struggled with and argued and created from her experience, from her body. . . She told us how to remember her, in the relentless documentation of her art. Lets do that.

~

First draft written May 30, first performed at The Green Mill Open Mic & Slam on Sunday, June 1. After a few more edits, recorded this performance using a DSLR at the Lethal Poetry Words That Kill Anything Goes Slam on June 5.  After absenting my body from the piece, and with no audio mastering, well, here you go.

The action We Wish Ana Mendieta Was Still Alive,  performed by artist Christen Clifford and the feminist No Wave Performance Task Force, was documented in Hyperallergic’s writeup Artists Protest —- ——- Retrospective with Blood Outside of Dia:Chelsea.

~

Thanks Mojdeh Stoakley for camera operation, thanks Lethal Poetry for the stage, the audience, the love. Thanks to Christen Clifford & No Wave for doing and saying.

afterward // 30 poems in 30 days // questions from charis caputo

how did this year compare to years that you’ve done it in the past

Different venue – Facebook, vs. tumblr and live journal in the past. Easier in certain ways because of other people around doing it. Knowing that other people were expecting to see your work enabled the production process.

what was your secret to completing it or to motivate yourself to keep going

Make time, sit down & do it. Also, honor my commitment to myself and the work. The first person to hear what I say is myself. Breaking my word affects my ability to trust myself, so that’s an important thing to consider.

what was a favorite/most surprising thing that you wrote during the month

A pair of villanelles. They turned out surprisingly well, and ended up influencing the list-like thing for the William S Burroughs-inspired “Contact us within 10 days if anything of the following changes”.

what was your favorite prompt/source of inspiration

I use “The Making of a Poem”, the Norton anthology of forms, to shake things up. I collect fragments of lines & cut lines & write when ideas strike, but when I’m writing habitually I make room to write and show to the page regardless if I have an idea or not.

anything else you want to say about it

Remember, no matter what you do other people have their own point of view on your work. That’s life, that’s how we are. Have your own relationship with it. Know it well. Love it. It is yours. It is also not who you are, you are way more valuable than a bunch of words. Cut your favorite lines, edit the hell out of yourself. I saw a lot of apologizing in the online communities. FUCK APOLOGY. Value your own voice. Who are you trying to please?

i’ve never been one to worship the church

 

it’s not the god its what you do
in the name of your god

i see them mouth the words
later, the words became more important

than the people the words were meant to instruct

then it became not about the words themselves
but what we claimed the words said

the words as much a cudgel as fists

like bullets
words take lives

*

sometimes  a brush makes an image
sometimes a machine makes a moving image

what experience do you have of the images
that experience                            that’s yours
the only held thing

i can point you towards your experience
by giving a name to the little movie
to the images i put before you
that frame around the window
to some aspect of yourself you may not have
met before

this world asks  a lot of our time
thanks for taking yours to give to this

why should i tell you what it means
that would be stealing

 

 

Change for Chicago : West Side School for the Desperate Takes A Bow

 

Chicago’s West Side School for the Desperate, a poetry collective living and working together in Logan Square for the last 2 years, hosted their final show Saturday April 13.  Lease issues and the collective’s need to grow in new directions mean they’re closing up shop and moving on.

Its been amazing to watch the regularly-attending open-mic poets grow since I’ve been photographing (& occasionally reading) at the Bad News Bible Church monthly event … All performances at that show were energized by an audience willing to play ‘net’ for every new poetic acrobat – every poet, musician, lyricist, or other experiment here surfed the crowd, at least in spirit.

 

 

Creative community for the sake of community is a sacred space. WSSD gave Chicago this for 2 years. I don’t think anything’s gonna come along very soon to take its place.

Photo gallery for the last installment of Bad News Bible Church over here.

vintage love poem : the poem that is a paper airplane

the poem that is a paper airplane

i pulled this sheet from the envelope of my bed
made this paper airplane of a love poem for you

it floats above heads
above the back rows of
English class
vulnerable as I was
at fifteen

i tack a paper clip to its
snub – it falls

drops

nosedives perfect
onto the open pages of the
book you’re reading
hands curled around the real words
nested inside the textbook

you startle out of that
narrative

unfold
read
look around

i hide my giveaway blush by
studiously examining the
bulletin board away from you

you wonder
which one did it

 

 

* * * * *

collected in spiritual side effects (2008, 6 gallery press)

kickstart my chapbook : no experiences

You’ve heard of kickstarter, right? It is popularly known as a funding source for films, for software development, for funding gadgets. Erin Watson used it to fund something different. She used Kickstarter to publish a poetry chapbook.

The work arrived in response to her experience reading @Horse_ebooks on twitter. Jotting down favored sentence fragments from the twitter feed, she built poems around them line by line, “allowing the @Horse_ebooks style of uncanny abstraction to creep into these poems”, as she wrote in the author’s note.

Words splayed
Like sick things, yawning in disregard
along a chasm

I’m no stranger to the @Horse_ebooks twitter phenomenon; several of my friends on twitter are enamored of it. The lovely fragments of language-idea floats past as retweets every few days. Of course she wrote poems from this oracle, as she calls it. The best kind of tweets are potent seeds for the others reading that content. Twitter is the medium for poets, the best way to dispose of unused lines of poetry in public.

She named the chapbook “no experiences”. For me, this is clear. The poems are created via slow accumulation of language, testing one word after another. Ms Watson’s poems become word mobiles to read, consider, read again. The shorter poems dense with reference become rich toffees to chew and savor.

That fatal flaw,
the earnest flame
that’s blistering my feet.

The language-aggregates consciously created from the experience of other language, the tweets Ms Watson collected from twitter. These are not the plainsong of story, the authentic voice emerging to manage the deep emotion provoked by the harder expereinces made by living (though at least one poem points to the capacaty for poetry to perform that function). These woody little structures are the joy of a tasteable, touchable language, a writer making for the joy of making in response to some abstract synchronicity of language-based experience.

Sized to fit your hand with ASCII art re-making the @Horse_ebooks twitter avatar. Buy in person for $10 at Uncharted Books, Logan Square, Chicago IL. Also see noexperiences.com.  Book designed and typeset by Nick Disabato in Chicago, IL. Printed by Scout Books in Portland, OR. Funded by you on Kickstarter.

the bling poem

So far, two of my 30/30 poems are video clips. Animations. It is a puzzle, keeping the text as the focus, playing with the tension of moving text and moving image.

When I make performance works of poetry reading combined with backing film and audio sketches, they work in a much more complex and fluid way than these videos. The bling poem is fixed, for one thing – its like an in-print, book publication. Performances shift and change, they take the audience elsewhere. Since they cannot be replicated, there’s an electricity present . . . mm.

April 12 : rationalization

April 11 : honeytongue


Bling poems because the words are given the bling of movement, color, illustration, imaginary context. The words are dressed.

Most of the poems I’m publishing at my tumblr I’m posting as photos. tumblr has the worst text editing markup management system of all time, at least for me. One has almost no control over how the text looks. That’s dissatisfying.

There is nothing more fruitless than having a work process argue back with me. At times, discoveries are made during the workarounds.

Poetry begins as a series of images; poetry is the most synaesthetic of forms. When the words lock together into the right combination of sound and meaning and the images invoked parade past in an imagined slide show . . .

in process : stills from i.thou : chapter ~ 19

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (flight)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (flight)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (19)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (19)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (nikita in kitchen)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (nikita in kitchen)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (baby crocodile)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (baby crocodile)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (19)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (19)

these stills are taken from a 4 minute sketch i worked up the last few days. this is for the next chapter of the film in progress, i.thou.

the chapter or excerpt is titled “19”. the moshing technique assists the viewer take a meditative journey on identity, memory, witnessing, transpersonal consciousness, the tellable story, and the problem of unbelievable experience.

the still image of the girl named “19” is taken from the television show CSI. the source video shots used (pre-processing and ‘mosh’) look like the two stills that follow:

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (source still)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (source still)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (source still)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (source still)