The Ephemerides
August 20, 2015 9:21 AM   Subscribe

The Ephemerides
A bot that pairs randomly selected images from outer planet space probes with computer-generated poems. Also available on Tumblr.

I gave at talk at Eyeo 2015 about how programs that generate procedural poetry are like space probes: exploring the unknown and dangerous realms of nonsense. I made The Ephemerides to approach that analogy from the other direction: what would poetry written by space probes look like?

The poems are composed by extracting and then randomly juxtaposing grammatical constituents from two source texts: Astrology by Sepharial and The Ocean and its Wonders by R. M. Ballantyne. The images are randomly selected from NASA's OPUS database. (I used OPUS because it has all of the raw and glitchy photographs directly from the probe, before they've been curated and polished and sent out in press releases.) I wrote more about my methodology here.
Role: programmer
posted by aparrish (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I've been saying "rad" a lot lately but I kind of want to say it five times right now.
posted by cortex at 9:22 AM on August 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Everything you do is awesome and this is no exception. My only note is that to me, the color and style of the profile and header images are too distracting - I'd rather they stuck with the austere mysterious black and white.
posted by raisindebt at 12:45 PM on August 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

[This is good]
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:58 AM on September 10, 2015

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