The House of Dust by Alison Knowles is one of the first generative text computer pieces. The computerized poem is built off a very specific structure “consisting of the phrase “a house of” followed by a randomized sequence of 1) a material, 2) a site or situation, a light source, and 3) a category of inhabitants taken from four distinct lists.” In 1968, Knowles got a fellowship to create a physical structure of her generative poem from the Guggenheim. It was later moved to Cal Arts, California, and she used it as her teaching space.
I will also be working on a generative text project, inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. I will be using Kate Compton’s Tracery and Rita.js as a tool to generate sequences of new cities, accompanied by their individualized city maps.