An algorithmic poem/painting using the Scriptor code, with music by Leo Ornstein, played by Marc Andre Hamellin. The text was lifted years ago from the New York Times.
Or watch the Browser version
Depending on your OS, please click the application “Suicide on an Airplane 1919” to start. The piece should run for three and a half minutes.
This piece is best viewed on a monitor with a 16:10 aspect ratio. If your monitor does not have this aspect ratio, then it is not advised that you go to full screen mode. Adjust the viewing window accordingly to approximate this ratio.
I recommend the downloaded version only because I haven’t debugged this on a lot of different computers, and so have no idea how the different browser versions look.
Note on Scriptor
The Scriptor series is meant to bring some of that free form doodling into the digital world. For the project, I created my own letterform creation program that, purposefully, lacks many of the elements of professional graphics programs such as Illustrator and Flash that encourage symmetry, cut-and-paste, and the mathematically precise placement of objects that we associate with digital design, not to mention much digital art.
These letterforms and doodles are all by hand, and by eye — they are a version of penmanship for the screen, but one in which each line or stroke of the letterform can be animated algorithmically (something you can’t do with standard fonts). The words themselves are parsed from news articles interesting phrases are randomly picked out, given randomly generated sizes, placements and trajectories, as well as a crazy level (that’s the name of the variable in the program) that determines their legibility.
This crazy level can grow or shrink — once the crazy level reaches a certain pitch, the letter explodes, but in some instances letters can be brought back from the brink of disaster to reach a stable state again.
Sample footage of algorithmic poem/painting digital projection Scriptor, version 1, captured from the computer screen by CamStudio.