A story

From Algolit

We could start a start-up for start-uppy start-up texts

You find the sources here:

Performance lecture on 16-3-16 in Witte de With, Class of '16, Contested Tongues

The event responds to the exhibition Para|Fictions: Foreword, in which Berlin-based artists Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff explore the linguistic and conceptual framework of start-ups. Through the daily fictional report of entrepreneurial experiences, the artists research the language of start-ups, composed of words and notions such as community, participation, and abstract space. What is the relationship between artistic and entrepreneurial language? How does language operate in both realms? Can we deconstruct this heavily coded and quantified language?

Contested Tongues seeks to address and expose the over-coded language used in the corporate world, drawing parallels to similar language patterns found in artistic fields. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens, Head of Humanities and Economics & Business at Erasmus University College, reflects on language usage within the corporate world, unpacking linguistic tropes and revealing the frames within which they operate, based on her Ph.D. thesis Contested Communication. A critical analysis of central bank speech. An Mertens, artistic researcher of artist-run organization Constant, presents a performance-lecture together with artist designers and members of Algolit, Manetta Berends and Gijs de Heij. Algolit – a workgroup around illiterature, operating on and beyond literature, free code and text – will be the starting point. In parallel, Mertens zeros in on the textuality of language, re-appropriating sets of codes active in Para|Fictions: Foreword, attempting to expose and question mechanisms of creating and constructing collective lived fantasies.

How did algolit start?

  • initiative by Constant

  • Brussels, November 2005 : Constant member Pierre Dejaeger VJ9 invites literary author and member of Oulipo Jacques Jouet

  • Brussels, July 2010: Active Archives Kitchen Table Workshop - Nicolas Malevé proposes to write a Python script for the Oulipian recipe 'Littérature définitionelle'

  • Brussels, October 2012 : Catherine Lenoble & An Mertens invite F/LOSS media artists interested in literature, Olivier Heinry & Nicolas Malevé, for a 3-day workshop. Algolit is born.

Algorithmic Reading

  • Adapting the reading glasses preprocessing file: strip white spaces, lowercase, capitalize

  • Reading is counting

-> Counting all words

LibreOffice: count amount of words + compare

-> Stylometry

- frequency with stopwords

- frequency without stopwords - create sorted frequency dictionary

→ reading a text without stopwords can be fun, more for sound poetry

- nltk function: variety of words

-> Machine Learning Techniques

calculating sentiment analysis, Constant Worksession Cqrrelations, Brussels, deBuren, Jan 2015

Oulipo Writing

Until 2014 we would spend 1 day of the algolit meetings scripting 1 of the Oulipo recipes: chimère, contrainte du prisonnier, s+7

  • L'abécédaire: sorting sentences

LibreOffice: sort -> this creates the abecedaire of Oulipo

→ invited us to study the algorithms as such by playing them out:

→ Quicksort (Nantes + Recyclart + Bilbao) – Nicolas

→ Markov chain (Désert Numérique, Transmediale) – Brendan, Catherine

→ Minimal edit Distance (Cqrrelations, Bilbao) – Adva

  • Littérature définitionelle // Python2 take 4 random sentences of a text & expand NN by its definition

  • Invent your own recipe

A famous one & very easy to apply, copied from the book 'Think Python': change name of character: make yourself hero / swap names of these 2 stories

  • Merge two different texts based on keywords

script inspired by 'The Death of the Authors, 1941 - a generative novel', published in 2012 by Constant

Algoliterary Figures of Speech

From Aristotle to today

  • Expanding the text // Python2

A tautology - from the Greek word ταυτολογία, tautos (the same) and logos (word) - stresses a specific word by adding another word that has the same or a similar meaning.

  • Combining reading & writing // Python 2

this script can easily be rewritten using web related data, like the weather forecast, the stockmarket scores etc

Everything is text

Experiments from the last Algolit sessions are combined by Manetta & Gijs

  • topic modeling
  • rewrite with film