Above: video documentation of my country is a Living Room's first poem generated.
my country is a Living Room has been made in 2011 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Italian unification and it takes the form of a Print-On-Demand book and a Pay-Per-View Internet project.
It makes extensive and radical use of Google Scribe to write a short poem about our situation in Italy. Google Scribe is an online editor that auto-completes suggestions as you type. Only the words and letters printed in bold at the beginning of each sentence have been consciously written. For instance, in the first sentence the only words written on purpose were: “I wok”, while the rest was automatically suggested by the online software and accepted pressing several times -one for each word- the space bar. And so on, phrase by phrase, this visionary and dystopian poem wrote itself unveiling -in a constant stream of consciousness feeling- some inconvenient truths framing a sleeping, resigned, happy nation. The poem has been translated by Google Translate to fifty seven languages with no editing (all the translations are available in the book).The book is a 150 pages, hard cover with dust jacket Print on Demand book powered by lulu.com. The back cover hosts an endorsement by Christiane Paul (Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum and Associate Professor of Media Studies, The New School)
The online version of this piece embeds the Google Scribe feature in a web page driven by a server that automatically sends keystrokes (the letters or words in bold written by me) starting the poem and then always accepting the first suggestions offered by the software. Doing this, the poem keeps changing and its meaning morphing, as our society does. Available at a mycountryisalivingroom.com, people visiting the project can stare at it reading the poem taking shape in front of their eyes. Or they can browse an Archive with stored versions. The server is meant to store a new version as soon as a change appears in the poem.
Please note: In August 2012 Google denied any access to Google Scribe. Available at the website is an Archive of 111 generated poems.
Code by: Guillermo Bonvehi