Plinko Poetry – Poetic Tweets Juice

Plinko Poetry

“Obama texting Past convicted Catch receive Egypt’s dog”. Here is an example of a poem signed by Plinko Poetry , an interactive poetry generator designed by Deqing Sun and Inessah Selditz. The single verses are composed by recombining words contained in NYTimes and Foxnews tweets, through a playful and interactive selection mechanism. On a lit transparent panel the latest tweets sent by the newspapers are captured and divided into eight strips, forming a grid of small yellow pegs. Similar to playing “connect4”, (a game where the player has to align plastic discs of the same colour in a matrix that contains them – a forerunner of Tetris) the user drops his red discs, which then pass between the tweets zigzagging on the pegs. The words onto which the discs accidentally slip remain bright (while the others remain unlit), as they are selected for the composition. The bizarre verses that result are then twittered in real time through the Plinko Poetry profile. Semantically the poems (made of up to eight words) mostly make no sense. But even in this apparent nonsense they have a specific significance. As if they were truly composed verses they seem to communicate a poetic image, an instinctive sense of the historical moment during which they were generated because of the connection with emerging news items. Maybe that’s why when reading Poetry Plinko tweets one after the other, even without grasping a specific meaning, we are surprised to find some metrics that endorse them as “literature”, as if they were the 17 syllables of a haiku, recalculated to the most developing reality.

Chiara Ciociola