Making haikus from philosophy
Recently, I’ve been looking for accidental ‘haiku’ in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The idea is easy enough: you just let the computer search for sentences with seventeen syllables, and then check whether the line-breaks fall correctly. When applied to the SEP, this produces quite a lot of results: you can read 187 pages of them here. Many of them are quite nonsensical, but I think some of them do work as poems. In a sense they are quite profound—after all, they are from an encyclopedia of philosophy—but in another, they are just random splinters.
I then selected some haiku that I particularly liked, and ran them through vqgan+clip. This is a computer program that tries to find images that closely match texts, with variable success and often entertaining misunderstandings. It has been put together by @RiversHaveWings, @advadnoun, and @jbusted1. They all produce very exiting work, so I can only recommend giving them a look. If you want to try something like this yourself, here is a good starting-point. It’s surprisingly easy! I then did some postprocessing on the resulting images, going for an effect somewhere between stippling and silk-screen printing.
Author Maximilian Noichl