Our webscapes and netvilles are increasingly dominated by short bursts of emotional language, brief stabs of charged textual opinion. And every minute those words build small cities of influence, beauty and terror, creating brief communities of poetic power. Textual Skyline explores these notions through a net-based interactive, generative and multidimensional flash engine/interface using RSS news feeds to create a digital poetry city.
To create these strange cities actionscript code searches through designated news feeds for specific words or phrases that represent emotive states (death, victory, love, profit, attack, defend and a few hundred others). Then for each charged word a building block is placed on the screen, two layers deep, forming a skyline of poetic text and art. Additionally, each of the text blocks will contain animated, hand drawn and other multimedia content. The finished work will let readers/users load RSS feeds from a variety of net communities (really any site with such a feed can be used), and as those feeds change so to will the digital poetry city (on reload). Also, various thematic styles will be explored through the inclusion of four different visualization themes (text only, architectural, chaotic and in essence the work explores the language of emotion used in news reporting, identity creation and expression through blogging, and community driven sites like Boing Boing, Fark, Metafilter and others. It uses that language to generate an architectural poetic text land/screenscape.