Automation | 自動化

Creative Work
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Description (in English): 

Inspired by the endlessly repeated automated announcements in Tokyo train and subway stations, this is a generative poem called "自動化" in its Japanese version, and "Automation" in English.

It uses the syntax of the familiar announcement "1番線ドアが閉まります。ご注意ください。" ("The doors on platform 1 are closing. Please be careful"). Every 8 seconds, a script generates a new line by randomly selecting the platform number, subject, verb, and exhortation from a preset list. It displays the result on the screen and then generates a new line. Browsers capable of speech synthesis will also read the text aloud in either English or Japanese.
(Source: Author's statement, ELC vol. 3)

A generated poem written by Campana in Japanese (自動化) and English (Automation), this piece is inspired by the automated announcements that are produced, seemingly endlessly, in Tokyo’s train and subway stations.
While highly situated in a particular city, this work also has international qualities: Automated train announcements are not, themselves, unique to Tokyo, and the odd, disjointed world that these generated texts evoke could resonate with the novels of Márquez as much as with those of Murakami. As simple as these automated statements are, they are consistent with the discourse of magical realism by announcing bizarre, unreal occurrences with complete nonchalance. They also ask the reader to participate in the curious projected world by making requests, politely giving (impossible) instructions.
The text generation in both versions is accomplished by a simple JavaScript program which can be studied and even modified by the intrepid reader of code; the addition of text-to-speech output provides an experience similar, in terms of media channels, to that in the station.

(Source: Editorial statement, ELC vol. 3)

Screen shots: 
screenshot from automation: subway
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Record posted by: 
Erik Aasen