Spars of Language Lost at Sea

 Our poetry generator, Sea and Spar Between, was fashioned based on Emily Dickinson’s poems and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Both in its original edition and in the edition expanded with comments—cut to fit the toolspun course—it exemplifies seven different ways to seek and grasp text: 1) by porting code; 2) by translating text strings and processes; 3) by contrasting the page/canvas experience via a link or URL with the experience of reading code via “View Source”; 4) by harpooning a particular stanza and using the browser’s capability for bookmarking; 5) by creating human-readable glosses of code for readers who may not identify as programmers; 6) by relating its depthless virtual space to the import of Mallarmé’s Coup de dés as interpreted by Quentin Meillassoux; 7) by foregrounding non-translatability as a characterizing sieve for natural languages.