Along the Briny Beach

– Along the Briny Beach (2012),  J. R. Carpenter –

For this generative poem J.R. Carpenter infused the Taroko Gorge source code with coastal language, and used the HTML marquee tag JavaScript to insert other beach themed texts and images into the generated page (see the credits). What she assembles on the screen for us is an elegant pastiche of poetic and scientific texts, displaying on different schedules and layered to produce rich juxtapositions. The marquees allow for simple interactivity, such as pausing, speeding up, or reversing the flow of text or images— a blessing when one comes across an engaging snippet of text— that evokes the back and forth flow of water on the beach. But perhaps the most engaging part is the generated text cascading down the screen, providing us with an experience of a perilous coastline as the site of conflict between humanity and the sea, subject to tsunamis and riptides, where “quays pollute,” “gulfs disguise,” and “wharfs collapse.”

in I♥E-Poetry

About The Author:

J. R. Carpenter is a Canadian-born UK-based artist, writer, performer, researcher, and maker of maps, zines, books, poetry, short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction, and non-linear, intertextual, hypermedia, and computer-generated narratives. Her pioneering works of digital literature have been exhibited, published, performed, and presented in journals, galleries, museums, and festivals around the world. She is a winner of the CBC Quebec Writing Competition (2003 & 2005), the QWF Carte Blanche Quebec Award (2008), the Expozine Alternative Press Award for Best English Book for her first novel, Words the Dog Knows (2008), and the Dot Award for Digital Literature (2015). She served as President of the Board of Directors of Oboro New Media Lab in Montreal from 2006-2010 and as Digital Literature and Performance Writing faculty mentor for the In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge residency program at The Banff Centre from 2010-2014. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Eccles Centre For North American Studies at the British Library and an Associate of the Informatics Lab at the Met Office. She lives in Devon.


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