BEAR$BAREBEAR$ - Working Note

by Coupons≠Coupons


Buy typing Pi backwards into Google we discovered a stuffed animal merchant's product inventory. Assembled from this database, BEAR$BAREBEAR$ is a series of diptychs.

For the left-panels, we cut the data down to only those elements describing the morphology of each unit (species) of the set, so values like price and product serial # were deleted. Using the left-panel texts as input, we used a Markov text-generator called Mac Travesty to derive recompositions for the corresponding right-panels. Mac Travesty performs recompositions of a source text according to variable parameters, so its output is unique each time a generation is run. Page-by-page, the generations were calibrated to render the recompositions progressively more grammatical. Each recomposition was chosen from a series of generations made for each panel.

The final text in the book is an assembled list of virtual band names culled from phrases produced by the recompositions. At the time (March 2006) we were searching for a name for the Coupons band, though anyone is free to use the names for their own potential band – as if the poem could be useful for the world of which it's bracketed out.

The video stills used in the book were pulled from the film La planète sauvage. The final note, from Stimulations by Bald Regards, is one of the first texts that Coupons ever read aloud to Coupons over the phone, and it is one of the first texts that Coupons ever typed to Coupons over email. The work emerged through long-distance exchanges between Buffalo & Oxford Ohio, the material being processed (materially or conceptually) at each pass. The double panels are read simultaneously in performance: one by Coupons, the other by Coupons.

BEAR$BAREBEAR$ is available from Critical Documents

March 2007


Table of Contents