Concrete Poems

For the third week of CompTypo, we were asked to make a concrete poem using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I ended up making a few sketches for this assignment.

I was really drawn to Alyson Provax’s poem Untitled (I don’t know what I’m going to do), both because of its form and because I relate strongly to its content at this particular moment. I re-made it in p5, incorporating a small amount of randomness without straying too far from the original.

While trying to figure out how to erase and redraw the HTML elements, I accidentally made a version of this sketch that would layer over itself each time you clicked the mouse. I liked the resulting aesthetic, so I made a version that draws itself 30 times. This averages out the cumulative effects of each iteration’s random offsets.

I didn’t want to only reproduce someone else’s work this week, so I made a third sketch exploring a spiral layout. I wasn’t really sure where it was going at first, but then a friend reminded me of Junji Ito’s Uzumaki, a manga in which spirals figure as a sort of symbol of cosmic horror. So I tried to push the sketch in a more “unsettling” direction by adding some random vertical offsets to each character, although this also made it much harder to read.