The Girl With Skin of Haints and Seraphs

Shades of Computational Evocation and Meaning: The GRIOT System and Improvisational Poetry Generation

D. Fox Harrell
Proceedings of the 6th Digital Arts and Culture Conference (DAC 2005), Copenhagen, Denmark, December 1-3, 2005, pp. 133-143.
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Algebra of Identity: Skin of Wind, Skin of Streams, Skin of Shadows, Skin of Vapor

D. Fox Harrell
CTheory. October 2005. Reprinted in Critical Digital Studies: A Reader. Arthur Kroker and Marilouise Kroker, eds. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2008, pp. 158-174.
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GRIOT's Tales of Haints and Seraphs: A Computational Narrative Generation System

D. Fox Harrell
Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media, Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan, eds. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2007, pp. 177-182. Peer-reviewed and republished in Electronic Book Review, February 19, 2008.
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The Girl With Skin of Haints and Seraphs

The Girl With Skin of Haints and Seraphs

The Girl with Skin of Haints and Seraphs is a polymorphic poem first implemented in a non-interactive form as the initial deployment of the Alloy algorithm for generative purposes within another system. It has been subsequently updated with each iteration of GRIOT and it provides a good example for tracing through the execution of an interactive polymorphic poem. As stated above, this polypoem is a commentary on racial politics, the limitations of simplistic binary views of social identity, and the need for more contingent, dynamic models of social identity. The dynamic nature of social identity is also reflected in the way the program produces different poems with different novel metaphors each time it is run. This LISP program draws on a set of theme domains such as skin, angels, demons, Europe, and Africa, given as sets of axioms.

The following example and discussion illustrate the interactive nature of this polypoem. It also recapitulates and extends the discussion of GRIOT architecture and formal description of text generation described above. After processing a user input keyword such as "Europe" entered at a ">" prompt, the first line could be:

her tale began when she was infected with white female-itis

or

she began her days looking in the mirror at her own pale-skinned death-figure face

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The Girl With Skin of Haints and Seraphs
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Interactive Narrative
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