Archive for September 27, 2011

Static Language Sampler

While doing this assignment, I came across a system in the Language Removal Services website labeled “Static Language Sampler”. Unsure what the sampler did, I decided to listen to Marilyn Monroe’s audio. This piece was kind of awkward to listen to, because it just sounded like a woman moaning and taking in deep breaths… So of course I’m going to post the link for you guys to listen to with me. Here ya go ;D

I assume that the static language sampler only detects the sound of static. Its sounds as though they took clips of interviews or audio recordings of Marilyn talking, and only documented the very beginning or ending of her speech, where the most ‘static’ would occur.

This piece intrigued me in the sense that static was not the only thing I heard. The title of this program led me to believe that I would hear nothing but static, but Marilyn Monroe’s voice did not go unheard. At first, there was indeed nothing but ‘static’, but throughout the duration of the audio, her voice did escape quite a few times.

This discovery made me think about the way we talk. Do we vocalize as we inhale? Or do we just inhale so fast that by the time we’re talking, the intake (or static noise) we’ve created goes unheard- making it sound like we’ve begun talking instantly?

This audio actually made me think about punctuation. I tend to write more with comma’s then periods, resulting is a lot of ‘inhalation’. Marilyn Monroe has subconsciously helped me shorten my sentences to help it flow better.

It’s a shame you wont see these sentence structure improvements any time soon.

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The Long Count

When first listening to The Long Count, I was honestly waiting for some sort of animated vocalization to occur. I, of course, was wrong. This piece contains what seems to be the panting of men, as well as their inhalation of breath before beginning to talk. This site, in which I received the audio from, had a bit of information written about whose voices these were.

The voices were apparently of Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Joe Frazier. These men were boxers, which lead me to wonder if the audio clips were taken of them talking, or boxing. I concluded that it was of both.

After further investigation on The Long Count, I found out that ‘The Long Count’ was actually a famous boxing rematch between world Heavyweight champion Gene Tunney and former champion Jack Dempsey, where new rules regarding knockdowns were initiated. One of these new rules included giving the fallen fighter 10 seconds to get back up on their own when knocked down.

The reason why I find this so interesting is because the audio seemed to follow this story a bit. At the beginning were the opponents, sizing each other up. Then followed the actual fighting before the knockdown occurred. Most of the audio’s panting was of the different boxers collaborated together, but at one point, there seemed only to be the panting of one person. I assumed that one person to be the one knocked down on the floor, struggling to get up.

This audio clip is actually very interesting to listen to if you know the background story.

Christian Bök

Christian Bök, in the opinion of many, including me, is an amazing Canadian poet. He published the book Eunoia in 2001, which was claimed to be “Canada’s best-selling poetry book ever.” I personally think is an appropriate title, seeing how it took him 7 years to write.

In this book, Christian uses only one vowel in each of its five chapters. In the book’s main part, each chapter used just a single vowel. In order to successfully write this book, Christian had to read the dictionary 5 times, compiling his own list of vocabulary words essential for his completion of the book.

Curious to learn more about what Mr. Bök was doing, I quickly went onto Youtube to see if he did any interviews. Low and behold, I found this.
While watching this video, Christian began talking about his new project the Xenotext Experiment. He was talking about genetic codes and poetry.

‘Ho- . . . what? ‘ (was my initial reaction to this news)

Once again, driven by curiosity, I quickly googled his experiment, and came up with this link. Apparently, Mr. Bök plans to create a poem in the form of a genetic sequence and insert it into a strain of bacteria. This bacterium will not only carry that sequence around with it, but give us the opportunity to reclaim that sequence and decipher its meaning. Bök also intends to have this encoded poem be a set of instructions that will allow the organism to build a protein, where yet another original poem can be found. Christian Bök basically gives a bacterium a poem and receives one back in response. Cool right?

I’ve got to say, this Canadian poet is very different from the others. Yes, he is clever and witty and comes up with amazing poems, just like many other poets, but there is something relatively different from his work, if we were to compare. Christian seems to take on huge challenges that others would quickly disregard or label ‘too hard’.

His friends and fellow poets were probably a huge influence on him and his drive to do what he does. Micah Lexier, a Canadian artist collaborated with Bök to produce this piece of art, that was displayed on a window of a store in Toronto.

I’ve said this at the beginning of this investigation, and I’ll say it again. Christian Bök is an amazing Canadian poet.