Wandering through Taroko Gorge

Wandering Through Taroko Gorge.png

Try it out for yourself.

The original Taroko Gorge is a javascript poetry genereator created by Nick Montfort which uses a series of arrays and functions to arrange words into a particular set of stanzas and singlets. This is a static image, but as you'll see in a bit, it scrolls continuously, creating more lines with random words, but a regular and consistent poetic structure - 2 to 4 line stanzas, and a singlet. It describes the experience of traveling through Taroko Gorge, a national park in Taiwan.

My remix includes a number of additions to the code intended to make the piece both interactive, and self-referential. With the addition of input methods with discoverable visual and auditory clues, it allows users to update and add to a javascript poetry generator even while it runs. The intent was to guide the viewer/user through the process of discovering how the generator functions. Most of the inputs are intended to both expose the mechanisms that allow it to run, while also adding to the vaguely ominous sensation of staring at an endless (and increasingly nonsensical) poem. 

For best results, open the page in some kind of marquee mode, to prevent it from being closed. Closing the page will reset any added variables, and the longer it goes without being shut down, the more material it can accumulate. Leave it somewhere a large number of people can pass by, interact with it, and add to the poem in whatever way they wish. This piece also produces a rhythmic sound, so either turn the volume to low or include headphones as the sound can get oppressive after a long period of time.

Important note! The tone is produced by directly invoking the oscillator in the computer, and this often doesn’t work with a laptop. For best results, use with a desktop computer with speakers of some kind. Such an accommodation may not be possible, in which case you may still display the piece, but some part of it will be lost. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have, I am happy to help. The most important part of the piece is the ability to mess with it and even potentially break it, since this was my experience making it in the first place.