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Kate Compton @GalaxyKate
, 16 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Do you know this book (grapefruit, by Yoko Ono)? I've been reading it and profoundly affecting my bot-making.

Art appreciation and bot-making thread follows:
I've been trying to identify a peculiar tendency of bots (and other algorithmically generative text):

When the pleasure of the "artwork" is getting people to ~imagine~ what is being described.
One cause:
generative text is very good at accidental juxtaposition. Give it a bag of things to use, and it will put two next to each other without considering the implications. (humans are bad at this, btw, we have a lot of baggage that makes us overthink juxtapositions)
If we put two things side-by-side, visually, or together in a sentence, the viewer is *very* likely to assume that they are related, and will come up with a story of how they are related.

(this is called the Kuleshov Effect after the soviet filmmaker who proved it)
One powerful tool in bots is to use the Kuleshov effect, but to also create more relationships in the text, to give the reader more direction in the story they are coming up with, like this example of @MagicRealismBot's "X torturing Y"
Certain structures become memes, so just by structuring a sentence in a particular way, we create a framework for the reader to build their story on

These are called snowclones:
I [SHAPE] [NOUN] (ie, "I ❤️ NYC")
NOUN is the new NOUN
But it all comes back to:

Have some cognitive distance (between dissonant concepts, odd juxtapositions/relationships, etc) that the reader must bridge

Make the act of building that bridge
* challenging
* scaffolded
* pleasurable
Lets look at this @LostTesla tweet:
Its telling a story (accidentally). There are sense words (rubs, wet) that are pleasurable to imagine.

When you put together the story (it hit a deer) you reread the tweet and see it differently (like the Sixth Sense)

If there's too little cognitive distance, the game isn't fun. It's too obvious

If there's nothing juicy about the scene, its not fun.

If there's not surprises when you imagine it, its not fun.

Conversely, if its too opaque or unintuitive or dissociated from experience to imagine, its not fun either.

You want the user to see something normal, in a new way that recontextualizes it, that builds an unexpected yet readable story.
I call these "imagination playgrounds" because I like the idea of making playground equipment for the mind: not too high, not too boring, and fun to bounce off of in different directions.
So now:

Yoko Ono, Breaking Pieces:
Where's the pleasure in this artwork?

Imagine breaking a museum or a mirror (satisfying and forbidden)
Imagine how it would look broken, put back together
Will you look at a museum differently once you had power over it (if only in your mind?)
Yoko Ono, Snow Piece:

Play this game in an unexpected time (conversation)
You know the rules of the game, they don't. Secrets are fun.
Imagine having a secret.
Imagine snow. Think that snow is falling. Think that snow is falling<br />
everywhere all the time. When you talk with a person, think<br />
that snow is falling between you and on the person.<br />
Stop conversing when you think the person is covered by snow.
Sometimes she give you games where you are someone (a bot) with a limited ruleset for conversation.

You are @infinite_scream, you are @tinycarebot.
Your world is small, perfect, and all you will talk about.

You can play the bot, or play the person conversing with it. Bandage any part of your body<br />
If people ask about it, make a story and tell<br />
If people do not ask about it,<br />
draw their attention to it and tell<br />
If people forget about it, remind<br />
them of it and keep telling. <br />
Do not talk about anything else
To conclude:

Grapefruit is a master class in creating wonderful imagination playgrounds, and inviting people to play them. Why are her playgrounds so inviting? When you climb to the top, why is the view so different than expected?

Imagine you are Yoko.
Make a bot.
(or, imagine you are Yoko Ono's bot. Make a Yoko)
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