The Infinite Woman
|Title:||The Infinite Woman|
The Infinite Woman is an interactive poetry platform that computationally performs contemporary poetic techniques of remix and erasure. It’s a cross-platform web app hosted at theinfinitewoman.com, and should be compatible with all devices and all internet browsers (except Safari).
As a feminist critique and artistic intervention, the project remixes excerpts from Edison Marshall’s The Infinite Woman (1950) and Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949). Marshall’s novel is a melodramatic, male-authored, first-person fictional narrative in the voice of Lola, a protagonist who embodies the ideal of natural womanhood. Beauvoir’s existentialist philosophy of gender deconstructs the myth of the eternal feminine. The web app digitally recontextualizes the voice of “the infinite woman” as a machine.
An n-gram algorithm procedurally generates infinitely scrolling sentences that remix Marshall and Beauvoir. As a conceptual gesture, the algorithm stretches the logic of the infinite woman to the breaking point by infinitely generating language that attempts to describe and critique an eternal feminine essence.
Users can select sentences from the infinitely scrolling text to send to the canvas workspace, where they can erase words and rearrange sentences to create their own erasure poems.
Meanwhile, fog slowly erases the screen – materializing “the misty mirror of the eternal feminine” (Marshall + Beauvoir).
With Katie Schaag’s creative direction, the platform was designed and implemented by Alayna Panlilio, Ryan Power, Josh Terry, Alex Yang, and Jeffrey Zhang at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2019.
|External Contributors:||Alayna Panlilio, Ryan Power, Josh Terry, Alex Yang, Jeffrey Zhang (student developer team)|