Saturday, 25 January 2014

On Automating Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer is an artist of the aphorism, whose work I have long admired. I used my user-configurable dynamic textual projective surface JanusNode to create some new Jenny Holzer aphorisms by Markov chaining some of her original lines by trigram (a statistical way of creating a new text from an old text). Although this method results in re-use of some input substrings, none of these aphorisms existed in the input in exactly the form shown here.

believing something can make reality more intelligible
a man can't know what it is to be proud of knowing yourself
personal gain potential counts for nothing but a restatement of the old
lack of charisma can be a useful motivating force
investigation is a kind of anesthesia
a natural law governing the new is dangerous as complacency
morals are crackpots
government is a burden on the people who go crazy
decadence can be a meal ticket
you should study as much as possible your parents
believing in rebirth is the most elegant weapon of the old
change anything anyway 
what is dominant in a culture is escapism
sexless old friends are better left in the occasional debauch sacrifice
principles are more valuable than a famous person 
you don't know what's interesting is the appropriate response to most people
dreaming while awake is absurd violence 
playing it safe can cause a lot of damage in the bank
imposing order is man's fate
attractive dying should be advanced at all costs
a nice idea of transcendence is a prerequisite of success
disorganization is more important than metaphor
most people are not fit to rule the mundane
extra money creates taste monomania
the new is nothing except what you sense
repetition is the best way to live in harmony with inferior people
you are the unattainable
stasis is a legitimate area of investigation
wholesome men don't protect you anymore
you should act like money in the bank hiding your own business
noise can be a form of freedom

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