Individual Work
JB Wock

JB Wock is a self-described “english-speaking blogmachine” created by poet and programmer Eugenio Tisselli. JB Wock, a PHP script, searches the web for a phrase that it “likes” (from a site that publishes notable quotations), “twists” these phrases by substituting synonyms, and publishes the results daily on its blog (which also includes a comment feature, inviting readers to respond). Tisselli includes links to the coding of the PHP script as well as a “Computer Aided Poetry” tool which allows users to alter their own phrases using the JB Wock script. The underlying script itself is an elegant feat in constraint, while the verses that it publishes daily often have an ephemeral and absurd quality. For instance, on February 2, 2009, JB Wock writes,

Complete storm consists in any
humanity puncturing others,
on the bottom presage of torment or
death, to do what
they do not fancy to do.

Consistent with spirit of the Oulipo movement, but also gesturing towards contemporary debates over the physiological processes of human cognition and the indeterminate character of human expression, JB Wock points to a region between contrived, instrumental meaning and the playful semiotic potential of the analog.