Data mystifies the land, it becomes organized, classified, compared, and multiplied until it losses meaning. Assimilated into the capitalist production cycle, the land becomes commoditized. Data compresses the complex lifeforms, habitats, and interrelationships of a landscape into numbers, objectifying living ecosystems into a set of predictable causes and effects. Given a different discursive formation however, data can be a creative entity; a living data-sphere which can act as a space of creative wellspring. This project explores how environmental data can be turned around and used by artists, activists, or environmentalists, as a means of re-envisioning the land and air as a life generating coevolutionary entity with which humans are actively engaged.

To do this, forest spatial distribution data sets are collected and used as generative variables for the production of algorithmic poetry. The forest area is mapped and then analyzed, from which the spatial data variables are algorithmically translated into values which determine specific phrases that are re-appropriated from a literary source. These phrases then become arranged into a poem, forming a poetic representation of the physical space of the forest and providing an additional perspective through which to perceive the interconnected mesh of a forest or landscape.

Seaview, Washington, 2016
Location of mapped area


Forest Spacial Distribution Map

Collin_Richard_2016_Shore Pine Forest Map, Seaveiw, WA

Algorithmically generated poem appropriating Biogea by Micheal Serres:

the end. We knew that this old tub patched up with string couldn’t
moves forward, like him, on
And for that very thing, eighty the government climbed aboard. Four men with potbellies, mustaches and
and the weather,
Time of my entry, Failure had locked him, I readily admit that every partial eclipse is this language? Like Aldo Leopold, Empedocles wanted to think like the mountain;
To feel the world, noble but base, as native city. No one knows how Archimedes died. Yet
Almost all of it, filling at least the air
Love doesn't only move the stars, it also quartering the subjective
Which strangers, to explode in the American desert and across the islands of Japan, we
In glory, rising toward the heavens, becoming god; people told them they should stop killing the men and sterilizing the women; Empedocles made this blowing stop by plugging the passes and
fire, volcanoes and calderas; air
small brains to arrive first, to win
sought, noiselessly, peace. Thus, once and
in addition to the passage of the
opened before them, the semaphore signs at a run, left by the door onto the rock, and unfurled all he could
species at the same time as epoch and latitude.
in his stone tower at the very moment that the pharaohs. After two days, a boat approached our side and the envoys of the government climbed
Of the We sent out our distress calls in the days when the sea still dominated us. The game has the Sun, death presents itself in person, dull and dismal. Mourning: the world dies. But assuredly the most sublime comes from
of a full serpentine, a supernatural purity of vivid olivine. Thus, better than dazzled, the vision fulfilled sight, the way food can appease or
We were changing living species at the same time as epoch and latitude. Again the swing from an old history to another.
Come out one morning quite injured. A power failure had locked him in the cellar for the night, the airtight doors blocked rim of the burning abyss, like footprints, those shoes indicate at the same time where to come

Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon, 2016
Location of mapped area


Forest Spacial Distribution Map


Algorithmically generated poem, appropriating Becoming Animal by David Abram

FROM landscape
EARTH OTHERWISE (draws). resolve. (then).
the. THEN
ONLY (lower) conceive.
the. passage. their.
one spheres.
possessed the tectonic. clear muscles relax
itself (born).
from. periphery.
well (aided) making
a entirely
a whispering.
bicycle. separable.
in. feel neutron