7-week class at SFPC, Fall 2018
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(draft syllabus)

Instructor: Sam Lavigne | splavigne@gmail.com
Teaching Assistant: TBD
Track: Code Poetry, Fall 2018
Location: School for Poetic Computation | 155 Bank St, New York, NY 10014
Time: Tuesdays 10am to 1pm
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2pm to 4pm (or by appointment)
Class Notes: link

Scrapism is the artistic practice of web scraping, or of automatically collecting and transforming found digital material. It hinges upon a combination of curatorial practice, reverse engineering, and hoarding mentality. In this class students will learn how to scrape massive quantities of material from the internet with Python, and then use that material to make poetic, satirical, critical, political projects. Each session we will cover a different web scraping technique, with production assignments relating to text, image and video. We will explore surrealist, dadaist, situationist techniques such as detournement, collage, and cut-ups, and apply them to a contemporary digital context.


1. September 18th

Introductions. Using the terminal. Basic python. Reading lines.



  • Find three sentences (or phrases) in the wild. Your sentences could come from the internet or the real world, from a book, a store sign, a facebook post, a news article, product packaging, or from a restaurant menu. Anything is fine, but you must not write it yourself. Be prepared to recite what you have found next week in class.

2. September 25th

Python part 2. Manipulating text. Automating writing.


3. October 2nd

Web scraping basics. Making big lists.


4. October 9th

Web scraping part 2. APIs. Advanced text manipulation and parsing.


5. October 16th

Automating collage.


6. October 23rd

Automating video.


7. October 30th

Bots and project work.

Fun/useful Python Libraries