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README.md

Scrapism

Instructor: Sam Lavigne | splavigne@gmail.com
Teaching Assistant: Fernando Ramallo
Track: Code Poetry, Spring 2019
Location: School for Poetic Computation | 155 Bank St, New York, NY 10014
Time: Thursdays 10am to 1pm
Office Hours: Thursdays 2pm to 4pm (or by appointment)
Class Notes: (link to come)

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.

Schedule

1. March 21st

Introductions. Using the terminal. Reading lines.

Readings

Assignment

  • Create a work of computationally generated poetry using only command-line tools.

2. March 28th

Intro to python. Manipulating text. Automating writing.

Readings

Assignment

  • Transform a non-poetic text into a poetic text using Python. It is up to you to determine how and why a text is poetic or non-poetic. If you are stuck, try techniques like sorting, randomizing, filtering, deleting, or replacing.

3. April 4th

Web scraping basics. Making big lists.

Readings

Assignment

  • Make a big list. The source material for your list can be anything you find online.

4. April 11th

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

Readings

Assignment

  • Analyze and/or critique a text programmatically.

5. April 18th

Automating collage.

Readings

Assignment

  • Create an automatic collage

6. April 25th

Automating video.

Readings

Assignment

  • Create a video piece by automatically editing together material you find online or shoot yourself.

7. May 2nd

Bots, modules, applications, and web. Or, how to reuse your code for multiple outcomes.

Assignment

  • Create a tool or a service that allows other people to interact with your work. This could mean a command line program, a website, or a bot etc. You can reuse a project you've already started on, or make something completely new.

Inspiration

Fun and useful Python Libraries

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