Webcam Poetry24/7 (2019)

Webcam Poetry24/7 is a continuation of a previous project titled "Webcam Poetry" created in early 2018. Using advanced machine learning and computer vision the program attempts to determine what is happening in one of many live webcams spanning across the globe. Once established (sometimes brilliantly badly) it will generate a short poem based on information it can find about the subject matter online.

This often results in poems that either have a surprising level of depth and are quite captivating or are hilariously vague.


View webcam poetry live at https://webcampoetry.com



How does it work?

Using a curated list of webcam streams a random location is picked; next, a frame is captured and put through "Neural Talk 2" which produces a relevant caption and title for the poem. Once titled I use my bespoke natural language tools to parse the title, get subject matter and gather information about it online. When the program has an idea of the topic, I use my poem generating framework to create a short contextually relevant poem.

This poem is then added to my archive and published via the website.


What technology do you use?

The basis for Webcam Poetry 24/7 is a nodejs application. With custom tools written in Python and Bash.


What locations do you support?

I'll update this list every time new locations are added, they may be a little sparse at the beginning. It takes a while to add/find them.

  • 🇫🇮Finland • 6 locations
  • 🇩🇪Germany • 5 locations
  • 🇮🇪Ireland • 1 location
  • 🇸🇪Sweden • 3 locations
  • 🇨🇭Switzerland • 2 locations
  • 🇬🇧United Kingdom • 6 locations
  • 🇺🇸United States • 9 locations


Can I save one if I like it?

Yes! Under the map is a link "get sharable link". Click it, this url will always display your poem alongside a still from the webcam.


Webcam streaming on mobile devices

Companies like Apple block autoplaying videos on mobile devices for a number of reasons, but mainly battery life and advertising. This means it's hard for me to make it work, but I'm working on a solution. In the meantime view the live streams from a laptop.


Videos

I'll make a full video of multiple streams soon, here's a brief tweet in a video though!



Past Exhibitions

  • Two people on the road
    September 2018 - Broadway, Nottingham
  • Catalyst
    June 2018 - Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Exit Strategy
    May 2018 - Goldsmiths, University of London


Reviews/press

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a …webcam?” - Marie Boran, PhD Researcher Dublin City University/Irish Times


Supported by

Webcam Poetry24/7 is supported by Broadway's Near Now and Arts Council England