Martin Howse, worms.txt, 2017
Networked installation, worms, rotting vegetables, custom electronics, custom Python code, desktop PC
Serpent Lucifer, how do you do? Of your worms and your snakes I’d be one or two; For in this dear planet of wool and of leather ‘Tis pleasant to need neither shirt, sleeve, nor shoe, And have arm, leg, and belly together - Thomas Beddoes. 1850 Over the last year, a container of worms dieting on rotting coffee grains and waste vegetables have composed an ever-lengthening French language text which now numbers over 9000 pages. The compost worms have been provided with an electronic and software interface to a virtual typewriter. Tiny electrical changes within the worm’s compost, which correspond to the worm’s activity and movement allow the worms to writhe and wriggle through a French language probability table to actively steer the generation of this piece of writing; worms.txt.