Twitter writes Hamlet

Jun 11

They say anything can come out of randomness. Let’s see:

“If you put 100 monkeys with typewriters in a room long enough, eventually you’ll get Hamlet.”

This is the actual experiment, using a real-time feed of Twitter as the proverbial room of monkeys.

For each word in Hamlet, we wait until somebody tweets it. Then we do the same with the next word, et cætera until the end of the play.

Read more here:

Conus Textilus

Sep 01

Cellular Automaton

I’ve been playing with cellular automata, and at some point it got mixed with Twitter. The result is @ConusTextilus, my latest Twitter account. The name comes from the natural pattern found on a shell called Conus Textilus:

Conus Textilus

I’ll select the product of Cellular Automaton and post it on Twitter, along with the decimal rule used to produce it.

The hardest part was to find 2 symbols of sufficient contrast that will render with the exact same width on Twitter web and mobile. Too often the ascii art breaks down on Twitter because of such rendering issues. I also made it space-less, because on the web multiple spaces are rendered as one. After some trials, i selected ░ for white and ▒ for black. The best rendering is on Twitter web, detailed view:

If you have any recommandation for a better rendering, I’m all ears..

Follow @ConusTextilus !

001 | SR + EP

Jun 07

001 | SR + EP from Sebastien Rien on Vimeo.


Apr 03

Cute glitch appeared in the process:

Ordinateur Central

Dec 24

Just coming back from a residence in France (Le Vigan, coproduction OUDEIS) where I worked on a performance with the PHASE3 team. The project was called “Sinon…”.
See the residence blog for more:

Photo: Gaspard – OUDEIS

Here is the plot: “Sinon” means “otherwise”, “or else”. It’s about “what will happen if I don’t [do something]“. We don’t know so we produce, we prey, we consume, … endlessly, too afraid of what would happen if we stop doing it. We translated this concept into a techno-mystical religion assisted by a super computer (Ordinateur Central). The story says that this mythic computer has been built by a team of high level scientists, then took to an unknown location on earth. The team lost contact for mysterious reasons, leaving the computer running and the PHASE3 team with a connexion to it.

Ordinateur Central (OC) job is to optimize the real world. It analyses and produce reports and warnings. During the performance, all actions happen because the OC told to. Loud alarms would turn on sometimes, urging the operators to stop it. We don’t understand why we have to do things, but we do it since we highly trust the output of the super computer.

So I had to build this computer (somehow). I worked a long time on it and after the show, I could not let it go. I wanted to make it alive and give it a face on the internet. is the web window to Ordinateur Central. There you can see what this super machine is up to. I worked the visuals from a decomposition of traditional “megatron” faces into simpler, more abstract shapes:

It is all rendered without a single image, pure HTML/CSS. (It is possible that it won’t work in IE. OC seems to hate this software…) will evolve, who knows what OC is up to….

Google Reader Share

Nov 03

The morning Google actually made the switch to the new UI and +1 feature, I had the whole day free. Thank God for that ! I quickly went through the sharing options and found out the ugly truth: no more sharing. I just couldn’t live with it and I knew how to recreate it, and so did I.

- Get the plugin -

The word “share” is everywhere now, but gReader’s share had something else. It was not a social share as those guys at Google and Facebook seem to understand it now. It was an open sharing. You did not need to log into some fancy social network with tons of options, where “friends” would be waiting for you to talk in real-time and everything… It was like.. more peaceful. But now they want you on their network. They don’t want you to use standard and open ways to share stuff. I think they’re wrong, and it seems I’m not the only one.

My point in making this plugin is that the share feature should be OPEN and STANDARD. I’m willing to gather a community and define a standard way to share items (anything) via bookmarklet or even a new sharing button in ALL reader apps ! Just like you can tweet any link, you could share any feed item.

Seeing such a terrible update on one of my favorite webapp, I got mad. I spent the whole day coding the damn feature. Short note on the dev part, I insert script tags in gReader’s DOM and use JSONP to talk to’s server. And it just worked ! Now the hardest part is coming…

How to tell millions of deceived gReader users the battle is not over ? That we can work together, without Google, to actually have an open way to share, keep using gReader and have friend lists. I’m working hard on Twitter to get the word out. It is crucial that gReader users know about it. So if you can help spreading the news, please do.

Google made a very bad choice here. That’s not how the web should be (notice usually *they* say that), thats why I made it and will continue to enhance it. I host it on but somehow temporarily, as if the project get tons of users I’ll need to scale the thing up. But I deeply believe that if a community grows around this project, I’ll find great people to help me with this. I’m not willing to build this project on my own, it should be community driven. The share spirit, well, you got it.

So try it, report any bugs or weirdness and share your ideas for a better sharing web.


Sep 15


A moment passes and the next comes as quickly as we forget the later one.

Experimental Study on Web Asynchronicity

Apr 02

Experiments using the “web time noise” as a way of composition.
The noise seen has not been coded with a random function of some sort, it is the network response time and the browser’s imprecisions that create the asynchronicity.

erip leunamme by Videogrammo

Feb 18

by Videogrammo

Contemplation de l’angoisse

Nov 25

Visuals for Sebastien Rien’s live @ Antwerp.