A+D Visitors Series Virtual Lecture | Allison Parrish "Words and Vectors"

Feb 17, 2022 - 5:30 pm
Virtual Event
Sponsored by the School of Art + Design Visitors Committee with support from the Sustainable Life Cycle Design Fund

Join us for this virtual lecture by Allison Parrish presented as part of the School of Art + Design Visitors Series.

A vector is a quantity with both magnitude and direction. Vectors are used in computational systems both to represent language’s visual form—say, the shape of a letter—and also language’s underlying structure, in the form of word vectors and machine learning model hidden states.

In both cases, vectors are subject to manipulation: they can be added, subtracted, scaled, averaged, clustered, jostled and smeared. In this talk, poet and computer programmer Allison Parrish discusses her recent experiments in computational manipulations of language in vector form, and argues that such representations make possible previously unknown varieties of linguistic expression and poetic experience.


Registration is required for this artist talk, presented in English and delivered via Zoom. | Register Online


About the Artist

Allison Parrish is a computer programmer, poet, and game designer whose teaching and practice address the unusual phenomena that blossom when language and computers meet. She is an Assistant Arts Professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Parrish was named “Best Maker of Poetry Bots” by the Village Voice in 2016, and her zine of computer-generated poems called “Compasses” received an honorary mention in the 2021 Prix Ars Electronica.

Parrish is the co-creator of the board game Rewordable (Clarkson Potter, 2017) and author of several books, including @Everyword: The Book (Instar, 2015) and Articulations (Counterpath, 2018). Her poetry has recently appeared in BOMB Magazine



The Art & Design Visitors Series endeavors to be accessible to all. If you have questions or would like to request an accessibility accommodation, please email art@illinois.edu.