Wednesday, April 22, 2009

when purgatory is full of eyes...


schoenberg vision




a 1966 article in the italian magazine "oggi" detailed some experiments done in late 1965 at the university of pisa around the 700th anniversary of the poet dante's birth. basically two members of the university took "the best available text" of the divine comedy and transferred the 14, 233 lines of the poem to 14,233 standard 80-column IBM cards and fed them into an IBM 7090 computer. it took 18 hours and 46 minutes for the computer to deliver a 977 page document, weighing just over 100 lbs., with some interesting findings...

of the 101, 499 words in the book, apart from pronouns, prepositions, "and the like", dante used the noun "occhi" (eyes) more than any other (it appears in the text 213 times); while some of the others frequently found are: "mondo" (143 times), "terra" (136 times), "dio" (112 times), "maestro" (111 times), "ciel" (105 times), and "mente" (100 times). the most used adjectives were "dolce" and "amor" which both appear 87 times.

one of the main discoveries of the experiments was that 60% of the words in dante's text appear only once, and very few words in the text are used with any frequency. there are 13,770 different words in the text.

interestingly, the word "metallo (metal)" appears in the text, while the word "musica" does not...

images: paintings by the composer and developer of the 12 tone system, arnold schoenberg circa 1910, these "visions" all contain a pretty healthy dose of powerful eyes. i have long wondered about the painting in the middle, which was painted in 1910, looks exactly like andy warhol circa 1960... there are a ton more great images of schoeberg's paintings and drawings here .

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Blogger ArtSparker said...

I wonder how many cultural icons are identifiable simply by their shocks of white hair - I think David Suzuki is definitely a contender.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Diana said...

bosnian, not serbian

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Terrific post. And yes, the Warhol resemblance is uncanny.

11:06 AM  

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