Waveform is a project that has been ongoing since 2017, in which an airborne camera drone is used for generating digital poetry. Initially, the drone captures aerial images of incoming ocean waves, which are then analysed by a machine-vision algorithm that traces the nebulous boundary between wave and shore. This undulating marker provides a stream of variables for another algorithm that generates enigmatic, poem-like texts, which are curated to engage themes concerning the maritime environment, practices of scientific measurement, and the perils of life in a rapidly degenerating climate.

Waveform has always been conceived as an ongoing series, from which a selection of outputs would be disseminated in different forms. In 2019, some of the latest material from Waveform was exhibited as a video installation at the Glucksman Gallery, Cork, and it is now published here in a dedicated online version. This has been compiled especially for the web, and features a new selection of images and poems. The textual sources used for the latter are The Sea Around Us (1951) and The Edge of the Sea (1955) by Rachel Carson, the celebrated writer, conservationist, and marine biologist.

Waveform has been written about extensively, and an expanded introduction to the project’s core themes and ideas, as well as links to academic articles on its conceptual background, can be found here.

To explore the online version, please click here. An ambient recording of ocean waves will play once you start interacting. You can navigate either by using the on-screen arrows, your keyboard arrow keys, or the mouse scroll wheel. Mobile users can also employ swipe gestures, but should note this piece is viewed more comfortably in landscape mode.