Bronwen Williams
Random Generator
Random Generator Results
Journal+Research
Experiment one
Experiment two
Experiment three
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Random Generator: SMH Crossword.

I created a ‘random’ generator based on an activity in my life which I enjoy and do regularly - the Sydney Morning Herald crosswords. Each day’s crossword in the SMH is written by a different person and each one has a different style to it, making some easier or more difficult. Of course over long periods of time one can notice re-occurring themes in crossword clues, but for the most part they are seemingly ‘random’. So I decided to let Tuesday’s crossword maker decide my fate. I wanted to explore the crossword in an experimental way and extend it into the physical world by using the clues as time-based instructions to map the crossword of that day onto the city. There are a different amount of clues in each crossword and I will only be following paths of the clues I solve, so lets hope I get a few at least. My final location will be determined by the incremental, randomly generated locations, each new direction affected by the prior.

My process:

  1. Buy today’s Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
  2. Complete the Quick Crossword as best I can.
  3. Using the number beside the clue as a timer, walk for the amount of minutes either ‘across’ or ‘down’ (Literally downhill and across the city) Starting from CoFA. As in, 4 down = walk for 4 minutes down the city. Only walk for clues that have been answered.
  4. Once walking for the allocated time, stop and take panoramic shots and a sound clip.
  5. Start with the next clue in an alternating fashion from across and down. If not as a crossing, move to the closest intersection.
  6. Once at final destination take panoramic shots, sound recordings, notes of all numbers and words in eyeshot, piece of printed information, drawings etc.
  7. Crunch data collected

NB: To keep within a city grid, numbers such as 28 across will be turned into 2.8 minutes (that is to say 3.2) for the sake of the experiment. 10 will remain as 10, 11 will become 1.1minutes.