developed for the CARTIER Foundation, Paris

(c) 99, Christa SOMMERER & Laurent MIGNONNEAU

online work click here: verbarium

supported by IAMAS International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences, Japan
JAVA programming support: Isato Kataoka


VERBARIUM is an interactive text-to-form editor on the Internet. At the VERBARIUMÕs web site, on-line user can choose to write text messages and each of these messages functions as a genetic code to create a visual three-dimensional form. A special text-to-form editor ensures the genetic encoding of text characters (=letters) into design functions. It provides constantly new images that are not any more pre-defined by the artist but instead develop in real-time through the interaction of the user with the system. Each different message creates a different form. Depending on the composition of the text, the forms can either be simple or complex, or abstract or organic. All text messages together are used to build a collective and complex three-dimensional image. This image is like a virtual herbarium, composed of the various forms based on the different text messages (i.e., verbs), hence the name VERBARIUM.
On-line users do not only help to create and develop this virtual VERBARIUM, but also have the option of clicking any part within the collective image to retrieve messages sent earlier by other users.