Geneword is an ongoing series of digital poetry experiments focused on the invention of new words. Created by Tom Haviv and Owen Roberts, this toolkit generates millions of new words by combining 168 Greek and Latin prefixes with every noun in the English language. The first iteration of this project, Index I, is designed to be a playful provocation and serious starting point for imagining what new words for things can do.
With a simple gesture, this algorithm aims to expand the English language, and to find out what happens (expressively & poetically) when such new words are created. This feels particularly important in a time when languages of power are being used and abused to limit our vision of what is possible, rather than opening up new pathways of meaning-making and ways of being in the world.
Genetext creates full reading experiences with the Genewords—applying the algorithm to specific texts from Genesis, Exodus, and Pirkei Avot.
Owen Roberts is an artist and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. His work consists of animation, art games, websites, and other multimedia projects. He is a professor of media arts & technology at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. His website is owen.cool.
Tom Haviv is the cofounder of Ayin Press, and the author of A Flag of No Nation, Woven, and The Porcupine Prince.