I wrote the software "Permutations" for the exhibition Brion Gysin: Dream Machine on display at The New Museum for Contemporary Art between July 7th and October 3rd 2010. This software is a "version" of the program developed by Ian Sommerville and Gysin in 1960 to permute poems. The original program ran on a Honeywell Series 200 model 120 computer. The version I wrote uses a modern programming language and hardware. While the materials used to produce the original permutation poems are in many ways quite different from my own, I have attempted to create a realization of the work that is sensitive to the original and its process. At the same time, it is a new version, a collaboration done in the spirit of an artist whose work provides a critique of conventional notions of authorship.
I believe it is in the spirit of the work to share copies of the software I wrote under the GNU General Public License. This license allows gives anyone the ability to download, run, alter, and share the software. The one requirement is that all future versions must be released under the GPL as well. You may download the software here or on github.
I want to thank The New Museum and specifically Kraus Family Curator Laura Hoptman and Assistant Curator Amy Mackie for their support in completing this project. Thanks also to Doron Ben-Avraham, Manager of Information Technology at The New Museum for his help and advocacy.
Joseph Moore 2010
Documentation of Permutations also available on ubu.com.