Love’s Labour’s Lost

Infinite Monkey Syndrome

Date: 2012
Posted by: James R. Ford
Cast: Not given
Credits: Produced by James R. Ford
Duration: 1.30

A few months ago it was reported that US programmer Jesse Anderson had set up a virtual set of some millions of monkeys (using Hadoop), all of them tying at random on virtual typewriters, and had managed produce something that was 99.99% Shakespeare – the first text to be achieved in this way being ‘A Lover’s Complaint’. Anderson had cut corners however, because every time the random typing came up with words that roughly matched something from the Shakespeare canon then they would be retained, if not then discarded. With this and other constraints, Anderson could achieve his goal. The purely random production of Shakespeare by an infinite number of monkeys remains something for the philosophers and theoretical mathematicians.

Or for a videomaker. This droll piece, made by British artist James R. Ford, is an extract from a 9 minutes 8 second loop (therefore designed in principle to run forever). It shows us a woman in a monkey suit, typing Shakespeare, as the tags to the video tell us, because otherwise we would not know (a photograph of the typewriter on the artist’s website indicates that only gibberish has been produced – so far). Is is a Shakespeare video? I say that it is – and so it is (and just to make the point this post has been tagged with all of the plays and poems). A video to watch, infinitely.

Jesse Anderson explains more about his project on this video:

Links:
YouTube page
BBC online news item on Jesse Anderson’s project
Jesse Anderson’s Million Monkeys Project
James R. Ford’s personal website

情非得已 Qing Fei De Yi MV based on Love Labour’s Lost

Date: 2005
Posted by: objredline
Credits: Directed and edited by Long Lin and David Wu
Cast: Annie Brown, Long Lin, David Wu
Duration: 7.04

A curious cross-cultural mix, a karaoke Shakespeare of sorts. It is a mixture of music video and modern language version of Love’s Labour’s Lost, inspired by the pop song ‘Qing Fei De Yi’ by Taiwanese singer/songwriter Harlem Yu. The cast is Chinese-American, and the song which is performed for most of the video is their own rough (and painfully flat) rendition of Harlem Yu’s original. We are told that play and song were so similar in theme that it seemed logical to blend the two together. Produced as a high school literature project from Grindle Gifted Language Arts, Shakespeare Unit, 6th period.

Links
YouTube page