According to English poet Sir Philip Sidney’s well-known Apology, poetry is meant to instruct and delight. In the spirit of this assertion, our ongoing experiments algorithmically detect patterns in vernacular Korean poetic texts and manifest them creatively in digital environments. Our aspiration is to deepen the discussion of vernacular Korean poetry by enabling engagements with Korean poetic texts that privilege image over discourse, if only temporarily. The aim is to see, quite literally, what Korean poems can be in order to deepen discussions of what they are or might mean. This project extends the authors’ previous work by attempting to visualize an entire book of poetry in immersive space as a forest rather than envisioning individual poems as two-dimensional trees. Taking liberties with the theme of the conference where this work was presented for the first time, sensibility and landscape in Korean literature and film, we explore Korean literature as landscape.

The performative/deformative processes of computing described here include programmatic morphological linguistic analysis and L-Systems procedural modeling. Specifically, we map the bibliographic and linguistic codes of Kim So-wŏl’s canonical Chindallaekkot (Azaleas, 1925) into three-dimensional digital space to create interactive paintings from Kim So-wŏl’s “speaking pictures,” to borrow again from Sidney. This is done by expressing linguistic elements in Kim’s poems (nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs) and their structural bibliographic elements (stanzas, lines, white spaces) in the grammar of L-systems in order to create commands that (re)render Kim’s poems visually as trees.