Playing Poetry

Wood Wide Web

A Playing Poetry & Phoenix Leicester co-commision

National Poetry Library
21st October – 15th January
Tue 12 – 6pm, Wed – Sun 12 – 8pm

As part of the Poetry Games exhibition at the National Poetry Library, Playing Poetry and Phoenix Cinema & Art Centre launched a commission to invite two artists to explore the intersection of poetic writing and game-making. Artists Mariana Marangoni and Rianna Suen collaborated over the course of two months, developing a joint practice looking at digital literacy, online communities and ecopoetics.

You can read their progress posts here:
Co-commission update 1: Tending the Digital Garden
Co-commission update 2: Wood Wide Web

Out of the commission, Marangoni and Suen, along with sound designer Mikey Parsons, developed a new game affectionally called Wood Wide Web. Part idyllic walking sim, part cottage-commodore-core pixel art generator, Wood Wide Web invites the player to tend to a digital world, planting seeds by writing poetic texts, which grow into trees and in turn spread to become entire forests.

Wood Wide Web Launch Event

Wood Wide Web launched in January 2023 at the National Poetry Library with a special exhibition build of the game. Housed in a 90s desktop tower teeming with plantlife, which affected the output of the game text, the game was presented to a sell out crowd of games enthusiasts and poetry fans alike.

Mariana Marangoni, Rianna Suen and Mikey Parsons joined exhibition curator Nick Murray for a conversation and about the game, and invited participants to add their poetic writing to the forest that grew through the night.

Mariana Marangoni is a Brazilian artist and researcher based in London. Through a wide range of media such as installations, web-based experiments and fictional short stories, Mariana critically explores the materiality of media and the boundaries between natural and machine languages. She holds a MA in Interaction Design at the London College of Communication and is currently an Associate Lecturer at LCC. Amongst others, she has performed and exhibited internationally at the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), Ars Electronica (AT) and Gaîté Lyrique’s NØ LAB (FR).

Rianna Suen is a generative artist, knitwear designer and game dev based in London. She mostly makes puzzle games and interactive craft based generators, but also dabbles in twitter bots and generative music. Previous works include Concrete Nest, a generative concrete poetry making tool, and Motif, a pattern making game inspired by the works of William Morris.