- George Szirtes: Why Poetry?
“If I met me, but younger, we’d talk about the value of one thing. You have to choose one thing to do…”
Stillness In Motion— Liz Danzico
Part of the narrative of late has been about returning to practice, rededicating to routine. I came back from South Africa and found myself facing a hefty mountain of work to drive through. And sometimes it feels thankless. Sometimes it’s harder to see the big picture— the “why”, when you’re in the mucky trenches. Before I came across Liz’s post, I was also thinking about the idea of small victories— ensuring that I celebrate at least one thing every day that stands as a victory or success, no matter how small. This resonates nicely.
"The idea is for the installation to quite literally paint the mood of the city using social media feeds as an input. “The installation takes electronic signals and lets them manifest themselves in the physical world. Using sentiment analytics, the installation links tweets to corresponding coloured paints in real-time, feeding them out through the top of the sculpture, letting them flow into a procedurally generated three-dimensional painting”, says Lauritzsen on his website. Users tweet messages like “annoyed” or “feeling good” and these emotions correspond to different colours of paint which spills out of the pedestal."
On-trend making-of/promo video featuring trip-dub electronica soundtrack? Check.
Knocks aside, I’m a sucker for this kind of “visualisation”. It’s a little like Jonathan Harris’ We Feel Fine, except the visualisation extrudes into the real, physical world. I think there’s more mileage in projects that blur the boundaries between the digital and the analog like this— playing across the space that divides the virtual and the real.
Tangent 1: I’m going to be a little more stringent in the way I blog about these kinds of tech experiments from here on out. I’ll be using the tag “digital humanities”, at least until I devise a more appropriate taxonomy.
Tangent: If the trip-dub soundtrack appeals, check out Willas Rod for more in the same vein.
“I like my memories as they are, like thousand year old insects preserved whole in amber. Old loves…”
Writing challenge: list a series of striking memories. Select one. Interrogate that memory, the memory itself, as if it were a loved but untrustworthy narrator. Beyond what it always offers (a narrative, the details, the moment that’s lodged in your recollection), what other gifts does that memory bear? What do you owe it? What has it allowed you to do or stopped you from doing?
“Mindfulness, as defined by Ellen Langer, is about putting your mind into what you’re doing at the…”
- The Craftsman, The Trickster, And The Poet “Re-souling” the Rational Mind— Edith K. Ackermann
A) What are the fixed points in your life? The anchors; the constants by which you navigate?
B) Consider the concept of inversion in some aspect of your experience, something you may not have considered previously, the way we recognise the light of the Milky Way, while the Incas found value and things to worship in the Milky Way’s Dark River
In responding to either of these prompts, try to allude to the source material in some way— practise navigating between the received information and your own personal experience…
I’ve been thinking a lot about passive supporters recently, and how we transform them into active supporters. I manage a few communities, and I’ve always come up against a Pareto weighted breakdown of participation: 20% of the people involved make 80% of the effort required to keep the community/enterprise/initiative going. Which is not sustainable (can we say: burnout?).
I’m thinking about solutions. Maybe we need to consider active expansions and contractions. Maybe on a regular cycle you need to rededicate to your core audience, to draw a line and define what it means to be a supporter. At this point, you may well lose some of the “passive support”. And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that allows you to move forward with clarity and focus, which could in turn entice new supporters? Something like razing a field to have it grow back. Burn it all down, but the enterprise (if strong enough) will survive…
1: write the poem. The language of it. The actual words are important. The music is as important as the idea. If the music isn’t there, the idea doesn’t take flight.
2: don’t get precious. Write until you find your way. You’re a millionaire of words. Speculate to accumulate.
3: figure out how to get into the sweet spot between idea and music as quickly as possible, ever more directly.
4: no time to second guess yourself. That’s what later is for.
“You don’t get to decide the truth. Other people have their own experiences, just as valid. This is…”
When we teach poetry, we often encourage poets to deepen their internal focus or extend their technical range and critical faculties. How often do we encourage people to engage with other people, other perspectives? To not just look beyond themselves, but to actually attend to other people, real people, in a meaningful and authentic way?
And name you my country.
I throw all my dictionaries in the fire,
And name you my language.”
- Nizar Qabbani (via kathleenjoy)
“I showed you a picture I took that day using the camera that leaks light in a way that makes me want…”
- Time Expanding the Air Forcibly— Sam Ross
“Art is very good at capturing what’s lacking in our life. You can tell what’s missing from a person…”
- “The more enemies Alain De Botton makes in the art world, the better off for all of us.” | gapingvoid (via sparkspring)
“It’s even more complicated than this, because within the two extreme primary identity states, there…”
Work: Surviving the Arts | [PANK] by Scott Pinkmountain
This, and: “Once you’ve established the partitioning, work.”
"I have no shrewd advice to offer developing writers about this business of snatching time and space to work. I do not have anything profound to offer mother-writers or worker-writers except to say that it will cost you something. Anything of value is going to cost you something."
—Toni Cade Bambara, author, filmmaker, feminist, professor and social activistAll. this. truth. (cc:grownladynotebook)
Sunday afternoon, and no rest for the wicked…