I am not sure why I avoided poetry as the medium of my thesis for so long (I have some ideas, but that’s for another time-space); but I am now working with the question of how can technology extend the voice of poetry.

I am going to ‘user test’ this idea in two ways to begin.

1) I am going to generate as much poetry as I can this week

and then experiment with its digital possibilities in the coming weeks, asking for feedback and responses from my various communities.

You can follow the poetry progress here

2) I am going to begin experimenting with some collective digital poetry possibilities

beginning by running a couple of poetry generating workshops at ITP to get some of these poetic possibilities in the hands (and hearts and minds) of other humans.

I did my first user testing/experimentation with a small group of itp students this afternoon.
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Here was my outline of the activities

Doing I am from poetry writing with people and recording it with video, and collecting all the text, and then making a digital poem out of it.

Step 1- Generating the Poem

Activity for ITP Students

Check in

Watch the throne- watch 1 or 2 poetry videos for inspiration and to prepare to bring forth the spirits, ancestors, and ourselves.

I am from

Collaborative Surrealist Language Event (I) (for two or more people): One person writes down a question without showing it to anyone else; simultaneously, another person writes down an answer; poem is formed by a series of these questions and answers. Alternate form: One question: multiple answers; vice versa.

. For example: ” What is the pink elephant? The reason why it is so cold this week.// Is the door locked? / I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.”

I am from writing activity

  • I am
  • I am from
  • I am made of
  • I am shedding
  • I am becoming

I previously have done a digital version of a similar exercise, seen here

30for30animatedFormPoetry from Daniel Silber-Baker on Vimeo.

Quick go around and share

As people are sharing think about what you identify with. Choose one other persons line that you identify with.

  • Quick re-write (choose or re-write just one line for each prompt)

  • Recording (how will this work?)

This is the tricky part. I am thinking get in groups of three, and record each other ‘performing’ your poems. Look for synchronous parts of your writing and record each other saying parts of your poem together as well.

  • Output
    • Text
    • Video
    • Audio

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It went incredibly well, and I am oh so grateful for Zoey, Ruta, Eve, and Paula who showed up big time.

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I will post more documentation of our activities soon, including some of the poetry we generated!

I would like to continue to iterate and build on this model of running short ‘workshops’ where we generate poetic material collectively, and then make those outcomes available for viewing and interactivity digitally.

A next possible step would be running an activity like this for my thesis group to test run the whole process. I am not sure this is possible as I understand we have a great deal of thesis work to do and limited time together. So i will also plan on setting up workshops outside class time.

Another next step is writing an updated thesis proposal I imagine 🙂