A Few Small Poems

Kiss Poem

As I have been doing, I am gathering a few poems from my morning routine to share here … most come from one-word prompts off Mastodon.
Chalk Dust
Abandoned Playset
Landscapes of Wheat
But some are response poems, like this one to my friend, Algot:
Coffee Cup Ideas

Peace (and writing),

FlashFeb: MidPoint Check In

I’ve been sharing a drawing each day (some are better than others, just sayin’) from a set of daily prompts for Flash February and I thought I would gather the first half of the month together into a video format. I’ve been using the Paper app for drawing with my fingers, and you know, it shows. I’ve also not spent a ton of time on any one drawing — my aim is quick and creative and move on. But it has been fun to try to go in different directions from the prompt.

Here, for example, is what I created for today’s prompt of “Figures.”

Feb15 Figures

Peace (and Art),

Book Review: Observe, Collect, Draw!

Observe Collect Draw Visual Journal - AbeBooks

I can’t remember how long it has been since I read Dear Data and then joined other friends in CLMOOC in making Data Postcards over an extended period of time, but Stephanie Posavec and Georgia Lupi made data collection and representation into a meaningful activity, connected by sharing and friendship. (Wait — I checked — five years or so).

After getting involved in a February drawing exercise, with daily “F” themes, one of the reference texts was Observe, Collect, Draw! (A Visual Journal) and I ordered it from the library just to see what it was. What it is is another fun and engaging book from Posavec and Lupi, and this book is a series of invitation to observe the world through data collection and make art.

After an introduction to data in general, the book moves into pages of specific prompts and engaging ideas, coupled with templates or blank spaces for making your own data set art works, and I found it a lovely experience (but this was a library book, so no drawing took place – I did one activity on my iPad that I will share another day).

Some examples of the invitations for data collection include: What My Camera Sees, Sounds Around Me, My Inbox, My Swearing, Distractions, Being More Kind, Weather Mood, and more.  Some of the data collection activities can be done in one sitting. Some can stretch over a period of time.

Interview: Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec on "Observe Collect Draw ...

I find these kinds of books to be intriguing, for the ways they encourage you to observe the world through different angles, and notice closely. Data in this case is observational, and personal, in that a person take part in their experiments is really trying to uncover the layers of a life lived, and represented through color and shape, font and sequence, and more.

I highly recommend reading both books, and then breaking out the art supplies.

Peace (and Data Points),

River Ice: Six Word Story

The DS106 Daily Create prompt today was to create a multi-media Six Word Story, so I used a childhood memory of a time on some river ice as the narrative of mine.

Peace (cracked by holding),

Prose Poem: The Acorn Wars

Acorn Wars Prose Poem

I was reading a post over at NWPStudio as someone was sharing a prose poem, and it sparked a story in my head. I sat with it for a few weeks, and then, I came across another prose poem in a book I was reading about poetry — Poetry Unbound by Padraig O’ Tuama — and the idea stirred again.

Prose poems are tricky, I think, because they might seem to surface as story, but need to have poetic elements woven into the fabric. Here, I tried to do that with some phrasing but also, the call and response of a conversation with myself, with memory of childhood the heart of the words.

I am still not sure it really worked, and I went through a handful of design choices for what/how I wanted the poem to look, from one huge block of text and font choices, to smaller pieces, broken apart, to this final version, where the response lines are their own lines, giving a little more weight to those words.

Peace (and poems),

In The Age Of AI Search, Will We Still Be Curious?

Poster be curious, second version
Poster be curious, second version flickr photo by Ampersand Press Lab shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

When people seek information, we might think we have a question and we are looking for the answer, but more often than not, we benefit more from engaging in sense-making: refining our question, looking at possible answers, understanding the sources those answers come from and what perspectives they represent, etc.  — Bender/Shah, from All-Knowing Machines Are A Fantasy

Emily Bender shared this article, originally posted back in December, as the news hit that both Microsoft and Google are integrating advanced language model AI Chat functions within their search engines. Google announced their tool (Bard) yesterday and Microsoft has been ramping up its use of ChatGPT inside Bing.

An insight of theirs that struck me is how, just like when we wander a library or just like when we turn the pages of a newspaper, it’s often the randomness of the stumble upon something unknown that is the best experience. We might find a book we never knew we needed to read or find an article that has us looking for more information.

Search, for all its drawbacks in design and function, can be the same, in that when you try to find one thing, a search engine is often apt to also spit out something else. Now, this can be frustrating if you are looking for something specific. But if you are a curious searcher, a post with an odd header might have you wondering, and following, and discovering something new and interesting, or just weird.

In my reading of their article, Bender and Shah suggest that the age of AI Chat inside the search algorithms might hinder our curiosity, one of the things that make us human in the pursuit of information, as Chatbots serve us up more than we need, in a single screen space. They also address an linguistic component to the language the bots are using to provide us with information.

One of their main points is that we need to follow information back to its source, to determine its authenticity and relevance, in order to make sense of information, and AI (right now) does not necessarily allow us to do that. It just serves up information from its database in nice textual chunks.

But I’m reminded of a tagline from a YouTube channel by Hank Greene: Stay Curious.

Peace (and Wonder),

NetNarr: Voice In Writing/The Arc Of An Idea

NetNarr: Voice

A new iteration of Networked Narratives, with Mia Z., is underway and she posted an in-class prompt — What is voice in writing? — as she and her students grapple with the age of AI, and what impact it will have on our writing. The prompt seeks to suss out the human elements of writing versus the algorithmic text. (see Mia’s university students’ responses)

I added my thoughts, with a poetic slant.

Voice in writing is the human element, the creative entanglement of a person with something to say, writing on the page, the sequence and the choice of words, the phrasing that indicates the writer behind the page, the arc of an idea.

But then, as so many of are apt to do today, I fed the question into ChatGPT to see how it might respond:

Voice in writing refers to the unique perspective and tone an author adopts in their writing. It gives the writing a sense of individuality and can convey the author’s attitude, personality, and emotions towards the subject. Voice can affect the style, tone, and mood of the writing, and can make a piece of writing more engaging, memorable, and relatable to the reader. — ChatGPT

Sounds like an academic voice.

Peace (in the Arc of an Idea),