I take photographs of words on artworks, museum displays, urban paraphernalia, sticker art and anything else that contains beautiful text or a suggestive combination of words.
Here are some of those photographs worked into a visual poem, titled During Uncertainty.
Like many people who studied art and humanities, I often catch my mind holding hands with the preoccupation of professional uncertainty. For no very good reason, since I have managed to get by in a number of countries without too much existential angst. Each job and each trip has been a joyful risk and successful experience -only a little bit scary.
While creating this piece I wondered more and more about refugees’ perception of travel, of emigration, of life change. I admit, with a mixture of guilt-shame and thankfulness, that despite the precariat ravaging culture and knowledge work, I am in a random -and lucky- position of privilege. I hope that refugees too will witness their life journeys as an adventure with a happy ending.
Good luck (and resist the Precariat!)
In an old Vietnamese book I’d bought in a second-hand shop in Saigon, I found a loose piece of paper, dated 1993. It’s an invitation to a religious event that this French school in Saigon must have held. The young girl who received this personalised invite is, conceivably, the author of the ‘accidental poem’. On the back, somebody has written a list of Vietnamese words, followed by their English translations.
Here is the ‘found poem’:
Start the ball rolling
Leave me stranded
Take for granted
Shudder hair raising
I make art in series and I collect some of the things I find when walking. When I have enough of whatever it is I’m collecting, say, bones, photographs of padlocks, or pieces of driftwood, I feel that I have an art series. Then I have to make whatever interventions on the collected items (e.g. attaching pieces together with wire, painting them, printing over them, or whatever other creative methods suits me at the time) that I feel are necessary to fully appropriate them and bend the haphazard moment in which we found each other into a volitional, constructed and significant one.
For about 6 months now, I’ve been saving tweets, choosing my favourite short word arrangements and taking screenshots of them. Once I’d collected enough tweets, I was able to play around and curate them into a lyrical narrative. Here is the first Curated Tweet Poem, I call it Calliope Baristess, Cafe Warrior:
Dear Tweeters featured here, if you should disapprove of your public tweets being part of this artwork, just let me know and you shall be un-retweeted as soon as is humanly *this-is-not-a-tweetbot* possible!
A curated poem made of Tweets. This is a metrosexual love story set in London. I re-tweeted each chosen ‘line’ in sequence from last to first, so the poem can be read on my Twitter timeline.
Dear Tweeters featured here, thank you for your inspiring tweets. As you know, it is common -even desirable- practice for tweets to be retweeted by interested parties. If, however, you should disapprove of your public tweets being part of this artwork, just let me know.
(First published on 30 September 2012)
Creating order out of the seeming chaos of my Twitter timeline, the third #curatedtweetpoem makes meaning out of ice cream desire/consumption in the global economy of exploiters and exploited.
Curated Tweet Poems are selected tweets, carefully chosen over months of Twitter activity, re-tweeted in order so they read from top to bottom with a narrative different from the purpose of the individual tweets. Again, I thank Tweeple re-tweeted here for their inspiring tweets.
(First published on 4 October 2012)