Are we ready,…….
Driverless Cars Politics?
Markham Rd. Overnight –
5 stabbed, red roadside flowers,
Gunmen kill father –
in Kashmir town –
The goals of Kashmir Shaivism –
red petals in mountain stream.
The process of composing the images and verse grew out of the chance observation of Toronto Star Online page. In that ephemeral internet moment, because of the webpage layout, six diverse news items became interconnected. My first observations were Media Literacy and computer technology related – some may point to a male preoccupation with new technology, cars and sex ( was the layout intentionally aimed at this bias ?); one article concerned using social media to locate sweet spots for car sex. Another article was about the potential of driverless cars.
In that moment the future societal behaviour appeared before me – fodder for a potential science fiction tale or at least an amusing New Yorker cartoon – combine social media Sweet Spot GPS with robotic cars that drive themselves. Will you just program the destination and let the car carry you off or will the cars make Sweet Spots a thing of the past ? If there is no need to concentrate on driving, you may just merrily roll along while the vehicle takes a long leisurely scenic route.
After the initial observation, I considered the interconnection of all the items. The string of topics read as sports, technology, cars, sex, changes in politics, violence (terrorism violence) against father and young son, random local street violence and technology and cars. There was a type of narrative and thematic structure there. It could be perceived as aimed at male interests. It is a list of social concerns – note the underlining concern with change and trends that ties them together on an unconscious subliminal level. It is also a Hollywood bag of current entertainment extravaganza tropes – sports, cars, sex, technology,politics, violence – both political & random street (implies cars), and more cars and technology.
Then there is the language used in the headline captions that accompanied the image icons. Notice the alliteration and wordplay that re-enforces the linkage. Marcus Stroman superb, Red Sox, Sweet Spot for car sex, Jeremy Crobyn, gunmen kill, son, clash in Kashmir, stabbed, Markham, driverless cars. The titles and sequence seems less random – almost poetic and emotionally driven.
You can see where this analysis drew me. In terms of the words, a found poem began to take shape. The poem’s final form posted here is a hyper-link composition. The links will take you to the related news articles or background information. Structurally, the poem consists of three stanzas. The first stanza is free form , while the second is in the form of a haiku and the last is a tanka verse.
The geographic and conceptual space separating and linking these different events, individuals and subjects required a mental map. I used that metaphor/imagery to create the accompanying visual pieces. Clicking them will provide more detail. Note that the first image is a Map Legend that is created from the actual title layout that was on the newspaper webpage; the page has been updated and that layout is now an archival memory, as well as content for my compositions. If there are any questions or observations you wish to share, I will be looking forward to them. ( Finished this post with a bit of time to spare before the new season of Dr. Who starts. These posts are sometimes bigger on the inside than the outside by time you finish composing them. )