I had a forty minute commute to the Computers and Writing conference this year. Here are some reflections begun while tooling down the road:
I struggled with the presentation. The new piece for the session wouldn't gel. I almost just went with older material. The Slow Combers tweet poem, in fact, became the opening piece through a somewhat frantic search for something to perform. A few months ago, the music video in Slow Combers was taken down, ending the ability to (live) compose the poem. Then the video was reposted by someone else, the flv file suggesting all kinds of open-Web and counter-cultural trails. The live tweeting in the poem speaks to prosumer concerns, from composing in public to interacting in commercial spaces to distributed creativity. In performance, the piece tries to enact these participatory questions through the live composing and use of materials.
The version I performed in Raleigh had a bit of remixing in the script for the twitter postings but the piece itself is well represented in this version of the tweet poem.
The piece itself is really nostalgic, about memory. If you didn't know that I grew up in a beach town starting in the late '60s, you'd miss out on much of the personal meaning evoked by the archival/home video aesthetic. And even though my beach childhood is a bit later than the era depicted in the materials, the cultural suggestion of an alternative, spontaneous engagement with the world resonates hard for me and, no doubt, informs the project.