Three weeks ago, I went to see a free screening of the incredible film “Home” and was treated to a Q&A with the director Yann Arthus-Bertrand afterwards. Many people in the audience were moved by the film. ¬†They praised it for its extraordinary beauty, and also its message: Humans are not living sustainably on this earth. At least a few people asked Yann Arthus-Bertrand what they should or could do, to which he very thoughtfully replied, “I don’t know. I’m a filmmaker, so I made this film. Now it’s up to all of us to figure it out.” And I really appreciated his position that doing art can raise consciousness. So, as my little homage to “Home”, I made a kit called “sustainable poetry” which invites people to experiment with different poems about sustainability. Click the screenshot below to try it out (or click here.)

This experiment is collaborative, so changes you make will be stored on the server and shown in realtime to other users, or saved for the next person who visits. A couple of points: I’m not saving any history of changes at the moment, but I probably should. Also, let me know what words I’m missing, and I’ll add them. And a final disclaimer, this is a work in progress, so suggestions are greatly appreciated!

10 COMMENTS
elaine
March 2, 2011
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fun!

patriciasw
March 3, 2011
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this is terrific. i tried to write a poem. didn’t get very far, but i’m tired. i looked for “the”; couldn’t find one. maybe i didn’t look hard enough. if it’s not there, i’m guessing that’s intentional. sustainable poetry: sustainable because it doesn’t take up 3-D space? sustainable because it’s about sustainability? i hope you maybe you’ll leave it up where it’s easy to access–kind of like a web refrigerator (know what i mean) so we can poetize when the urge hits. is there a way to double the words? like a copy/paste function?

March 4, 2011
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I called it sustainable poetry because as you surmised, it lets you make poems which evoke (in my opinion) imagery of sustainability. But it’s also very un-sustainable poetry because it’s a shared space like a refrigerator door on times square and there’s no real way to keep what you made except to keep coming back and checking on it.

panda
March 3, 2011
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I love the pink & green heart chakra colors! bravo.

panda
March 3, 2011
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would love to see the words: collaborative, consume, create, garden, build, excite, share, grow, inspire, heal, nurture and maybe a few more random nouns

March 4, 2011
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Great suggestions, will definitely add, thank you.

A MC
March 3, 2011
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very cool! you could let people export images rather than saving changes — that way when someone does one they like they can keep it…

you could also build something to let people add / remove words — but maybe that ruins it?

March 4, 2011
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I can see how these ideas would really add to the experience. I am feeling a version 2 coming on =)

Julia
March 4, 2011
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Here is a a poetry maker I built many years ago using quicktime that you might find interesting.
http://bitpress.com/poetry/index.html

Katie
March 4, 2011
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I’m not usually inclined to create poetry, but I gave it a go and enjoyed myself! Thanks Murphy.

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