VVP: Art 434 & Engl. 410

Website for Vision Voice and Practice: An Interdisciplinary Course in Art and Creative Writing

Monday, April 6, 2015

Text-based spot collaboration

We asked students to write down one thing they had seen on their way to class. As they did this, we opened, on the screen, a browser. We then asked the students, one by one, to tell us what they wrote down, and we asked other students for each new word or phrase to give us a number, roughly 1 - 7. We made a search for each word or phrases, landing on the image corresponding to the number we received. For example, one student said they'd seen a "crosswalk" that morning, and another student said "4," so we looked at the fourth image of "crosswalk" that came up in the feed. We projected each image on the screen for a few seconds, and asked all the students to write down one or two "concrete," descriptive phrases and sentences for each one. Finally, after we'd gone through all the images, we put students in groups of two and three and asked them to make a collaborative poem out of the language they each now had. They didn't have to use all of it, but they couldn't add any new words, unless they were linkage words, like conjunctions or articles. The words that started the whole thing are below, followed by some of the poems.

Fat cat
Kids wobbling on their bikes
Red tea kettle
Fake bacon
My mother
My speedometer
Utility cart
A muffin I was eating it
Pet owner
Richard’s golf cart
My puppy wanting breakfast
Cement mixer
Flower bushes
The sun
Power washer


Not English Old woman, Keen-eyed baby Can be towed—Fluff or fat, A red child.
Weirdly angled Muffin, kiss?
Orange-lit night drive; Paths all around.
Billowing skirt—Way too loud, Too much emotion.
Flat dead bacon, Bright utility, Over 6000 rpms:
Wheels, lines, beams, glass; Fusion and fires;
Artificial Black sky Offsetting gray
Secure Floating truck.


Gateway View

A blonde woman in a green dress watching from the shadows guards the dream: people moving, eyelashes, purple divine roses; towering people stand like ugly machinery, surrounding, stiff, waiting. This is a library, a common square, a white line framed in black semicircles. It’s all moving way the hell too fast.


Meet the Johnsons

Daddy finally gave in. Lazy scoundrel. Ugh. The mad hatter is always drinking something. The punk. A new strider bike for crossing the street speeding to the nightclub. Don’t be so jealous. It’s a sin. Susi lived over the speed limit, a glowing speedometer. Over abundance. Fat lips on that bay. Hold my hand, happy while the small Sheppard dog sleeps.
Eat, sleep, repeat.


White White White Black

Black sleeping anything
White eating father
Pink kissing hell
Blue smiling kettle
Red holding gum
White laughing child

Four bombing doom
Two going machine
Two sleeping humiliation
Three holding death wish
Four eating turmoil
One hundred and forty eight nothing

That awful butterscotch
A rather sensual display
Don’t take a picture.

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