Tag Archives: VisualAssignments

life. a newspaper blackout poem

life. a blackout poem
The newspaper poetry blackout assignment is a project I’ve wanted to do for awhile. I’m a big fan of the fridge magnets that give you a limited set of words to work and create with and I see this kind of assignment along the same lines.

I grabbed my free copy of the Free Lance-Star Weekly and started looking through the articles. I found a couple of good candidates that contained words that caught my eye. I started on one and decided I didn’t like it as I moved along. I was mostly eyeballing my way down the columns and not really circling things so I easily got lost when I went back to find the poem again. Perhaps I should circle stuff in pencil first?

The article I chose was about a local former detective building a film career so there was an abundance of really good words to use in the poem. As I went down I spotted “pursuing”, “rumored”, “alive”, “challenge” but, I ended up not using them because I wanted to keep it simple. I decided to start at “life.” and treat it as the title of my poem and also a framework for what I wanted to talk about. I found that maintaining a good sounding poem and an aesthetically pleasing image is a double challenge that can be frustrating at times.

What I ended up with was this poem:
life.
a little odd familiar space where bodies get to keep up this act.

I was quite pleased with the final poem (although a bit cynical) and the way the visual of the poem turned out.

I can see myself becoming addicted to this kind of art. I definitely see myself doing more of these in the future for fun.

A Truly Sedge Experience

For my first Visual Assignment I chose the “Make An Album Cover“. I’ve done this before on some other blog of mine but, I enjoy the random elements to this assingment.

A True Sedge Folk Rock Band

Gathering the pieces

The first step is picking the band name via the random page function in wikipedia. I landed on a page about the Carex nudata, which is apparently a species of true sedge.

Next is the album name through another random function of Quotations Page. The random quote ended up being, “Last week, I went to Philadelphia, but it was closed.”

Lastly, the hardest part, finding an image on the Explore Page of Flickr that had a creative commons license on it. By the third roll I lucked out with this one:

Klatschmohn im Abendlicht
Credit to Michael Lamberty for the original photo

Also does anyone know what good practice in when remixing someones photo when they put their name at the bottom of the photo? Is it ok to delete that? Or should I maintain that as a way to connect back to the original source? Deleting is probably ok as long as I give credit somewhere, right?

The Creation

So the first thing I notice is the nice open space at the top of the image. A good spot to put some sort of text, right? I chose to place the band name there and stick with the kind of italics I associate with scientific naming of things.

I also noticed the brightness of the flowers might be a good place to drop some text. So after typing it in and playing with a bit of transformation in Gimp I got it to look mostly the way I wanted it to. I liked the combination of the word “closed” and the strike-through at first. I’m still not sure if I love it but, I think it works.

Once the text was placed I wondered what would happen if not only the far background was blurred but all the image surrounding the flower. As I began playing I noticed it made the flower pop and seem almost surreal. It lost a bit of its flower look when it became disconnected from the rest of the image but, I think I like the fact that it became this lone, weirdly shaped object. If I was a bit more daring I think I would have blurred the background even further to really isolate the flower.

Overall, I like the way this one came out. I imagine this band would be some kind of folksy, alt-rock kind of band. You know, a hipster kind of group that would think a scientific name was clever for a band.

A True Sedge Folk Rock Band