Thursday, 4 February 2016

Diane Ward

Diane Ward was born in 1956 in Washington, D.C. Her work is often associated with the Language movement and deals frequently with the relationship between men and women, as well as the charged emotions that lie beneath seemingly casual things. Ward considers Gertrude Stein and conceptual art as one of her main influences: “I realized that poetry could be like drawing, it could be thinking itself, a conceptual activity, and not just an end product.”

Ward has published more than a dozen collections of poetry. Her honours include a California Arts Council Artists Fellowship in Literature and a National Endowment for the Arts grant for poetry which she won at the age of 18. She lives in Santa Monica, California.


My below poem took its inspiration from Ward’s “Immediate Content Recognition” – using the title as a starting point for a poem about human relationships in the age of interactive technology.

~ - ~

automatic content recognition

i am over there | by now used
to this out-of-body experience
contained | neatly tied down to the circuit board
i am locked behind touch-screen interface | muted | yellow | back-lid
i am identified | managed | monetized | screened
real time interactivity with the content is now enabled
i am enhanced without the need for any manual cue
the viewer can use its companion device
i am accessed | fully automated | shared
with friends family and online communities
i am ridden | dragged into branded virtual space
to offer more immersive event-based experiences with deeper
engagement and higher stickiness
i am popped up | framed | autocompleted
providing instantaneous identity to spearhead consumption
i am hand-held | fitted | fully responsive | enabled
with no need for mutual consent
i am limited only by your imagination
to another level | here
insert the plug

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