DJ Huppatz: My thoughts on Google poetry

1 January 2004

John Cage came to me as an obvious start so I initially plugged in the
words “Portrait of John Cage” only to find dick higgins has already written
a piece called “jog he can” so instead I tried “Portrait for Cage” & came
up with some nice bits & pieces. Then I tried “self portrait”, “happiness”
and “diary”. My problem with Google as a machine for writing is that it
works far too well at what it's supposed to do which is take you to sites
directly related to your search words. It's not random enough for my liking
& doesn't think sideways (I guess you're supposed to do this yourself).
A metonymic search engine? The other problem I had is with the internet as
source material: there's just so much boring informational text out there
to wade through or thoroughly cut up to make it interesting (& so much
English, especially American English). These days it's become one giant
shopping mall. Not that shopping malls don't make interesting source
material but gee you have to be in the right frame of mind. For me the most
interesting sites were those found under “diary” where ordinary folks put
their thoughts online & gems appear more frequently like the one above, so
good I just had to shoplift it.

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