Thursday, May 20, 2010

Subconscious Digital Poetry

You are strolling through a shopping center. The gleaming aluminum and white Apple Store draws you in. You walk toward the light.

Curious about the gadget displayed inder the spotlight of elaborate track lighting, you pick up the iPad to feel the weight of the object in your hands. A stiff anti-theft cable tethers the gadget to a hole in the table, which is conspicuous and clumsy for such a clean, minimal environment.

You imagine the product's potential in your own routine. Would it fit in your messenger bag? Where would it sit on your coffee table? Would you drop it in soapy water if you tried to read it in the bath? You struggle for a functional rationale to buy it. You open up the word processor...and your mind goes blank.

This absence of mind is a close relative to Record Store Amnesia or Video Rental Amnesia (newly erraticated by the netflix vaccine) it's a family of temporary neurological disorders where the interior design of endless nearly identical shapes (DVD cases, record covers, etc) renders the consumer with a complete loss of memory regarding recently desired purchases. In extreme cases, all recollection of current fiscal demands or available funds is also lost, resulting in unwise transactions. If a similar diease breaks out in an Apple Store, the outcome could be catastrophic. The victims would not be be coherant and aware of the repurcussions of their actions until all cardboard boxes are folded into the recycling bin and the carpet is littered with form-fitted styrofoam.

But today in the Apple Store the effect is only enough to momentarily daze. With your fingertips to the touchscreen keyboard and your conscious mind wiped, the amnesia finds it's creative potential.

In a haze of retail zen, your fingers flow freely and independent of rational thought. Newly formed words are slurred by clumsy touch and bounce off of previously abandoned messages, demo templates, and saccarine stock photos. Your fingers dance between staged family vacation models. The resulting document, though never intended to be seen, is an automatic critique of the gadget, a subconscious poetry speaking about consumerism and our relationship to technology.

I have begun to collect these documents. A new found poem will be posted every morning at Please enjoy, and the next time you are in one of these stores feel free to check the iPads to see what you can find. Email your discoveries in PDF form directly to me at and I will share them with the world.


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