Data poets


The Aesthete

The aesthete likes to admire ordinary landscapes.
You fill it with images.

The Bard

The bard likes to listen to the music of the city.
You fill it with sounds.

The Fountain

The fountain is a companion to the other poets. They communicate together wirelessly.

Poets, photographers and other creatives have unique ways of capturing and making sense of their environment. They use their respective mediums to record and share their personal interpretation of an experience. Using these creative mediums as inspiration, we are using Artificial Intelligence’s creativity as a tool to encourage poetic play and create a dialog between inhabitants and their urban environment.

To explore this idea, the Glasgow Office of Fun and Games has designed the “Data Poets”. They are inspired by the ubiquitous sensors present in our pockets at all times (location, sound, images...). What if these sensors also experienced and felt spaces in an interpretive manner?  The Data Poets spark a creative conversation, a contrast or similitude between our own perceptions of urban spaces and theirs. We designed them to help us interrogate how we extract meaning (perceive and understand) from our surroundings. Sensors have feelings too!

If cameras had a poetic soul, would we show them things differently? Would we take them on a gentle walk along our favourite path?
If microphones had a musical ear, how would they sing? Would we make them listen to the roar of the motorway, or the happy chatter of birds in the park?

The Data Poets allow people to share a sensorial experience of a place with a “genie in a bottle”, an AI poet living inside of the devices. These Ai poets will create unique poems based on the experiences (pictures, sounds) they are being “filled” with by participants. These are then poured into the Fountain printer, which will print the poems on paper, as a tangible record of the experience.

The Data Poets bring a poetic approach to Citizen Science (data-collecting by ordinary people). Instead of exploring data for scientific reasons, what happens if we have fun with it?

© GSA 2020
© Gaston Welisch 2020

Project supported by The
Glasgow School of Art