Found Art


Let me know if you get sick of rain chain photos.

Over the last stormy week, I’ve been fascinated by the pattern of melting and freezing. The resulting designs are like sculpture.

It’s interesting how things come together sometimes. How overlapping events create patterns. It’s like evolution — when people complain that no one could possibly know that, say, finger webbing could turn out useful later for making wings — it’s not that there was a plan, per se, but the symmetry of nature weaves together so that patterns do emerge.

Like in Twitter, for example.

Yes, I just compared evolution and the beauty of nature to Twitter. Hang with me here.

I use TweetDeck, which is an application you can download to your laptop and shows tweets from people in various columns that you can sort. So my left hand column is for the people I follow. There are about 175 of them or so. Some tweet more than others. I can mark them so they disappear after I’ve read them. New tweets pop up on their own and people post them. Some are interesting, some not.

The other columns are for people specifically talking to me and for people mentioning “Jeffe” in their tweets, but that’s neither here nor there.

So, last night we were watching Food, Inc., which was really good and is worth the time, and I was reading a story for a friend. TweetDeck had been popping up the usual chatter, a fair amount of it, it turned out, from people watching the football playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints. As the game progressed, the tweets became more frequent and intense. And it became clear to me that I follow an approximately equal number of fans of both teams.

I knew it the moment the game went into overtime.

What emerged was a microcosm of the game. I didn’t need to see it to know how it went. So I saved the tweets. This is the exact order of them. There were intervening non-game-related tweets that I deleted. These are tweets from about eight different people, none of whom were talking to each other.

At least, not directly.

Football Twitter Poem

me thinks the Vikings are trying to give this game away. I dont really care who wins, but would like to see a Colts/Saints superbowl.

Oh yeah!!!! Who dat? Who dat gonna beat dem Saints?

In essence, it’s a brand new game. Can the Super Bowl possibly be a better game than this? (Though, it’s been messy & Favre’s been slammed.)

Sorry, kitteh. Mama’s lap is NOT a good place during a game this important. Geaux Saints!! Kitteh still glaring at mama. Oops!

I’m not sure which is more streesful: watching the #Vikings in OT or watching Mr watch the Vikings in OT.

Percy Jackson starts 2/12 w00t

The #Vikings can’t catch a break with the refs. that was not a first down. not not not not not

And that was not pass interference. not not not not not

Why don’t the refs just put points on the board for the Saints and call it a game?

::sob:: please miss the field goal, please miss the field goal…..*holdsbreath*

#WhoDat

We are going to the Super Bowl!!!! OMG Saints are in the freaking Super Bowl!!!! Shriek!!!!!!!!! Thank you Thank you Bayou Boys!

Beautiful kick. Good luck in the Super Bowl, Saints! I’ll be rooting for the Colts.

::sob::

They were all looking at the same game, so of course that formed the structure. And I brought the point of view, since I selected these people to “listen” to. The pattern that emerged, though, becomes something all its own.

Just like the rain chain is a skeleton for melting and freezing water, allowing a sculpture to emerge without an artist.

3 Replies to “Found Art”

  1. I love it! I'm thrilled you used some of my tweets for your poem. I love football and I tend to get a little, shall we say, "into it" when I'm watching. But in the end, it's only a game. It's like anything important in life – play hard while the game is on, really give it your all, and when it's over, let it go. It really is all about the journey. Oh, yeah – and the falling rain.

    I'm following you now, btw. 😉

  2. O.k., I especially like the bit where you align watching the snow fall with watching the tweets flow. You remind of that guy in the Matrix who watches the code stream so much that he doesn't see the code any more, he sees the structures. You're looking at the Tweet Stream and seeing past the underlying messages to the patterns behind them. You can almost put a face on the collective consciousness of your little sub-slice of the community.

    That's pretty cool, in a totally geeky way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.