@godtributes by @deathmtn

Open "@godtributes" by @deathmtn
Open “@godtributes” by @deathmtn

Poetry is traditionally conceived as a refined, patterned and stylised language produced by skilled writers and orators. Not so for twentieth-century German philosopher Martin Heidegger. His highly influential and counter-intuitive philosophy, encapsulated in the dictum “language speaks man”, suggests that poets do not make poetry, but poetry poets. It is not a question of self-expression, but of “listening” for language’s “call”. According to Heidegger, this “call” takes us beyond the “mortal” towards the “heavenly”, “the Unknown One”, “god”. I wonder, then, what he would make of @godtributes, a charming little Twitter bot that “listens” to your tweet and “calls” it out back to you, transformed into an (ir)reverent tribute to an incidental, aleatoric deity.

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“Rapbot” by Darius Kazemi

“Metaphor-a-Minute!” by Darius Kazemi

Screen capture of "Metaphor-a-Minute!" by Darius Kazemi. Twitter profile for @metaphoraminute showing its last two tweets. Text: "Uh, blame @tinysubversions for this one. (Actually one metaphor every two minutes. Twitter rate limits.) / a looper is a ruination: agonistic, alkynyl / a driver is a ninepin: drummer, not recursive"
Open “Metaphor-a-Minute!” by Darius Kazemi

This Twitter bot generates a metaphor every two minutes (in spite of its name, since Twitter places limits on automated posting), and it is more than sufficient. The constraint provides a little breathing room to consider the metaphor before facing a new one. How does one approach this steady stream of conceptually challenging metaphors?

According to George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s cognitive linguistic metaphor theory, a metaphor is a mental process of thinking of one conceptual domain in terms of another. Their method to study metaphor was to identify the source and target domains and map the linguistic expression of the metaphor across both. The poetic practice of the conceit or extended metaphor lends itself well to this kind of analysis, because it overtly explores the connection across both.

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