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Inventory #3

Posted by on March 13, 2016

In this post I will be discussing the archived site for Transpoetica, “The Future is a Dog,” by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and finally where I see the connection between the two. In order to accomplish this I will be pulling content from both the Transpoetica website and Hans Obrist’s book. A few things may or may not be taken out of context, but as with art I believe it is ok to repurpose something in the creation of something new so long as credit is given to the original artist or author.

Transpoetica was an exhibit in 2014 which utilized the works of Stephanie Strickland to highlight the relationship between linguistics and technology. The exhibit showed that poetry in a digital form could become an entirely new form of art than that same poetry on a piece of paper.

This exhibit attempts to juxtapose the historic with the new and increasingly exciting marriage of art with technology, the lyrical with the mathematical. Poetic rhythms intermingle with scientific algorithms creating an adventurous trek through the time line of technogenesis” (Josephine Sanders, Transpoetica)

To me this quote means that the show itself was created by people who were excited about the relationship between art and technology and excited even more so by the potential future of digital art. The exhibit and the now archived website allow the general public to experience the excitement of all those involved in putting together both the art and the exhibit.

In interacting with some of the electronic poetry on the Transpoetica website I came across a piece called “slippingglimpse,” in which I experienced a juxtaposition between the power and beauty of nature and the elegance of the written word. This poem paired the written word with the user’s choice of ten different nature scenes. The high quality video made the text very difficult to read, but because of the font selected in the poem I have to believe that was intentional. This poem highlighted the ephemerality anything man-made against the endless beauty of mother nature.

In the second chapter of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s book,¬†Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating, titled “The Future is a Dog,” Obrist asks a number of artists¬†“what is the future of art?” To which he gets a number of very interesting answers, none of which I think are necessary in this context or even in the context of the book. In a way I think that Obrist just wanted to show how open the future could be to suggestions by those making it. I believe Obrist himself answered the question best almost unintentionally in a quote I will take hugely out of context.

My laptop, an enfolded monster, holds a polyphony of futures.” (Obrist, 22)

This quote is beautifully simple. To me it emphasizes not only the fact that there will be many futures, but also the fact that myself and others will be interacting with them on various digital devices. In this quote Obrist was really only referring to the messages he was getting from those to whom he had asked the question.

The future is endless and will be created constantly by people excited about exploring the affordances of new technology and/or those excited about appreciating more classic art forms in a modern world. The future is many things: A harsh mistress, a poem in an art exhibit that has yet to be made, and yes even a dog.


Obrist, Hans Ulrich, and April Elizabeth. Lamm. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating: But Were Afraid to Ask. Berlin: Sternberg, 2011. Print.

“TransPoeticaWorks by Stephanie Strickland.” TransPoetica: A Stephanie Strickland Retrospective:. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

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