Zach Gage Sings the Google Electric

THE DAILY PIC: At Postmasters, Gage finds daily haikus in our searches.


THE DAILY PIC (#1539): Who knew The Great Google was a poet? Zach Gage finds Google’s poetic soul in this piece, and a slew of others just like it, in his current Postmasters show. (So far, Gage has been better known, or so Google tells me, for his video games than his art.)

Gage has programmed each of his tiny screens to post how the search engine auto-completes the same standard query each day of the show, indicating what topics most preoccupy Web-searchers at any given time. On one screen, on one day, the query “I’m scared of…” gets completed as “I’m scared of ISIS,” “I’m scared of death” and “I’m scared of toasters”. (Who knew the world suffered from mass toasteraphobia?) On another screen “Money likes…” becomes “Money likes speed,” “Money likes silence“ and “Money likes Facebook.” (I frankly didn’t realize that currency had predilections of any kind.)

What surprised me most in viewing Gage’s work is that the most prosaic, ubiquitous tool at our disposal automatically seems to have creative depths, yielding what one visitor referred to as “unstable poems” – almost-haikus that change as our search needs do.

Of course, great poets have long waxed lyrical over a humble spade or axe. The difference here is that our tool now sings to us.

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