Finders Keepers: Out of Context


By News & Resources Editor Martin Elwell. Send me your found poetry news.

Computers, Cut-ups, & Combinatory Volvelles

This digital book by Whitney Trettien, Computers, Cut-ups, & Combinatory Volvelles: An Archaeology of Text-Generating Mechanisms, challenges and tests the past and future of the book as a means of conveying information and concepts. I recommend reading Trettien’s introduction before diving directly into the text. If Derrida and Mallarmé are on your bookshelf, this one’s for you.

This unusual use of the book’s architecture leaves the reader, rather than the writer, to cull and combine these scattered fragments of text through multimodal acts of association.

The Lagado Machine

Based on an idea presented by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels, the Lagado Machine enables you to remix text from Swift’s novel, your own text, or other texts related to coding, advice and legalese. Although the tool is an interesting source of potential found poetry, it’s a little bit clunky…that is unless you want to remix the copyright disclaimer. It’s possible my issues are just user error!

In Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift envisioned a machine that could generate creative new phrases by rearranging text automatically — now the realization of his vision is at your fingertips! Get started by mixing up given quotes from various topics or remixing a chapter of Swift’s novel, rearrange your own text, or learn more about this machine in the introduction.

Found Comedy

NYTMCAlthough it isn’t quite found poetry, the @NYTMinusContext twitter feed is definitely found comedy. All the tweets are taken verbatim from New York Times content. Some are hilarious, some a strange, and some are just creepy:

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There’s a correlation between tending a garden and not being a serial killer.

Wearing Elmo and Easter bunny costumes at children’s birthday parties and drifting uneasily into striptease.

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