The phrase “you’ve got no choice about the terminology” comes from an article in the New York Times describing an old-school ice cream parlor manager who insisted that things be called by their proper names. ‘A a scoop of ice-cream with topping on it is a sundae.’ Coming from a household in which ice-cream was taken very seriously indeed, and often struggling with what terminology to use to describe my ethnicity (Cherokee, Hawaiian, Samoan, raised in northern California rural mountain redneck culture), and my profession (artist? poet? software developer? educator? designer?), and recognizing both the danger and seduction of neat categorizations, the line inspired a series of text playing with categories, definitions and the idea that, though we might have some choice about our terminology, we have no choice about our ontology.
No Choice About the Terminology was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE Festival for the Vital to the General Public Welfare exhibition.Poems for Excitable [Mobile] Media is a poem series written and designed to be read via touch interaction. Our goal is to understand how writing and reading–taking poetry as our test form–is being transformed as more of our experiences with text move into computationally-rich, screen-based, and touch-activated environments. We are particularly interested how these variables interact with reading in mobile contexts.