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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Unexpected Poetry of Google Autocomplete

Autocomplete results are often unintentionally hilarious and weirdly sad - but are they also art?

By Anita Senaratna
September 09, 2013
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By Anita Senaratna
September 09, 2013
  shares

Google autocomplete results are often unintentionally hilarious and weirdly sad at the same time. But have you ever thought of them as an art form?

Google Poetics is a Tumblr blog where users are invited to submit screenshots of their own 'Google poems'. After his generic Google search resulted in the strangely poetic "am I an alcoholic / am I fit to drive/ am I allergic to dogs / tell me, Andriy, am I", Finnish comedy writer Sampsa Nuotio experimented with a few more 'poems' and posted them on Facebook, where they were spotted by Raisa Omaheimo, who convinced him to set up the original Finnish-language version of the blog.

Since then, Google Poetics has been expanded into 11 different languages and been featured in the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Telegraph, and the New Yorker, and it's also inspired a 'googlepoems' page on Reddit.

Co-founder Omaheimo says that she saw the poems as a kind of surreal art form, similar to The Situationists or the Fluxus movement.

"I'm constantly touched and amused by the vision of a modern human being that these poems paint us," she said in a Huffington Post interview. "Many of us have these moments where we ponder questions like 'why am I single' or 'how big is the universe'. It is in a way extremely comforting to know this to be so. And also deeply amusing."

See more of their sublime examples at Google Poetics.

Published on September 09, 2013 by Anita Senaratna

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