We Edited Our Instagram to Be a Tool of Illumination and Found Wild Poetry

When we first started our SignLaboratory Instagram, we tried follwoing people who followed us, with the vague idea that generous reciprocity was the right way to go. We found ourselves trudging through content we had no interest in, and which gave us that “junk food” feeling the internet is famous for. Realizing we disliked Instagram for that reason, we embarked upon a rigorous edit. Our criteria: whatever we follow must illuminate — No same-old same-old (people posing in random places, fashionistas taking selfies, cats, plates of food, sunsets).

© Saloua Raouda Choucair Foundation / Tate Modern

Instagram has become of a delightful tool of illumination. The Tate Modern’s feed is especially rich with wonderful artworks accompanied by concise commentary. We discovered Lebanese artist Saloua Raouda Choucair’s “sculptural poems“; each form is like a verse that can stand alone or be part of a whole. At top, her Poem of Nine Verses; above, Poem; below, Poem Wall all share the remarkable feeling of reading poetry.

The way I organise my sculptural poems is inspired by Arabic poetry. I wanted rhythm like the poetic meter, to be at once more independent and interlinked, and to have lines like meanings.’

Saloua Raouda Choucair / Tate Modern

2 Responses to We Edited Our Instagram to Be a Tool of Illumination and Found Wild Poetry

  1. Jim Dillon 05.01.2019 at 7:41am #

    Same here. It’s amazing how the experience of Instagram changes based on whom one follows! One of my favorite jazz drummers posts little video snippets of his rehearsals, which give a glimpse at how his mind works and adds new dimension when I listen to his music elsewhere. THAT experience got richer for me when I stopped following so many other time-wasting accounts.

    Right now my favorite Instagram feed is from @threadstories. No written attempt at describing this Irish fiber artist’s work will prepare you for the bracing effect of seeing it. My partner Margaret, happily non-social-media, always LOVES it when I show her the latest from threadstories. The last one evoked this response: “The life force! The positive energy! What a human being!”

    I would recommend my own account, @from_ogema, but alas, it’s just woodworking, food, family, and nature.

  2. Sally Schneider 05.01.2019 at 11:05am #

    Thanks, Jim. I would love 2) the name of the jazz drummer’s feed and b) to check on the name threadstories. Is that the exact way it’s named at instagram. The closest one I found was a various iterations of textile head and face coverings…

    Another current favorite of mine is Photographer Alex Soth’s instagram Little Brown Mushroom. Photographs often laced with poetry. And Nitch

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