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#255 | Eat your heart out, Google Arts & Culture
I quietly completed another year on this planet at the end of last month. I spent the day with friends, visited an exhibition in the city ('A Discreet Exit Through Darkness' by Soumya Shankar Bose if you're curious), and then proceeded, ill-advisedly, to take to the drink on a workday. No matter, the lesson (hopefully) learnt.
Throwback to my 25th birthday. It fell on the first pandemic year and was very different from what I'd imagined the big quarter-life birthday being (to be fair, no one anticipated the pandemic). Nevertheless, anxiety about the impending doom aside, it wasn't a bad day. I received some of the most thoughtful gifts from my lovely friends and spent a wholesome time with my family.
One of these special gifts was a book of poems. Now this wasn't any regular poetry collection. It was a series of 25 pieces, each paired with a painting, completely curated by one of my oldest friends (and fellow Just One Thing writer, Proiti). The sheer magnitude of this undertaking floors me to this day.
And then because the universe works in mysterious ways, I recently found a website that kind of does this for you.
Curaturae connects any piece of writing to objects from the Smithsonian’s Open Access (there are over three million objects fyi).
I decided to try this out with some of my favourite poems and the results were quite unexpected. An Ada Limón verse on love pulled up a pleated fan inlaid with mother of pearl because the poem contained the word 'mother'.
Of course, no algorithm can replace the loving efforts of a 15-year-old friendship, but it's so fucking cool to see the pairings regardless. And I've been told that it's a great tool for mood boarding.
My next step will be to muster the courage to put my own writing in and who knows, maybe inspiration will strike.
What piece of writing would you like put in? Tell me what kooky results you get in the comments?