Video image
Delete by Haiku app - the workshop video To think of how one could go about exploring deletion, we met with...Delete by Haiku app - the workshop video

To think of how one could go about exploring deletion, we met with communities dedicated to Haiku poetry. This traditional Japanese form of poetry is marked by a three-line structure, where the syllables per line are, in order 5-7-5. What inspired us in Haiku was two-fold. First it represents a compressed form of text, which helped our thinking on deleting (or compressing) large amounts of text (the SMSs). And secondly, being a well-known aesthetic practice, it motivates us to think about deleting as an aesthetic process, and not necessarily the painful, “trash can” association it has in digital systems.
To explore these ideas, we organized a workshop around Haiku making. With 10 participants, during an afternoon, we explored how to build different Haiku poems, from certain given elements, such as newspapers, books, images and different objects. The exercises had a strong focus on aspects of uncontrolled deleting, for example, by the partial burning of a newspaper page, and working with whatever was left. By doing that, one forces the participants to give up some of the control over their Haiku making, and working within these constraints.

“Delete by Haiku” asks questions on the usage of personal data like storing SMS messages and critically proposing to apply defamiliarised concepts of creating through deletion, also involving practices of letting go, create by loose, and recycling of data. To approach such results we were inspired by human memory and forgetting paradigm as well as in comparing phenomena of digital deletion with human forgetting. Taking approaches from art history and art practice we were inspired by destructive art, ephemeral approach and literature, in particular haiku – traditional Japanese poetry technique.
By exploring defamiliarised concepts we apply translation strategies, which result in compression and condensing of data, and contribute in abstraction and generalisation of stories in SMS messages. This implies issues on personalization through levels of abstraction and some issues of privacy in sharing personal data publicly.
Translation is projected in many ways, and another one is how the data is translated into a smaller form. And in haiku technique smaller amount of information opens up a space for interpretation. It is also referring to condensing data in a fragmented way and changing the story through non-linear approach.
But also through the digital creative process we turn to qualifying-self approach as opposition to a well-known quantified-self movement, which implies similar problems on storing and managing data, but here we offer a curatorial practice of personal data. And after downloading and using the app, it informs how people’s experiences change according to their writing behaviours of SMS messages.
Play Video + Shrink Video -