In the Studio Today... Art of the Word; "Wordle"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
About 2 weeks ago, I decided to poke around with Twitter, Flickr, and some Web 2.0 apps. online to see what I have been missing the last couple years... I picked a few smart folks to follow around the internet, who are educators, technology entrepreneurs, and power diggers. I can not tell you how quickly I have been able to pick up on a few unique and interesting threads, learning about all kinds of things, from smartboards in the classroom, to the amazing things you can forage in nature and turn into a photogenic salad, and just tonight, beautiful "Word Clouds" of any text you paste into an online application called Wordle.

The art of the word was a focus of a recent exhibit in San Rafael, at the Artisan's Gallery. At the time, I thought I had nothing significant enough to possibly share in such an exhibit, but Wordle is giving me a fresh outlook on the possibility of art and words. I have been envisioning a project to excavate photos from my past, and turn them into some sort of art. I now see that Wordle has a way of allowing me to creatively include the words that most matter to me now; some memories, and some feelings I am still very much feeling as I move through life, missing a friend from my past, but being forced to move forward in a positive way each day despite the sadness I have felt for so long. I imagine finding a way to combine these word clouds with my photos and images from my past in a new project.

At the top of this post is a word cloud created in Wordle. I just pasted the text of a "letter" to my friend into Wordle, and it generated the imagery above. Another example, below, is a word cloud that shows the text from Martin Luther King's, "I have a dream" speech.If you want to make a Wordle "word cloud", go here.... Wordle.

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