Database Poem Performance

Here’s a walkthrough of an attempt to use the MRC psycholinguistic database to produce poetry. This work activates two dimensions of the database, familiarity and concreteness, sampling each dimension at 9 points from minimum to maximum to gather sets of words for performance.

The words were then read out alternately by me (on familiarity) and Holly Pester (on concreteness). The sets are not of equal length, so when one performer runs out of words, the other carries on alone. First performed at Poetry Parnassus, Southbank Centre, 30 June 2012, for an event curated and filmed by SJ Fowler.

Database Poem 1 from James Wilkes on Vimeo.