Home » Art, Virtual Tourism, Mapping, Poetry = N8R TXT

Art, Virtual Tourism, Mapping, Poetry = N8R TXT

It’s interesting to think about how new technologies are being used, particularly by artists. Google Maps is a tool for finding a location that we’re all familiar with; Google Streetview – recently introduced to major cities in Canada – is a tool for placing yourself, virtually, in a particular location (and being able to look around). Click HERE to check it out.


The Louvre in Paris. Image: eurokulture.edu

Likewise, museums around the world have virtual tours that can put you face to face with the world’s great works of art. The Paris Louvre has an iphone app that puts you up close and personal with the Mona Lisa, or guides you through Napoleon’s apartments. It’s super slick, allowing you to zoom in on works, along with text write ups on the art, the buildings and the architecture. And it’s free. Click HERE for the itunes link.

Now that time and space have collapsed, ‘tourism’ takes on a whole new meaning. Not only can you come close to the art through these technologies, but art responds to you as well.


A Japanese haikai verse (haiku is the plural.) Image: kotaku.com

The moment two bubbles
are united, they both vanish.
A lotus blooms.

– Kijo Murakami (1865-1938)

N8R TXT is an unusual iphone application developed by Canadian artist Amos Latteier as a public art project that sends location-specific nature haikus to your phone. You send in text messages of your current location (address, postcode, if your phone doesn’t automatically know where it is) and in return, it sends you a short Japanese poem, specially composed uniquely for you. Check it out HERE.
Here’s an example, titled “Winter night, College street and Huron street”, complete with shortened txt-style wording:

bneath the lamplite
moths commute 2 roadside trees
dark silvr mapls

Haiku are short poems that typically contain a kigo, or seasonal reference, and a kireji or verbal caesura.

A mountain village
under the pilled-up snow
the sound of water.

– Masaoka Shiki. (1867-1902)

The application takes advantage of the haiku’s formulaic strategy by using maps and websites and local listings to create these short, poems that urge you to slow down, look around and to experience where you are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>