21st century Dada: Clive Birnie Hashtag Poet in Residence

Saturday 5 March 2016

Our in-house blogger Carly Brown sat down with Clive Birnie, Hashtag Poet in Residence, who is behind the HashtagPoetry# installation here at StAnza 2016 to ask him a few questions about his project and his experience at the festival. 

Carly: How did you get started with the HashtagPoetry# project? 

Clive Birnie: I made the first app-poems and posted them to Instagram back in early 2014 during the final stages of making Cutting Up The Economist. These involved photographing elements of the contents pages of editions of The Economist and then editing and manipulating on a smartphone using a couple of different apps. This lead to an interest in exploring how I might create poems using only my iPhone. I started taking screen grabs from the Twitter app intrigued by the cut-up flow of information.


Carly: And how has this installation unfolded at StAnza? I've enjoyed the interactive Make Your Own HashtagPoems kit in the cafe at the Byre. 

Clive: There are three elements to the project at StAnza. There is the installation which has been projected in the Byre Cafe. I am in residence creating and posting new pieces in response to the festival and then as you say there is the interactive element. For the latter, I stacked up screen prints of the iPhone Twitter app and had these printed as postcards. Visitors to StAnza are then encouraged to redact the postcards using black Sharpie pens and decorate them with coloured dot stickers. I used this method myself at some stages of the project and it has proven a great way to engage people with the project.


Clive Birnie will be discussing this project at his Meet the Arist event today at 2.15 pm in the Byre Conference Room. You can tweet him @CliveBirnie and join in the 21st century Dada experiment throughout the festival in the Byre foyer and cafe.