first anniversary

word cloud, genreated July 2011

second word cloud, July 2011

This blog is now a year old. When I started it last summer, I wasn’t sure I’d make it this far. But now that I have, I intend to keep going.

Early on, I wrote a post in which I offered a ‘word cloud’ generated from a bunch of old texts, with the idea of giving a visual impression of my general interests. The unstated implication was that it might also give an idea of what territory the blog could be expected to explore. That first word cloud  (shown below right) led off with ‘performance’ and roamed around through technology, role play, media, forgery, identity, narrative and a bunch of other subjects that were related, at least in my own mind.

word cloud 1

first word cloud, July 2010

I wrote then that I planned to generate a new word cloud after the blog had been up for a year, so I offer it here (above left), as promised. Like the first one, it was created by uploading a slew of texts—in this case, blog texts—to, which presumably runs some kind of frequency alogorithm in order to generate the resulting image.

The differences are pretty obvious: much more of an emphasis on the working life of an artist (materials, book, camera, design, show…) and much less on performance and the net ( impersonation, improvisation, avatars, online…). I’m a little surprised that the word ‘technology’ has disappeared from the cloud, since I think I’ve talked about the technologies of art in quite a lot of my posts. Perhaps I’ve been focusing more on the specifics of technologies and less on technology as a general subject.

And I’m certain this word cloud reflects the blog’s general tendencies better than a snapshot of the most-used tags (below left). Useful though tags are, they are highly subject to my whims and assumptions. When I remember to use them at all (!), I tend to focus on two things: (1) terms that I think visitors might search for if they were trying to find ‘that post on X’, and (2) terms that might usefully help with Google page rankings. The operate phrase there is “I think” since I could easily be wrong on both counts.

blog tags, July 2011

blog tags, July 2011

The most puzzling aspect of the new cloud, of course, is the keyword ‘one’, crowned as pre-eminent by wordle’s algorithm. One what? Have I been using the third-person singular neutral pronoun more than I thought? Starting too many sentences off with “One day…”? (One sits scratching one’s head and wondering if one day it will all become clear.)

What I like most about the new cloud is this: that the three most prominent words, taken as a phrase (and overlooking the small matter of punctuation), amount to a concise statement of the blog’s central subject and reason for existing: one artist’s work. I’ll take that as a good sign for the second year.