Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
The vagaries of autocomplete are well-known, but this work by the always inventive London-based, Turkish-born visual artist Memo Akten might be the first poem co-composed with Google Search. To make Keeper of Our Collective Consciousness: I Need to Understand Myself (2014), Akten summoned Google Autocomplete suggestions by typing phrases such as ‘I want’, ‘I need’ and ‘I feel’ into the search bar, set to the pleasing thrashing of Marilyn Manson’s cover of the Depeche Mode song Personal Jesus (1990). Google’s best-guesses at what might come next, including ‘I feel like a failure’, ‘I want a hippopotamus for Christmas’ and ‘I need to update my browser’, oscillate between the bleak, the droll and the utterly mundane. Akten describes his interest in the interplay between people and these rapidly developing predictive technologies in relation to ideas of god, calling his poem ‘a collection of prayers … [to a] man-made deity. Living up in The Cloud, of all places. Watching over us, listening to our thoughts and dreams in ones and zeros.’ Read the full poem at Akten’s website.
Video by Memo Akten
Water, salt and music form a mesmerising visualisation of sound waves
Sex and sexuality
What does the Dutch model of comprehensive, ‘shame-free’ sex-ed look like?
Film and visual culture
A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US