Tuesday, December 10, 2013


(Being a palette cleanser after my last heavy-duty blog post.)

Descriptagram is an idea for a small creative writing side-project. It is an exercise in brevity and clarity. It begins with the question: if a picture is worth a thousand words, what happens when you summarise that picture in 140 characters?

I scanned through my Instagram feed and attempted to capture the essence of select images using the minimum of words. Interestingly, the juxtaposition of content in this written list is far more dissonant compared with viewing the source images within the app.

“Disembodied head of a vintage shop mannequin: seventies-chic, cracked lipstick, disappointing hair.”
“Desiccated orange starfish atop a variety of grey pebbles.”
“Four bright green fractal broccoli arranged square-wise on the rich brown hues of a wooden table.”
“Mandarin Chinese characters finger-written in the mist of a window’s condensation sheen.”
“Close-up of distressed street lettering – disintegrated white paint on a black tar road.”
“Random metal letterpress type characters arranged within a steel tray, mostly serifed capitals.”
“Landscape: four-fifths dark night sky to one-fifth tiny lights delineating the vastness of a city grid.”  
“A pair of hipster spectacles completely disassembled on a wooden table.”
“Midnight. Red. Green. Blue. A neon sign’s lettering reflected onto water surface.”
“Rusty, weathered, fifties-era Vegas motel sign contrasted against a bright blue sky.”
“Close-up of overly ornate letterforms from a Victorian advert (bonus naive pro-smoking message).”
“Long shot of dark tree trunks covered in snow. Colour image appears faux-monochrome.”
“Sunrise viewed through silhouettes of leafless trees. Elongated shadows creating emphasised perspective.”
“Wrinkly young puppy asleep on a cushion; indoors, no flash, amber hues.”
“Predictable birds-eye view of a cappuccino; starkness of white cup contrasts details in wood grain of table.”
“Poorly-kerned vernacular typography. With the obligatory scathingly superior comment appended.”

I may continue this exercise in a dedicated Twitter account. Its longevity would depend on how quickly the novelty of sentence construction devolves into similarity and pattern repetition. I guess I should go and research some Haiku...