Digital Broadsides: Neil Aitken’s “Memory,” Designed by Melissa R. Sipin
This week’s digital broadside features Neil Aitken‘s poem “Memory” (from Issue 4), and was designed by Melissa R. Sipin, who’s a poet, a cofounder of TAYO, and a past LR contributor herself. We asked Melissa if she would share some of her thoughts about her choice of Neil’s poem and how that led her design process, and here is what she had to say:
I was led to design Neil Aitken’s “Memory” because of the poem’s vivid play on the concept of memory and its correlation with “the sum of mere data.” It awoke something nostalgic in me, and I was organically drawn to these lovely lines: ”What is memory? / And who is it that slips in at these odd hours … / Who is it that stirs upstairs in my mind … / Here, my father is alive again, once more…”
In the same breath, after learning the intent of Aitken’s poem and its connection with Charles Babbage, I researched the life of Babbage and began to design the poem organically. Designing tends to be a visceral experience for me, and as a result, the visual themes of absence and gradient holes took hold. I hope I designed a broadside that is pleasurable to Aitken and the heart of the poem.
I think it’s safe to say that Melissa has successfully captured at least our hearts with her gorgeously illustrated design!
Melissa’s lovely interpretation of “Memory” is available in two forms—as a printable .pdf, and as a desktop wallpaper—and can be downloaded at our “Digital Broadsides” page. We hope that you’ll download both—and that, especially if you hang or leave a copy of the printed version in a public space, you’ll share a picture with us (on Facebook, on Twitter, or by email), and tell us about any stories that might be generated when others encounter it.